Most of my friends in the US have completed their school years, but at LSE I am just starting exams. I actually have just recently returned to London after a five week spring break. I spent roughly four of those weeks back in the US spending time with family and friends, but I was able to explore a bit of Europe for the last one!
First, I visited Paris. I was able to see some of the traditional tourist attractions, such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. I studied French in elementary and middle school, then re-visited the subject a bit during my time at Allegheny, and I was impressed by how much I could remember! Some taxi drivers didn’t understand English very well, and many were happy to help me practice my French skills.
It was very interesting to compare Paris and London. Both of course are historic and have beautifully ornate architecture, but the styles of the cities are a bit different. Paris is very linear: all the hedges, buildings, etc. are aligned and very carefully planned. London doesn’t share this lovely symmetry, but I am a bit more partial to its historical architectural and interior designs.
While in Paris, we also visited the palace of Versailles which is a breathtakingly beautiful place. My favorite is the famous hall of mirrors, mostly for its ornate ceiling and numerous chandeliers.
I also got the opportunity to take a day trip to Normandy. Looking back, this was my favorite part of the trip. We visited German bunkers, Omaha beach, and the American Cemetery in Normandy. Since I am very interested in WWII history, it was incredible to actually experience the locations where history happened. It’s unbelievable to stand on Omaha beach (see picture of me below doing just that) and to imagine the horrors of D-Day happening on that very spot. This was one day trip I definitely won’t soon forget.
Next we spent a couple days in Amsterdam. My favorite part of the visit was our trip to the countryside where we got to see Holland’s famous tulips and windmills. I even got to sit in a giant clog!
However, now all of my fun travels are over and it’s time for me to buckle down for finals. These exams are very stressful, and my last one isn’t until June 17th so I’ve still got over a month left! Better get back to it, but I hope you’ve enjoyed a snapshot of what I’ve been up to.