Saturday, May 21, 2016

Short Trip to PARIS

My friends decided to go to Paris during our Easter break because… because why not!? Austria is located in the centre of Europe so it is very convenient to travel around. We could have taken a train too, but took a plane because it was cheaper. It only costed around 80 Euros for a round trip. (I am sorry for uploading late, but I went there at the end of March.)

Paris was gorgeous. I definitely could see why this place is called the “City of Love”. The city was magical and just being there was exciting. The atmosphere there was different and made me doubt I was living in the 21st century. The city was full of art. They have great museums everywhere and you can see a lot of famous and historical paintings you would recognise, and those are so powerful. I never thought one painting or one artistic object could be this powerful before. Especially when I went to Louvre Museum, there is this hallway with two wall-full of huge paintings on the both side. When I walked down there, I felt the power of art and it slowed down my steps. There were also people singing inside of trains, playing instruments at stations. Art was everywhere in Paris and it felt magical.

They say French people do not speak English, but actually they do. They are pretty good at English but I do not think it is good to expect everyone to speak English. If you have ever learned at least one foreign language, you should know how hard it is. In my experience, it is also good to know some words in their language beforehand. When I was in Japan, it made me so happy when foreigners said “thank you” in Japanese because it sounded very polite so I felt like they respected our language. For the reason, I always try to remember how to say at least “Thank you”, “Hello”, and “Goodbye” in their language before I go to some other countries.
Their croissant was amazing!!

One of the most amazing things of being in Europe is that when you go to different countries, even though the countries are next to each other, you get to hear different languages. I want to talk about a bit about German now. It has been two months since I got here and I am learning German. I personally love their language so much. I do not know if you have heard about it or not, but German language is sometimes known as an aggressive language. I have seen some videos comparing different languages and trying to show that German sounds more harsh than other languages. I remember a celebrity once said on a famous American TV show that when she went to Germany, everyone sounded like they were angry even though they were saying sweet things. To be honest, I have never thought like that. German is a very gentle language and has got a lot of beautiful words. Those videos on the internet are exaggerated and once you hear a real conversation in German speaking countries, you would think it is such a beautiful language. I just want to inform that maybe information you will find on the Internet is not always true.

When you study abroad in Europe, you can go into most of the museums and attractions for free. They take discount for students in EU. For example, I did not have to pay anything when I went 
to Louvre Museum because I have my student ID of FH Salzburg. However, if I only had my American student ID, I had had to pay. There are a lot of other places that take EU student discount. I have heard some hostels also take EU student discount. You can save more money when you travel during studying abroad, and I believe it is a huge benefit of studying in Europe.

Other than a student ID, there is this card called International Student Identity Card you can use in a lot of places, even in the US. I got around 20 Euro discount for my Disneyland Paris ticket. I have been to Disneyland in California and Tokyo Disneyland but I loved Paris one the best (It is actually outside of Paris, but Tokyo Disneyland is not in Tokyo either, so whatever). It was not crowded at all even though I went there during my spring break. There are two parks, Disneyland and Disney Studio, like California has two, and I highly recommend to go both. You can go both for the same price as one park ticket when you use the card anyways, and one day is enough to go see around both parks. Disneyland Paris has a Sleeping Beauty themed castle and it is PINK (who cool is that?!)!!!! Disney Studio has a Ratatouille themed ride because the movie is about France, and it was amazingly fun. Disney park is definitely one of the most amazing places in France.

Unfortunately the day we arrived there was the day the attack occurred in Belgium so the security check was very strict. We got checked everywhere we go, even at MacDonald’s. To be honest I felt unsafe during my stay in Paris. Police was everywhere and they all got guns. I am not trying to scare you but you should be aware when you go somewhere unsafe. I think it is good to search dangerous area or not-to-go places before you travel.
Eiffel Tower lighted up as the color of Belgium flag 

However, at the same time, this travel made me believe that there are so much more beautiful things than tragedies in this world. My favourite time in Paris was this one night when I was watching the city lights and Eiffel Tower shining from a bridge across Seine River. Cruise ships were running through the river slowly and it was so peaceful and I was so happy being in the moment. I will never forget those moments and cheerful people in Paris. 

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