2 months// Paris Trip.
Updated: Mar 4, 2020
My time here has been incredible so far... I am so grateful to have been able to explore this beautiful country more, in the countless day trips with my friends, and trips with my host family around Belgium, ANDDD PARIS! 3 weeks ago we went for the long weekend!
Day one: Euro Disney. We woke up at 6 am for a 3hr drive to Disneyland Paris. I forgot my temporary residency form. We had to turn around, making us lose an hour of our day. I was so sad :( I got to watch the sunrise across the vineyards of France's countryside. We made a pit stop in a small town for gas and food, across from the station was a huge wild pig sculpture?! I'd call it the equivalent to the amazing Vegreville Pyskanka. Our day in Disney was mostly spent in lines, it didn't bother me. The weather was perfect, they had Autumn/Halloween decorations all over the place. A handful of rides were shut down for repairs, which made picking what to do a bit easier. Unfortunately the Ratatouille rollercoaster was down. I was so excited about it because, well, Paris! Ratatouille! It was still an amazing day. We went on 5 or 6 rides in total, all of which were very very cool. I felt like I was inside the movies! We stayed until the end of the day for the parade and firework show. I saw everyone from Toy Story, Nemo, Star Wars, almost all the Princesses, and everyone from The Lion King! There were clips being projected on the castle during the fireworks. It started raining about halfway through, the sun wasn't down yet. The fireworks and glitter in the sky would reflect off the raindrops, making everything a bit brighter. It was so beautiful! After our long day, we drove to the city and went to our apartment, unpacked and went to sleep.
Day two: The city. We got up at 8 am, went out to get coffee and croissants, and we were on our way to explore Paris for the day. I walked 38,000 steps, my feet were so sore. It was all so worth it. This day seems like a dream to me, it went by so quickly. I need to go back. Hopefully, I will go for the day with my Aussie friend, Casey in November. Before she goes home :( First, we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower. I was laughing the whole way there, I was just in so much shock! I've never been in awe of a piece of architecture. So far this is the exception. It's so weird to see something that I've seen on posters and tv shows since I was little. We saw the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame, the Louvre Pyramid (no time for the museum), the Sacre-Cour... most of the tourist's favourites. They were all beautiful. I would've wanted to spend more time at every spot. I think one of my favourite moments of that day was sitting on the hill at the Sacre-Cour, looking out into the skyline just as the clouds were turning pink. It made all the buildings glow, and a street performer was singing "Imagine" on the steps. I just never wanted to leave that moment. We also went to a "Van Gogh Experience" It was a huge concrete room with nothing inside but projectors showcasing all of Van Gogh's art. The pieces were moving along with the music. I think it was an interesting way to show off his work. And a good way to let out feet rest, just laying on the ground watching and listening. By then, it was night. We made our way back to the apartment, walking through all the lit-up streets. We were so lucky to see the lights of the tower go off! We were walking across a bridge with a beautiful view, and almost no one was around. We also weren't sure if the lights would even turn on, a past president died 2 days before and the lights were turned off in his honour. We finished the day off with sushi from a restaurant near the apartment. We were so hungry, and so happy afterwards.
Day three: Versailles but mostly home. We slept in till 11, and it was pouring rain. Truly an easy breezy Sunday morning. We packed up and drove. The rain was still hitting hard, only now there were crazy winds added. About every 5mins it would completely stop, and the sun would shoot through the clouds making it feel 25+ The royal gardens of Versailles is one of the most breathtaking places I have ever been. We only spent an hour in the gardens, but it was one of the best hours of my life. I could definitely spend a whole day there walking through all the secret trails, laying under the trees by the lake, listening to the classical music in sync with the fountains... and just like that we were done! I slept the whole way home. Dreaming about the dream I had just lived.
I started my French lessons, I'm speaking and learning more which is great! School is... well... something else haha. People are very different, it's very difficult to make friends, the school system is different, It's just all different. But this is exchange, I'm adjusting. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the other exchange student in my grade Patsy (from Mexico) and I are done school at noon! We plan different things to do each week. This week we went to some beautiful parks in the city enjoying the Autumn weather. Speaking of the weather, it's rained more in the 2 months that I've lived here than I think it has in my whole life. It really is "la vie en Belgique" I love having a real fall for once! the trees are so warm and bright yellow, a sweater and jean jacket is all I need to stay warm. It's awesome! My host parents say it shouldn't start snowing until November. It's sad because I love the cold, but this may be the mildest winter season of my life and I'm going to try and take advantage!
For the month of October, there's a huge fair in one of the parks in Liege. It's a really big deal here. One of the best times of the year. I've been with Alix , her Aunt Yaya and her Uncle Freddy. We walked around eating croustillions and laquements, staple fair food, and of course went on all the rides! There are so many lights, it makes the atmosphere amazing. Sadly no rodeo ;) I tried to explain to them what happens at Rainmaker, they didn't quite understand what a rodeo was. I've also been with Patsy for more croustillions!
I also went to my first European soccer game with my host family! They are really into soccer around here. Just like hockey at home. Belgium Red Devils won against San Marino 9-0!!!
I made Thanksgiving Dinner! well, sort of. It's quite complicated for a one man job. The gravy and pumpkin pie were a hit. They've never eaten them before. I ended up making more pie for other family members :)
Well, that's as much as I can think of for now. If you want to talk email me email@example.com or my Instagram :)
BARCELONAAA! 7 DAYSSSS!
Bisous as always ~Z