Never having been to a university, I am not sure if it is typical for a freshmen orientation to be held at a chateau north of Paris, where the students are served gourmet four course meals and encouraged to try the wine and then relax in the pool, but I’m going to assume that this is completely normal college orientation behavior.
Okay maybe that isn’t completely normal behavior, but I am very glad that the amount of money I am paying for school is going to something worthwhile: my happiness.
Chateau de la Tour, where our orientation was held, is a very nice hotel near Chantilly and is about an hour and a half away from Paris. They have a beautiful garden with a pool, tennis courts, and bikes to rent. Not only that, but the food is delicious.
Chateau de la Tour.
As another part of our freshmen orientation, we visited the Chanteau de Chantilly, a castle with an amazing history, most of which I didn’t catch because our tour was in French. But it was so lovely to walk around and pretend to be Kiera Knightly in Pride and Prejudice when she’s at Pemberley.
A few pictures of Chateau de Chantilly.
The trip outside Paris was wonderful and I enjoyed every minute of it, however, being an introvert I was very happy to have a Sunday free with no obligation to hang out with our group of 60 people.
So, after sleeping in, I took the metro (which I am finding to be incredibly easy) to Montmartre and visited the Sacré Coeur. Montmartre is my favorite area in Paris, and the Sacré Coeur is my favorite cathedral. It was lovely to sit and enjoy the beauty. I then metro’d over to le jardin des Tuileries, where in true Parisian style, I found a park bench and sat in the sunshine people watching.
The number of times I’ve heard the phrase “we’re in f***ing Paris” from my classmates has solidified to me that I am not the only one feeling as if I am living in a dream.
But it’s a very lovely dream. And I am thinking that once classes begin, Paris will stop feeling like a vacation place, and more like my new home.