Aero: Ayla Sandifur – France 2015 – History and Culture
Aero: Ayla Sandifur – France 2015 – History and Culture
Since this was my first traveling experience outside the country, I don’t have anything to compare France to. Traveling to France and everything I have seen there is my biggest accomplishment in terms of traveling and where I have been. France absolutely nothing like I have ever seen before. The views you can get at night are indescribable, the architecture is gorgeous and so unique, and the food is amazing. The history and culture is quite exciting as well. France isn’t only famous for the food and Paris but it’s also famous for what’s in France. I never thought I would be able to say I have seen all these different historical places that people admire so much. I have only read about them and seen pictures in textbooks from history class.
Just like any other corny girl, I had always wanted to see and visit the Eiffel tower. Only difference is, I don’t have to dream about it anymore because I have seen it and I have stood underneath it. The Eiffel tower is everything you think and dream of plus so much more. It took me a few minutes to process the fact that I was standing in front of it and not looking at a picture on a smart board in a classroom. The structure of the Eiffel tower is unbelievable. At a distance, the tower looks like it’s constructed of wood but up close it looks like its metal or steel. The tower is taller in person, I didn’t even feel like I was a person standing in front of it. I didn’t know until we were actually there but there is levels in the Eiffel tower that people pay in euros to climb. There are levels all the way up to the top, but people can only go as far as the second level of the tower. The Louvre Museum is another place we visited while in France. There was these pyramid glass that were next to these gorgeous waterfalls and the entrance to the museum was a glass pyramid that was larger than the other ones. This is where we visited many famous artworks such as the Mona Lisa and the Wedding Feast at Cana. There is over 30,000 artworks in this museum, I even got lost twice inside and couldn’t find a bathroom until I asked for help. With my host family, instead of going to Rennes for a market with everyone else, I had the privilege of visiting and going inside the Palace of Versailles. This palace was so spacious. The palace had artwork hanging up all over in every room and the wallpaper on the walls looked so vintage. Seeing the king and queens bedroom was really the chance of a lifetime. This palace took the meaning of palace to a new whole level and exceeded my expectations of what it looks like inside. I felt so special walking in a place that holds so much history and meaning to France. Mont Saint-Michel was something really special too. This is an island located out of the sea on the coast of Normandy. It was really cold and windy when we visited but the tides were going to be really high as well later on during the weekend. When the tides are low you can walk across the ocean since its all moist sand. It has the most gorgeous view aside from the construction going on. There was recently built a bridge that travels from the island to land and there is a bus that makes round trips from the parking and little town to the island for tourists. The island is pretty much secluded from stores for grocery shopping and medical assistance if needed. There are also a lot monks on the island but they don’t really make a public appearance for tourists. Kelsey and I did happen to see one that came out of a small door and walked in the opposite direction we were heading in.
Just like in America, there’s music, entertainment, TV and technology. Being around my host student and her siblings I learned a thing or two about music and such in France. They have the radios like we have with the antennas sticking out in the back and all the radio stations are in French. Even though the stations and broadcasts are in French, there is some songs that are played on the radio in English or the artist has a French version. When I was at Marie’s track practice with her, I noticed the kids listen to similar music we do and some of it is in English. She told me a lot of kids listen to music in English because there isn’t much in French, or the artists some kids like don’t have a version of the song in French. There was a guy on Marie’s team who was listening to a song by Miley Cyrus and he didn’t know how to sing it in English so he translated it himself to French so he could sing along. With the time I spent with my host family, I learned that a lot of people and families attend musicals for entertainment and my host family happens to attend musicals very often in Paris. Even though we left Paris to go to Britany, My host family and I went back to Paris the next day to go see a musical called Singin’ in the Rain. This is one of my favorite musicals by far and I was honored that my host family invited me to attend with them. The theater was absolutely beautiful and by far the biggest theater I have even been in. The musical was in English as well. There was a screen mounted above the stage for people who didn’t understand English well enough so the producers provided French subtitles instead. Also, France has similar TV channels as America does. Only difference there is that I noticed is on some shows, the characters are not the same and the shows are in French. I noticed at the school we attended, some students have iPhones, while other students have smart phones but they are not as popular. My host student’s family has a laptop that was open for family common use, Perrine and Laura both have tablets that Laura often uses to watch YouTube videos on, and everyone in Marie’s family has a cell phone of some sort. While I was at the school, I never saw a smart board or a computer operating system newer than Windows Vista. France has so much to offer to those who are willing to open their minds and eyes. I usually find history and culture extremely boring but I am extremely fascinated with France.