Why I came to Europe
Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
26Trip End Aug 10, 2010
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Sylvia's motherland was calling for her home to resume "normal life" in order to complete an internship as part of her degree. Me? I still had almost 2 months left of travel time before I (unfortunately) also have to return to my motherland (no, not China). I had a choice to make – continue travelling on my own onto my next destination, or go back to France with Sylvia. At first, the choice seemed daunting. Two very different paths with very different outcomes. How could I commit to one or the other?
Luckily for me, the decision wasn’t actually that difficult. I had met so many travelers from all over Europe and had my shares of cultural exchanges with them
The only reason not to go to Europe was money. Flying to Europe was not really cheap, neither was living in Europe. But I did a quick check of my bank account, realized I had more than enough funds to last me in Europe, and found a cheap ticket to Paris. The plan was to visit Paris for 3 days and then take the train to Sylvia's hometown of 6000 inhabitants near the politically-important city of Strasbourg and mooch off her family for several weeks. Being central to many places, Strasbourg would be my homebase to explore the nearby countries of Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland. There are few places in the world where so many cultures can be experienced in such short distances from each other.
I have in fact been on a 3 week tour across Europe before, arranged by my highschool after I had graduated
I must say that Paris is a beautiful city to photograph. We visited most of the main sites in Paris – Champs Elysses, Notre Damne, Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre. One of the most interesting sights though was the underground Catacombs. I am not sure exactly why it was built or what its purpose was, but under the city of Paris exists a series of tunnels housing literally thousands of human bones arranged neatly in some sort of storage/art display. The walls of these underground tunnels are built entirely of femurs and skulls. Knowing that this display is made of thousands of dead humans, you would think such a display is quite disgusting and eerie, which it is, yet the catacombs are strangely intriguing and beautiful. I couldn't help but think how crazy it is that this is just lying beneath the streets of Paris.
Other than the usual site seeting, the quintessential French experience is enjoying the food culture here. For the past few weeks, I have been spending my time getting fat eating baguettes and cheese, drinking wine, and dining out at some fine restaurants
So yes, I still have a lot to learn from this wonderful land and I am excited for the remainder of my time here. Besides, it's finally time to put that bilingual Canadian education to good use!