In Bruges

My blog is waaay overdue for an update! Sorry, school is a priority for me and I haven’t had time for much else aside from writing my final papers (okay, and maybe some gaming). I did do some traveling over Spring Break though, and I feel like I should at least update you on that. Oh, and I should also update you on the news that I’m coming home in NEXT week! I have my last exam on the 23rd of May and then I’m off to the States! But there will be more on that later… back to my spring travels. I spent the first weekend of break in Bruges, Belgium with the University of Hull’s History Society. Then I flew to Lisbon, Portugal and met up with some friends, and after that we headed to Barcelona, Spain. Here’s some photos from my trip to Bruges for now (which, by the way, is quite possibly the most adorable city in the world), and I’ll post about my time in Lisbon and Barcelona shortly!

 

Évian-les-Bains, France

Évian-les-Bains was our last stop on our month-long European adventure. It’s a spa town in the French Alps, right along Lake Geneva. We didn’t really go anywhere during our stay in the Alps because by the end of our trip we were burnt out from constantly being on the go for a month. It was really nice to just relax and recover at the hotel—which, luckily, was the nicest hotel of our trip—and just enjoy each other’s company. That was possibly my favorite part of our trip.

We did explore the town a few times, which is where the pictures above were taken. The town is so charming and peaceful, with beautiful views of the lake on one side and the Alps on the other. There’s also an original Evian water source in the town where you can fill your water bottle up with free Evian water! It was a really nice town to explore.

I initially hoped to see some of Switzerland, but transportation was not only expensive but inconvenient with the railway between Geneva and Évian being under construction (and it will continue to be until 2017). I’ll write a post later on how to get from Geneva Airport to Évian-les-Bains with the current transportation situation, since it’s tricky and took us quite a bit of time and research to figure out.

Just Another Night in Nantes

Maybe it was the surprisingly-sunny weather our first day there or my general love for port cities, but I fell in love with Nantes upon arrival! It was also just a breath of fresh air to be able to admire French architecture and heritage without the crowds of Paris. I wanted to learn more about the city so we went to the Nantes History Museum inside the Château des ducs de Bretagne (Castle of the Dukes of Brittany). 

It’s probably one of the best museums I’ve been to, and admission was only 3 euros (for those between the ages 18-26)! It had such extensive information of the city’s history; it takes you through what Nantes was like from medieval times to modern day. There’s even an interactive virtual tour of Nantes in the 18th century where you can tour the streets of Nantes as they looked 300 years ago. I was very impressed by the whole museum!

A famous museum in Nantes is Les Machines de l’île, but unfortunately it was closed while we were there (it closes annually for about a month in winter). That’s definitely something I’d love to see if I were in Nantes again.

I have to admit, our reason for adding Nantes to our itinerary was entirely based on Beirut’s song “Nantes.” The song is special to us and we couldn’t go to France without seeing its namesake city. Nantes ended up being much more than just a city mentioned by my favorite band.