• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

10 Days in France: A Taste of History, Architecture and…Escargot

Back in March of 2020, I had the incredible opportunity to go to France for ten days. Not only was this my first time traveling internationally, but also my first time on an airplane. 

After landing in Paris, our group was sufficiently jetlagged and had a three-hour drive to Trouville, Normandy. Throughout our stay in Normandy, we saw the Notre-Dame de Rouen, the site where Joan of Arc was burned along with the WWII memorials and D-day beaches.

Notre-Dame de Rouen
Where Joan of Arc was Burned (Rouen, Normandy)
The sun setting over Trouville
At the American Cemetery there were crosses as far as the eye could see, creating a very somber, reflective atmosphere
Pointe du Hoc: a D-day landing beach

The second region we visited was the Centre-Val de Loire (Loire Valley), where we visited Amboise (the town where Leonardo da Vinci’s home is located), Château Chenonceau (a stunning fifteenth century castle) and Blois (where we stayed the night).

Château du Clos Lucé; da Vinci’s home
Château Chenonceau
Delectable, melt-in-your mouth filet mignon in Blois

Next, we made our way to Ile-de-France, the region of… Paris! Here we visited the Galeries Lafayette (a mall with every expensive brand you could imagine), the Louvre, Palais Versailles, and of course the Eiffel Tower. 

The view from the Galeries Lafayette left me completely breathless
The Louvre; home to the famous Mona Lisa
Trying escargot for the first time, they were buttery and bursting with garlic flavors
Palais Versailles was filled with gold-trimmed…everything. The infamous Hall of Mirrors was remarkable too

Traveling to the south of France, we visited Provence where we got to climb to the top of the Pont du Gard (an ancient Roman aqueduct), shop in local street markets, and take a painting class.

Finally, located in the Côte D’Azur (French Riviera) region was one of my favorite cities of the trip; Nice. The Mediterranean Sea was the most vibrant blue color I had ever seen. The city was lively, rich in history and art, and the colorful, Italian inspired architecture had me mesmerized.

“Conversation à Nice” by Jaume Plensa is a series of seven statues in the center square of the city. The idea behind the piece is that each person represents a continent, and they all face each other to depict global communication and tranquility.

This trip was over way too quickly. Nonetheless, I left with way more than I came with…literally and metaphorically. I gained a new appreciation for culture, language, architecture, history, and so much more. Ultimately, this trip reaffirmed my lifelong goal of traveling to as many countries as possible.

Words and photos by Macey Heys, Managing Editor