hope you all have been keeping cozy & hanging in there til spring! I’ve just got back from a week in France with my class, and the weather there was pretty much equivalent to Norwegian summer- A nice, balmy 10 degrees Celsius. We had a super fun week in France, and we had so many cool new opportunities while we were there. During our trip we visited Lyon, Evian, and Chamonix. I really couldn’t say which was my favorite, all of the three places were really unique and I have really special memories from all of them.
We left Sunday morning, the 4th of march, and flew into Geneva. I think that was maybe one of the best plane rides of my life, the whole plane was super empty so we had so much space. Once we got to Geneva, we took the bus to Chamonix, home of Mont Blanc-or of part of it anyways. Mont Blanc is shared by Italy, Switzerland, and France but the highest point is located in France and accessed from Chamonix.
Once we arrived, we had to walk with our bags for a while to where we were staying. We stayed in this thing called a gite, kinda like a hostel. That night we walked around chamonix (which was beautiful but they had christmas lights everywhere??) and went to this french restaurant for dinner where we had raclette and i kid you not ate a quarter of a wheel of melted cheese. Like, those big wheels in cartoon movies that you don’t believe exist until you need to go somewhere and the french person driving you pulls one out of the back of their car to make room for you. Anyways, the melted cheese thing was really good but we warmed it on these little cheese ovens and we were literally sweating trying to eat our melting cheese. yum.
Mondays aren’t so bad when you’re halfway across the world exploring another part of continent that’s also halfway across the world. I started the day with a short run with two of the other girls in my class. It was a little cold on the lungs but SO worth it. Even running is fun when you’re surrounded by the most picture perfect mountains. In the morning we took the train up the mountain to la Mer du Glace, a glacier on Mont Blanc. We went down to the glacier in a funicular and got to walk inside a man-made ice cave which was cool. The highlight was definitely going back up the 400 stairs getting back from the ice cave. Especially after the morning run.
In the afternoon we did a quiz in chamonix about the area and mont blanc. We had a whole sheet of questions and to find the answers we had to run around the town in pairs and ask strangers for the answers. Embarrassing, especially when your conversational french isn’t what you pretend it is in french class. This was one of the highlights of the trip though, it was fun to talk to strangers and we were surprised at how willing people were to help us (except for one waiter who literally started running when he saw us coming).
For dinner we made crepes. I can flip them like a french person. all my life goals have been achieved.
The next day, Tuesday, was mostly used to travel to Evian. The weather wasn’t great, and before we left we just visited a museum on Mont Blanc. During the ride to Evian we had to switch to 3 different trains. Once we got to Evian, we met our host families for 2 nights- mine was nice, and they had five cats.
On Wednesday we went to french school! I was really surprised at how different the environment was there, and I think it was because they didn’t have wifi there so all the kids actually had to talk to eachother haha. During the school day, we had a tour, french presentations, lunch with the students, and then a tour of Evian. It was actually really fun to experience something new, even going to school. On our tour we drank real Evian water for free, and experienced rain, sun, and both at the same time
That night the french class hosting us took us bowling! It was really fun and so nice that they organized to do that with us. The place was super huge and had a disco and stuff, so different from what we’re used to in Norway.
During the next day, we had classes with our exchange students in the morning then went to Lyon. We were supposed to have 3 classes but my student was only having 2, so we used the rest of the time to take a walk along the water in Evian. The weather was really nice and it was fun to have that time to talk (aka me fail to talk french and her to just pretend she understood).
Afterwards we took this super old hunger games vibes train to Lyon. Once we arrived we walked up a really big hill to a cathedral, one of the highlights of the trip for me. The view was so beautiful and we were there right when the sun was setting. We had some time after just to walk around before dinner, and I ate a whole baguette. Just france things. We ate dinner then went back to our hostel for the night.
On friday we had a super busy day. We started the day at this movie and miniatures museum, then had some free time so my friend and I hit the mall. After we had a boring audio tour of the city, so boring it was funny. We took a boat cruise before we went to dinner, and it was so windy but so worth it. I think boat cruises is maybe my favorite thing to do when travelling in Europe.
For dinner we went to this restaurant where we ate the BEST. LAKS. OF MY LIFE. It had chorizo and parmesan on top and guys, it was seriously was so delicious. I will be dreaming of that meal for the rest of my days.
Saturday was our last day in Lyon. We went to see a Guignol performance which was like a puppet show in french. We were the only people over 5 there but it was really funny actually.
Next we visited a museum exhibit on poison. They had live poison frogs which was cool to see but I can’t imagine what it would be like to accidentally come across one of those little guys. We had some free time after, so we went back to the mall. But if my mom asks, we were just there doing sightseeing.
Anyways, hope you guys liked hearing about my little france trip! It was such a positive experience and we got to try so many new things, I know I’ll have these memories forever<3