Posts Tagged ‘Mont Saint Michel’

La Première Fois (The First Time)

April 7th, 2011 | Rachel

I was digging through my e-archives and came across the photos from my first trip to France.  It was a week in Paris, of course, and I was a college sophomore at the time and hadn’t yet taken the photojournalism class that taught me how to take a proper photo.

Honestly, I don’t have any strong memories of this visit.  I was with a college church group of sorts and had spent the three months prior studying at Oxford University in Oxford, England with a political science program.  That was the semester my eyes were opened and my political and religious viewpoints shifted dramatically.  In light of that, one week in Paris at the end of my program was relatively insignificant.  Sorry, Paris.

I do remember that the week I was in Paris was the same week the United States started bombing Iraq, so all of our plans involving evangelizing the many college campuses in Paris were abruptly canceled.  On top of that, some sort of poison was discovered in the subway, so our mode of transportation was limited.

I remember liking how the city felt small and a little dirty, in a good way.   It had a completely different feel from London (or any other European city, for that matter, but at the time my limited experiences involved London, Edinburgh and Vienna).  I’ve always thought of London as grandiose and somewhat sterile.

Another vivid memory involves my first crepe, purchased from a street vendor.  It was filled with butter and Nutella, and it actually changed my life.

The highlight of the week was a day trip out to Mont Saint Michel.  This tidal island has been the home to an evolving monastery and town for a thousand years.  The monastery grows out of the top of the steep hill and the town wraps around the bottom.  When I was there, we drove to the island by a land bridge.  Wikipedia now tells me the land bridge has been removed and Mont Saint Michel is officially an island again.  Visitors must enter the island via shuttles until the construction of an actual bridge is completed.

My boyfriend hasn’t yet experienced Mont Saint Michel, so I am hoping to make it a part of our upcoming trip to France this summer.  It would be interesting to see it again now that I am a seasoned traveler.

Here are some random (and admittedly not very good) photos from the trip.  Perhaps you can help me identify them:

View from the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe


Two universities in Paris


Entrance to the Louvre and La Sainte Chapelle

Notre Dame

Group shots at Mont Saint Michel

Man feeding birds in front of Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower

Me during my awkward college years

I still wear the scarf from that last photo, so at least something has stayed with me.  Stay tuned for the tale of a more memorable second trip to Paris with my grandmother, as well as the story of that one time I ended up in Strasbourg for the start of the Tour de France.

So, what about you?  How was your first trip to France?