Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – City Life


Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – City Life
Creative Commons Image via The LEAF Project

Aero: Kelsey Hamilton – France 2014 – City Life


Kelsey Hamilton

The city is never a place I have visited often, even here at home. I have been to New York a few times, and Rochester but never truly spent a long period of time in a city. Quite frankly half the time I can’t stand the noise of the bustling of the cars or lights at night. I have grown up in a rural area and have been quite comfortable with that for a long time, but this trip brought me out of that comfort zone which is exactly what I needed. 

Rennes was the first French city we got to tour and visit while we were with our host families. Our first day in Rennes getting an historical tour of the city we really got to see some beautiful buildings. From the left over castle walls, to the medieval time wood buildings every bit of it was impressive from my point of view as an art student. Nothing was just a brick building thrown up, every building had it’s own characteristic, from the window ledges to the lay of the stone not one looked the same. I believe that’s what really sets American cities apart from European. Maybe it’s because we are yet still such a young country compared to them, but it gives the city a tasteful and artistic feel.  

City life feels the same as ours in some ways but what really brings out the European style in the city was the lack of a gridline for the streets and roads. I found that to be the most confusing and experienced that first had becoming lost in Rennes and missing my train. You’ll be walking in one direction think one street will keep taking you that way, and then BAM curve in the street, awkward street crossings with three or four streets coming to a point and you’re lost! But that is what makes touring a French city an adventure. From the streets to the vendors it can be almost overwhelming what you may come across.

 One of my obsessions I became intrigued by while walking through these cities were the doors. Not one was the same, each crafted differently and well. Many from earlier than the 19th century, some with etchings or carving stating the occupation of the worker that may of lived there during the medieval age.  I began to notice that architecture and design were a large aspect in European building. Buildings were not just thrown up for use but for a purpose with an art influence.  

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

ML@FLCC France 2014 Flickr Gallery

The Christian faith is very well known through out the city, because of the time period many of these cities were built in. You can see it not only in the designs of buildings but also in how many of buildings face the church, or surround it. One of the first things I noticed was that many medieval time buildings had a small shrine place on them, with a statue of Virgin Mary, rosaries and décor to represent their faith during that time period; many still stood some untouched and others with more décor added over the years. To me I found it amazing that no one had dismantled those statues or shrines still left over from previous time periods. But then I begin to think about the culture compared to ours and I forget that we are a melting pot of many religions, and they are mainly focused on one which gives me an understanding on why things like those shrines wouldn’t offended others; and  people wouldn’t necessarily want to get rid of them. 

Not only are they a religious figure, but a form of art, and in Europe art is something much ore appreciated than here at home. Art is what built these cities, from the architecture to the cathedrals art has been promoted for years first by the church and now as documentation of history for the world.  

European city life is overwhelming, sometimes may seem a little dirty but yet it is still feels like it holds more grace and beauty than any city here at home. France is full of beautiful streets and city life, each thing I experienced I soaked up and now it has me itching for more.

Learn More: Study abroad with Modern Languages @ FLCC

– Kelsey Hamilton

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