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Park School 2022 France

May 21, 2022

Today, we arrived bright and early in Paris to catch our flight to Marseille. We almost missed it! When we arrived in Marseille, we met our Global Works guides, Camille and Somer. Then, we took a bus to Avignon, where we are spending the first portion of our trip. After getting settled we split up into groups and found restaurants to have lunch. This was a great opportunity for some of us to get to know Camille and Somer better and to speak some French! After that, we did some team-building activities in the park and went over our itinerary. Then, we rested in our rooms for a little while before going to dinner together.

– Eli B. and Mo S.

May 22, 2022

Today was our first full day in France.  Last night we stayed in Avignon. We started the day off with a traditional French hotel breakfast – croissants, yogurt, fruit, ham, and cheese. We then walked to the Pont d’Avignon, which is a well-known unfinished bridge and monument here in Avignon. We used our practice from class to apply our skills in a real market (or marché) where we bought various juices, bread, meats, cheese, fruits, and dessert. We then went to a park to eat our fantastic lunch that we had ordered ourselves. After that, we went to a palace called the Palais des Papes. This is the only other place in the world that a pope has lived in besides the Vatican. We took a 1 hour bus ride to Aix-en-Provence and checked into the hotel. We finished off the day with some walking through town and a nice dinner before going back to our hotel to settle down and go to sleep. Bonne soirée!

– Blake D. and Oliver H.

May 23, 2022

Bonjour! We spent today in Aix-en-Provence, a large French city.  After sleeping in until 8:30, we enjoyed a hotel breakfast including yogurt, eggs, and croissants. At 9:30 our group took the bus into the city, and visited an outdoor market in the older part of the town with fruit stands, cheese shops, and scented goods, among other things. We then broke into small groups and explored the city with a faculty member, eating lunch and visiting shops and sights in the town. In the afternoon the group toured the studio of French painter Paul Cezanne, and hiked up a hill to enjoy a fantastic view of Sainte-Victoire, the peak that Cézanne often painted. We explored some more and also got to ride the carousel at La Rotonde, the Aix city center.  We then enjoyed an outdoor dinner and went back to our hotel.

– Ben N. and Clau R.

May 24, 2022

Bonjour! Today we spent our second day in Aix-en-Provence, which began with 8:30 breakfast at our hotel. After breakfast, we returned to our respective rooms to pack-up for our day. Upon arrival in the central part of Aix, we divided into 2 large groups; one enjoyed a cooking class (and its result – stir fried beef and veggies) while the other explored the large open market; then the groups switched activities. Once reconvened, we boarded our bus and traveled just over an hour to the tallest aqueduct in the world, built by the Romans in 19 B.C.E, the Pont-du-Gard. After a brief exploration of the aqueduct, we enjoyed a goûter (afternoon snack) prior to returning to the bus. The bus ride to Carcassonne was, although enjoyable, a lengthy 2 hours. After dropping out stuff in the hotel (our favorite so far) we walked a brief distance to our tapas dinner. After we enjoyed our dinner we returned to our hotel and went to bed.

-Takeru M. and Matthew Xander G.

May 25, 2022

Bonjour! Today, one group of people woke up early, and another group woke up later. Then, we had breakfast at the hotel and went to visit the citadel and chateau of Carcassonne. There, we broke into groups and had a scavenger hunt. We then toured the castle some more and learned more about it. After a picnic lunch, we took a bus ride to the town of Pouzol (only 700 people live there!) where we did some service work clearing up a space in the woods for people to rest while walking on the Chemin de St. Jacques (also known as the Camino de Santiago), the pilgrimage route to Spain.  It was windy!  We then had a goûter (afternoon snack) there and took the bus back to the hotel. Once reconvened, we took a break to get ready for dinner in our respective rooms for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then we got to go back inside the castle for dinner – salad, risotto, and fruit crumble –  then returned to the hotel to go to bed.

-Livvy A. and Gillian L.

May 26,2022

On our last day we spent some time walking the city of Carcassonne before heading to the Paper Mill in Brousse.  There, we learned how paper has been made throughout time.  The family that runs the paper mill has been there for 200 years.  They have made all kinds of paper and for many years, had a cardboard business.  The current owner, who took over when his father retired, has returned to making artisanal papers for painters and other artists.  His presentation was entirely in French and we understood it all!  We also got to go for a hike to see a view of the Pyrenees.  After the paper mill, we took the bus to Toulouse where we settled into our hotel before enjoying an outside dinner.  Now we are packing and ready for the 2:15 AM wake-up call before our trip home!