From the moment I stepped off the plane, I was bombarded with new experiences. The signs were in French. The people spoke French. Everything was French! I could not -believe that I had traveled across the Atlantic. It was early morning when my classmates and I landed. From the minute we stepped into the crisp, fresh air, I knew these would be the best two weeks of my life.
The three days in Paris flew by. I visited the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and L’Arc de Triomphe. I saw “Mona Lisa,” Claude Monet’s famous “Water Lilies,” and the stained-glass windows of Notre Dame. I walked the many rues of Paris with two friends, on our own. We saw fashionable Parisians strolling, eating at sidewalk cafés, and kissing in the lush gardens. All…show more content… I immediately began noticing the differences between France and America. In France everyone is thin, fashionable, and pretty. The men are athletic, with styled hair and clothes. Parisians walk with an air that suggests they have somewhere to be; no one meanders aimlessly, yet everyone seems to enjoy the beauty around them. I became very conscious of how loud our tour group was amid the quiet citizens of Paris. We were dressed brightly, and our loud American voices clashed with the cultured…show more content… Although very different, both had a profound effect on me. Chartres is a small town built around a stunning cathedral, Notre Dame de Chartres. During our free time, my friends and I walked around the building, observing the architecture and the lovely gardens. After the hustle and bustle of Paris, it was a nice change of pace to sit inside the cool stone structure and admire the beautiful stained-glass windows. We also ¬explored the little shops and cafés. Speaking French to store owners who spoke little English made me realize how ignorant I had been believing I didn’t need to know any language but English. Seeing young kids cry out “Aie!” instead of “Ouch!” and knowing that they would not be able to communicate with me in English made me see just how different the world is, and how challenging it is to overcome ¬language