Tag Archives: France

One last look at Poitiers

As promised, I will take one last look at Poitiers. I have gathered up some previously unblogged photos that are somehow important and representative of my time abroad.

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The city’s largest and most beautiful park was pretty much across the street from where I lived. I could easily just drop what I’m doing and leave any hour of the day to go relax in the park.

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A large fountain adds energy to the city’s main park, although this fountain was broken for part of the time. It was working near the end again when the park was well in season.

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Narrow streets and crowded sidewalks are common. It’s also not unusual to have a street where pedestrians and cars share the same area, requiring that you are careful when a car is coming. In this photo, you see a large city bus coming through just below the Notre-Dame church, which is one of Poitier’s most recognizable and promoted buildings.

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Although this looks like the remains of some really fancy castle, I think it’s perhaps just a fancy wall created for the park above. I’m sure this shot would look very much the same in 100 years as it did 100 years ago. Much of Poitiers has this timeless appearance.

And now my last Poitiers blog photo…

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This photo brings me back the most vivid memories of my first impression of Poitiers. The weather wasn’t too good yet, and the Christmas decorations were still up everywhere. All of central Poitiers pretty much looks like this, and it seemed so different and hard to navigate at first. This was also the time when the whole 5 months was still ahead of me, yet to come, and everything new to experience.

I have enjoyed keeping you informed and sharing my favourite images. I will likely keep blogging about everything how it is back in North America.

That’s all for Europe, 2007.

The adventure ends in Paris, France

At the end of my 5 month excursion to Europe, I was pretty much the only international student who had yet to see Paris. I left Poitiers on May 29th en route to Paris where I would stay until flying back to Canada on June 1st. This left me with 2 and a half days to see everything in Paris.

One of my first stops was Sacré Coeur, a church perched at the highest point in Paris.

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From this view, it reminds me of the Royal Palace from Disney’s Aladdin. All of Paris could be seen from this high point, but the view does not interest me a whole lot because everything looks very small and hazey skies prevent getting decent pictures of anything that is far away.

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The Louvre, with one of the small glass pyramids to the middle-left. I saw this on my walking tour with New Europe Tours, which is a company which offers free walking tours in various European cities. All they ask for is a tip in the end. It was a very good way to see many things and hear interesting facts.

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The famous Notre-Dame Cathedral. They were fairly easy-going with regards to tourists who were allowed to enter, roam the church, take pictures, and leave again at will even while a service was in progress.

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The road leading up to the Arc de Triomphe. This is somewhat of an optical illusion because the monument itself is huge, and very far away with a long stretch of luxury shops hidden from view.

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One of the luxury giants on the road towards Arc de Triomphe.

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A Parisian neighbourhood, not far from Notre-Dame.
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Me, with the Eiffel Tower behind me.

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A view of the Eiffel Tower at night from Montparnasse Tower, a huge skyscraper in the middle of Paris. Many Parisians dislike the appearance of this building, and the city passed laws after it was built to prohibit any more skyscrapers from being built in Central Paris again. The view from the top of Montparnasse is said to be the best of Paris because it is the only one in which you cannot see Montparnasse Tower.

I saw everything I wanted to see. On my last day, I woke up at the fresh hour of 5:30 AM, hitting the streets towards the airport at 6 AM. I took a metro to a stop from where I caught a bus directly to my airport terminal. From there, my Air Canada check in desk was just inside, with security next to that. I didn’t have to wander around at all.

The trip back to Canada was uneventful thankfully, except for a small broken bottle of maple syrup on the way back to Saint John. Landing home again felt different than any of the other cities where I landed for some reason, even Poitiers which is smaller than Saint John.

My next post will be the last in my Europe 2007 series, as I take one last look at Poitiers. Have a good weekend!

Home again / Versailles

I arrived home on Friday, with no major issues. The trip home was much easier with no wasted time in lengthy layovers. Customs were a bit rude in Montreal though, and a small bottle of maple syrup broke in my bag on the way to Saint John. I am glad it was that rather than the larger bottle of maple syrup, or even worse, the bottle of Barcardi (for my father) that were in the same bag. One must really wonder why I put ALL of my breakable bottles in that bag rather than my other one which has a protective case.

Now I will talk about my trip to Versailles a couple weeks ago on a day trip.

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The beautiful grounds outside. Many buildings make up Versailles. I didn’t get a good shot of all of them from a distance, not that one is really possible right now because the largest one has all kinds of construction happening in front of it.

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A bed once fit for royalty. This bed is very square, and short.

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Another room with a fancy bed, also used by royalty at one time, and a chair set set up. It was really neat to be just walking by this stuff when it would been the site of important decision making at one point in history.

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The gardens behind the palace stretch for quite a long way.

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One of the buildings belonging to Marie-Antoinette’s farm house and lake area. I’m told that she wanted to feel like a normal peasant, so she had this fully operational farm built to enjoy and participate in somewhat, even though she was royalty.

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The Hall of Mirrors, where the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed.

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Fancy furniture decorates this room. Things were much simpler, but more elegant back then.

That concludes some highlights from Versailles. Since it was a while ago now, I don’t remember everything. Check my Gallery for more photos. Coming up in my next post, Ireland!

Goodbye Poitiers

On Tuesday the 29th, I checked out of my flat with Mr. Gervis and then he drove me to the train station. From there, I went to Paris where I am staying for a few days before returning to Canada on Friday.

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Me and Mr. Gervis standing outside my flat entrance.

2 of my other 4 housemates have already checked out. It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in Poitiers for 4.5 months, and now I have left. I wish I had more time to take one last walk through town or actually say goodbye to more people. Such is life.

I am way behind on my blogging. I haven’t had time yet to go through my photos from Versailles, Dublin, Salzburg, and Germany. I likely won’t be able to do much of this before I return to Canada, so wish me safe travels!