During these nine months, my school provides us (about 70) students with little 1-3 weekend trips throughout France. So far, these trips have been within Brittany, the region I’m living in. These quick, little vacations have produced many highlights of my study abroad experience so far. We’ve toured museums, explored fascinatingly old churches, and even visited the Cairn of Barnenez, which is considered one of the first “buildings” in the world. At nights, I had the chance to learn more about the girls with whom I shared a room where we made plenty of memories and inside jokes. The following day we had misfortune of eating the wrong type of crêpe for lunch, and know you must be thinking, “What? Wrong type of crêpe? No, that’s impossible!” But there is a wrong crêpe! At least there was for us when we ordered “andouille” in our crêpe thinking it was normal sausage. (Many enjoy its tastes and it’s a specialty in this region, but to our American tongues it was not a very pleasant surprise).
Last week, my classmates and I, along with some of our host siblings, traversed the Mont Saint Michele Bay. Now depending on the day, this can be a beautiful, relaxing trip. We happened to choose the day when there was, in my Southern Californian raised opinion, a small hurricane. Yes, I’m being dramatic, but the tides in this bay are known to be quite dangerous and this route is known for its inclement weather. In fact, this small island city was almost never conquered by enemies throughout history because so many men would die and be swept out to sea because of the fast-changing weather. Fortunately, this didn’t happen to us, but I did experience a once in a life time 8 km walk through clay-like mud, little rivers up to my mid-thighs, and a even type of quick sand—which turned out to be a good thing because when we stopped to huddle like penguins, we would all sink and the sand covering our legs kept us slightly warmer than when braced against the winds. All in all, I did have an amazing time. In order to keep blood flow in our muscles, my friends and I chose to karaoke race, challenging ourselves not to slip, and we danced and sang in an attempt to lift other kids’ spirits, whose bodies looked see-through purple from the cold. When we finally arrived, I couldn’t take my eyes off the incredible Mont Saint Michele. To my surprise and immediate dismay, we did not get to visit and walk around the island, but a professor did say that we would explore it during another weekend trip in February. I’m already excited. As I’ve written many times, I love traveling, and traveling with other people is an incredible way to get to know someone. During this trip, my friends and I grew closer as we all had to take care of the people whose bodies faired worse than ours against the weather. We all struggled and made jokes and formed memories, united against the wind. I’m not going to lie, I did complain a fair amount during the walk about the total loss of heat in my hands and legs, but in retrospect, I couldn’t be happier I went. Below I’ve attached some images of my recent adventures. If anyone of you get the chance to visit Brittany, France, I highly suggest you make the trek to Mont Saint Michele! :)