Hello again! 

Though I did make an excuse of Nervous November for my negligence of the blog, I have to admit, I was having a bit of fun here as well. 

One of best things I love about Paris is how close it is to everything, and how transportation systems are so well executed. During the semester, I travelled to three cities/region near Paris. 

First one I went was to Reims, a city in Champagne region. I have travelled together with other exchange students I have met during the orientation group. 

Second one was to Normandie Region, to Honfleur and to Mont Saint-Michel. I went with a student travel agency called To Be Erasmus in Paris. 

Last trip I went to Chartres with people from my dorm. 

Though I can spend hours and hours talking about each of these trips and about how amazing each place I visited were, I will just mention few things and leave the rest for you to figure out yourself one day. 

View of Reims from Train Station

The trip to Reims was during early October. Though it boasts of its Champagne, that is not all that this small but beautiful city is about. One is its Notre-Dame Cathedral of Reims.  

Notre Dame of Reims

A Gothic masterpiece, Notre-Dame takes your breath away. A museum adjacent to the cathedral, Palais du Tau, is also worth a visit as well. More than anything, I fell in love with the city’s beautiful noise of life.

La Vesle

It’s a small city and there are many streets without much car traffics and every where people are walking. From any corner of the city, you can hear the church bell ringing, people talking lively at each retail stores, and river quietly flowing.  

It is a perfect place to escape the noise of Paris. I used FlixBus for 20 euros total for a roundtrip. 

The trip to Normandie was great. I travelled with To Be Erasmus in Paris, and it was a trip organized for students under 26 years of age. It was a full bus of 60 people, and everywhere we went was a party in good spirit. We visited many many places on the road, but I will just mention two places: Honfleur and Mont Saint-Michel. 

Honfleur is a very small port-town, but absolutely full of beauty and full of life that is unique to a port town. Just a step into the town, and there are boats lined up with fishermen selling their fresh produce right by them.  

Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune with its name coming from a monastery at its top. First built as a fort in 400’s, over the centuries abbey and towns and all its features seen today were added one by one. Walking up the narrow streets from middle ages, it almost feels like a time travel. 

The third trip was to Chartres, a relatively unknown small city, almost a town, near Paris. It is about an hour away with a train. It’s a city of cathedrals. Its main attraction is the Cathedral of Chartres, built in Romanesque style in 1100’s but rebuilt in 1200’s. Its stain glass, called bleu de Saint-Denis (left two below) is a mystery in its creation, and is still not replicable to this day. And there are many other cathedrals of unique beauty that you may have never heard of before. I personally loved Church of Saint Aignan, and below are some of its pictures (most right and horizontal picture at bottom). 

Paris is great, but I think true beauty of France can only be grasped outside busy city life getting from point A to point B. 

I will be off to another adventure during Christmas time. I will be visiting a small town near Bordeaux that no tourists know of. I look forward to sharing that experience with you! Good bye until then. 

Eileen Kim studied abroad in Paris, France in 2017: