Wilmington Friends School 2022 France
June 16, 2022
After a hectic day at the airport, we arrived in France in the afternoon, ate pastries provided by our Global Works leaders, Katie and Anya, and then drove to our hostel. Upon getting to the hostel, we were split up into different groups for our sleeping arrangements. We were given about 30 minutes to freshen up and shower before departing for our days activities at about 4:30pm. Before heading to the metro, we participated in bonding activities that allowed us all to interact with people outside of our friend groups. Once establishing the groups for the day, we headed down to the metro to travel to Pont Neuf. While there , a few of the places we passed by were the Notre Dame Cathedral, La Conciergerie, and the Shakespeare Company Library. Following our tour around Pont Neuf, we travelled to Berthillon to get ice cream and then headed to Le Loubnane for dinner where we had a variety of Lebanese food. Some of the food items we were able to try were falafel, baba ganoush, and pita bread. After eating, we headed back to the hostel and began to wind down for the day to prepare for the next day’s activities.
June 17, 2022
We started our day at the Louvre and saw all the classics. Then we had an outdoor lunch at the Jardin des Tuileries. We still had two places to see after the Louvre and lunch! We began our afternoon in the creepy catacombs learning all about the catacombs and trying to figure out which way was the right path. But we didn’t just see the bones, we also saw where people were guillotined. After that scary adventure we took the metro and had to climb lots of stairs to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica to see a breath-taking view of Paris! After these activities we were all ready to relax and do some shopping. We stayed around the basilica for the shopping and our wonderful 3 course dinner at Lou Pitchoun’s. We had a salad to start off, then pasta and chicken for the main course, and a great chocolate or sugar-filled crepe to end the great meal! Once we finally got back to the hostel at around 11:15, we had a meeting about how our day went and what we will do tomorrow!
June 18, 2022
As I write this I am sitting on a train, exhausted but still more enthusiastic than ever to take on the next part of our journey through France. I am looking out of the window admiring the magnificent French countryside as our train swiftly approaches Avignon. While doing so I reflect on my first days outside of the States. This trip feels like an action movie, with non-stop excitement, movement and new adventures.
Our adventure started yesterday with a walk to a French bakery where my friends and I enjoyed some amazing French treats. After we headed to the metro which took us to the Arc de Triomphe where we climbed to the top and enjoyed a spectacular view of Paris. Despite our tired legs after climbing the Arc de Triomphe, we of course all still had enough energy to shop for hours on Champs d’Elysees. Although we all probably spent a little bit too much money shopping we had the valuable experience of using foreign currency and shopping in a different country. For lunch we ate at a food court in Champs d’Elysees where we all ate food from various different restaurants. In typical French fashion, after our tasty lunch we had more tasty food at LaDuree where we ate macarons. Our next step of our journey was the Eiffel Tower. My friends and I raced to the top. The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower was beyond my imagination. The view of Paris looked like a painting and I was terrified by how high I was in the sky. Once we were done at the Eiffel Tower we walked through the streets of Paris to go to dinner. We ate at a restaurant called Tribecca on a small shopping street where we tried new foods.
Afterwards we went a scenic boat ride on the Seine where we saw the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris lit up. By the time the boat ride was over it was close to midnight but before we went to bed we had to get Crepes for dessert. After dessert we walked back to the hostel with full bellies, tired legs and life changing experiences.
By Max R., Class of 2023
June 19, 2022
We headed to the train station, Paris Gare De Lyon by bus which took 30 minutes. We get to the train station and get sandwiches with snacks at either Paul (a sandwich shop) or a local supermarket. We then took a 3 hour train ride through the French countryside down to the south of France. We ate our lunch on the train. We arrived around 12pm at Avignon, dropped off our luggage at our new hotel, Hotel Danieli and we walked around the city walls. We visited the famous Pont D’ Avignon. We took the guided tour of the Palais Des Papes, went shopping, and ate a delicious meal at Le Zinzolin. We finished the night around 9.
