Chateau #2: Versailles

During the Toussaint holidays, we took a day trip to the famous Palace of Versailles. The palace is a major tourist attraction of Paris, and is best known for its opulence and extragavant decorations. Built by King Louis XIII in the early 17th century, the palace expanded from a hunting lodge to the main royal home during  the reign of Louis XIV- or the Sun King! I was lucky enough to be able to meet up with an old family friend at Versailles, Sabine; who is a student nearby!

How to get there

The chateau is not located right in Paris, but about 20 km out, with easy connections on the Paris RER public transportation system! From the Paris Gare du Nord, its a straight shot on the metro line C- getting to the Chateau Rive Gauche station takes approximately 40 minutes on the RER. From the metro stop the palace is a 5 minute walk!

Perks of being an assistant

With my valid French visa and passport proving Im under 26, we qualified for free entrance to the chateau and avoided standing in the ticket line! However, as it was a gorgeous Saturday, we did have to stand for 40 minutes in the long entrance line. Continue reading

Chateau #1: Pierrefonds

I had never heard of the Chateau de Pierrefonds before I visited it. Adam`s fellow assistants had planned a trip and as I`m not one to turn down a trip to a French chateau, I was happy to tag along!

The chateau is a reconstructed medieval castle in the Picardie region of France- reconstructed because it was destroyed during the 17th century. Napoleon III undertook the restoration project in the 19th century, once France began to take steps to preserve her history and monuments. Today the castle is fully restored and classified as a national monument.

How to get there

To visit the castle, we took an SNCF train to Compiègne. From the train station, we took a regional bus- Oise Mobilité– line 27 for 2 euros to the town of Pierrefonds. You can look up the times here.

The chateau Continue reading

9 months: 11 countries, 29 cities.

My wonderful, amazing, cliche life-changing study abroad year is at an end, and I find I’ll like to remember all the places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. So for one blog post let’s explore the trips I’ve managed to take since I arrived in Montpellier on August 17, 2013.

1. Francefrench flag

Cities I visited: Aix-en-Provence, Annecy, Arles, Avignon, Carcassonne, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Narbonne, Nice, Nimes, Paris, Perpignan,  Rouen, Toulouse Continue reading