By Temi and Thomas
June 20, 2022
We started the day with a great breakfast at the hotel. We quickly got on the bus and went to our first stop which was Aix-en-Provence! We bought tons of fruits, cheeses, meats, soaps and much more at the market. Our next adventure was making Ratatouille in St. Rémy! Remy the rat would be proud. After a lovely lunch with cheeses, breads, sausages, amazing butter, and homemade Madeleines, we headed to our final destination in Les Baux-de-Provence. We visited the ruins and took a long walk to see the amazing views. Some of us fell, but we got back up. We made many tik toks, and had lots of laughs! After the ruins we went SHOPPING! We bought lots of valuable items such as jewelry, dresses, lavender soaps, and ice cream of course. Once we finished shopping we returned to the hotel and had a small pit stop before we headed to dinner! The dinner was delicious, and so was the dessert. After an hour and a half of dinner that consisted of a great music playlist, we made it back to the hotel… but first we said hi to max! Overall the day was very relaxing, yet eventful. We can’t wait for tomorrow!
June 21, 2022
For today’s adventure, we all woke up, ate breakfast, then began our scavenger hunt for our pique-nique (picnic). We all had to find different foods, cheese, bread, fruit, vegetables, meat, drinks, and dessert. Then we went to Pont du Gard, an old Roman aqueduct, where we enjoyed our nice picnic and swam in the river. Afterwards, we loaded the bus and went on a two hour drive to Carcassonne. Arriving at Carcassonne, we checked into our hotel and dazzled up for a nice rainy dinner. Due to the rain pouring down heavily, we all played a nice game of charades at the restaurant.
June 22, 2022
Yesterday was day one of service! We kicked off shopping in the city of Carcassonne then explored the medieval walls of the Château collecting facts to share later once we got back together. Then we returned to the hotel to have lunch and change into better clothes for service. We then took a bus to Pouzols-Minervois and met Bernard, who is organizing our service work. We took a tour around the area and heard from Bernard about his pride for his home. Patrimoine in French doesn’t translate exactly into English, but mostly means cultural history, and is a very important concept in France. We also met a group of kids from Narbonne who joined us. Our work is to preserve the Way of St. James, otherwise known as the Camino de Santiago trail, that leads from France into Spain and has been a pilgrimage for centuries (dating back to the 9th century!) but unfortunately now has become quite overgrown with thorns bushes, trees, and more.
After spending two hours there we came back to the Du Pont Vieux hotel where we had our lunch and quickly freshened up for our potluck at a hostel in the city where we would meet our host families. The potluck was amazing! The food was great and each host family was even greater. We talked, ate, and bonded, and ending the potluck with a game of Which Way The Wind Blows, which had everyone laughing as we dashed around. However, after it ended, we were still hungry, so we stopped in the city for ice cream, crêpes and water ice, then returned to our hotel for an early night.
By Beck, Anna, Ellie
June 25, 2022
Saturday was host family day. The families came to pick up their students at the hotel in the morning and they all spent the day together. Some tastes of their experiences:
Today my host family took Christine and Irene and I to the beach with Beck and Ellie’s host family! The beach was wonderful and we saw a beach rugby tournament. In the afternoon we all went to Narbonne to do some shopping. Then we had a delicious dinner at Fabienne’s house to end the day!
Temi and I went on a short road trip with our host mother Sabrina. We went to Barcelona, Spain. We went shopping and then visited the harbor and spent some time on the beach. On our way out of the city, we passed by the Sagrada Familia.
Ellie and I went with our host family, Fabienne to her beach house with Irene and Greta, and their host family, Christine. We started the day at the beach swimming and suntanning. Then we had lunch back at her house and returned to the beach for another hour. The waves had changed drastically from calm to crashing. After drying off from that we went to Narbonne to go shopping before returning to Fabienne’s house in Carcassonne for dinner.
Today Aleija and I spent the day with Nadej and Lauren (Hannah and Ilana’s host mom and her family). We ate lots of food and played ping pong. We also met her sons and played ping pong with them for awhile.
We went to the market and the lake. While we were at the lake we had a picnic and played at the trampoline park. We then went to Naomie’s house and had a four course traditional french meal.
– Thomas and Eli
I enjoyed seeing what life is like for a French family, and their life style of being self-sustainable was unique. Peter, Sameer, and I went to visit a giant bridge suspended 70 meters above the ground – it was incredible to see the landscape of Carcassonne from above!