Fall Tour 2011

By Natalie Brown
Fall tour began bright and early on Friday October 28th, and after a week of midterms we were ready for a break from classes. We piled onto the tour bus at 7am to begin our longest journey yet; a trip that would last a week and take us to Metz, Paris and Strasbourg before heading back to Salzburg. We settled in for a long bus ride, most of us trying to find a comfortable way to sleep sitting up.
We arrived at our first stop, the Cathedral in Ulm, at around lunch time. We took a tour of the Cathedral (which boasts the world’s biggest church spire) guided by Dr. Loos, our Art History professor.

The Cathedral in UlmThe Cathedral in Ulm

The Cathedral in Ulm

 

After the tour we had a break for lunch, and then it was back on the bus until we arrived at our hotel in Metz.  We spent Friday night in Metz where we all had dinner together at the hotel and then had the evening free to explore the city. Saturday morning, we were all back on the bus and headed to Paris. But first, we had a couple stops along the way.
The first stop was the Cathedral of Reims which was very beautiful and we were lucky enough to be there on a perfectly sunny day.

The Cathedral of ReimsThe Cathedral of Reims

The Cathedral of Reims

 

After a lunch break at the Cathedral of Reims, we continued on to Champagne where we visited the Champagne Cellar Taittinger. We received a guided tour of the cellar and learned about the process of how Champagne is made with a good deal of skill and a great deal of patience.  The tour was followed by a champagne tasting!

In The Campagne cellarsIn The Campagne cellars

In The Campagne cellars

 

We got back on the bus after the tour of the champagne cellar for one last stretch before arriving in Paris that evening. Many students took the opportunity of a free evening to explore around the city and learn how to maneuver our way through the metro system. Paris was where we were to spend the majority of our time during fall tour and we found it to be absolutely captivating and beautiful. There was no shortage of stunning sites to visit or amazing adventures to be had around the city.
After a night of exploration on our own, we met back up with the entire group Sunday morning for a tour of the Cathedral of Notre Dame where we also had the opportunity to attend mass.

The Musee RodinThe Musee Rodin

The Musee Rodin

The Gate of HellThe Gate of Hell

The Gate of Hell

The ThinkerThe Thinker

The Thinker

 

We continued on after Notre Dame to Sainte-Chapelle where we got to tour the interior with its beautiful stained glass windows.

The inside of Sainte-ChapelleThe inside of Sainte-Chapelle

The inside of Sainte-Chapelle

The exquisite stained glass windows at Sainte-ChapelleThe exquisite stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle

The exquisite stained glass windows at Sainte-Chapelle

 

Next on the agenda for Sunday was a tour of Musee Rodin, this was again led by Dr. Loos where we were able to see such famous works as “The Gate of Hell” and “The Thinker.”

The Musee RodinThe Musee Rodin

The Musee Rodin

The Gate of HellThe Gate of Hell

The Gate of Hell

The ThinkerThe Thinker

The Thinker

 

On Monday morning we headed out to Fontainebleau where we toured the castle and the surrounding grounds. The garden and outside grounds were beautiful.

FontainebleauFontainebleau

Fontainebleau

The beautiful grounds at FontainebleauThe beautiful grounds at Fontainebleau

The beautiful grounds at Fontainebleau

 

Tuesday morning found us on our way to Versailles where we toured the castle and the garden, both of which were extremely beautiful. We were able to walk around a great deal of the vast garden of Versailles before a surprise rain storm soaked us all, adding a little unexpected complication to the day.

Inside the famous Hall of Mirrors at VersaillesInside the famous Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

Inside the famous Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

The Garden of VersaillesThe Garden of Versailles

The Garden of Versailles

 

Next we headed to a tour of the Musee Marmottan . Then it was back to the hotel to dry off and we had the evening to ourselves to do as we pleased.
On Wednesday morning we were again up early and headed out for another tour. This time we spent our morning touring the Louvre where we saw countless beautiful works of art.

The LouvreThe Louvre

The Louvre

Mona LisaMona Lisa

Mona Lisa

 

After a lunch break, we went for our last guided tour in Paris which was the Musee d’Orsay.

Outside the Musee d'OrsayOutside the Musee d’Orsay

Outside the Musee d'Orsay

 

We were amazed to find that our last night in Paris had already arrived. We went out on the town one last time to say goodbye to the wonderful city. Then, before we knew it, it was Thursday morning and we were back on the bus headed away from Paris. We made it to Strasbourg that evening and visited the Cathedral there. The town was small and quaint, and a big change from the huge city of Paris that we had just left.

StrasbourgStrasbourg

Strasbourg

The Cathedral in StrasbourgThe Cathedral in Strasbourg

The Cathedral in Strasbourg

 

We spent the night in Strasbourg and then left Friday morning for the last leg of our journey back to Salzburg. We made one last stop for a tour of the European Parliament.

Our group in the European Parliament buildingOur group in the European Parliament building

Our group in the European Parliament building

 

When we arrived back at the Center in Salzburg, everyone was exhausted from a week filled with fun and packed with activities. We experienced so many wonderful things on our trip and although it was easy to wish that we could stay in Paris forever, it was undeniably good to be home.
Each one of us took away a little something different from our Fall Tour and there were so many places that we did not visit on our group tours, however many students took advantage of the free time we were given to see everything that Paris had to offer.
Here are a few places that some of the students especially enjoyed visiting:

“Paris was such an enchanting city, I felt like I could have stayed there forever. One of my favorite places to visit was the Sacre Coeur , the view was really beautiful.” –Becca Beshoar
“One of my favorite places to visit was the Eiffel Tower because it is what makes Paris, Paris. And the view was breathtaking.” –Allie Thomas
“I really loved Versailles because we got to go on an awesome bike ride around the garden. Even if it did start raining and we all got poured on.” –Megan Ewing
“Strosbourg was one of my favorite places. I liked the mixture of both French and German architecture and culture.” –Ben Culligan

Here is some advice to any Future Salzburgers on their Fall Tour next year:

“Use your metro tickets wisely and try to plan out your trips so you don’t have to buy too many. Watch out for tricksters!” –Becca Beshoar
“No matter how long the wait, go to the Eiffel Tower and climb to the top. It is worth it.” –Sarah Croy
“See everything you can. “ –Ben Culligan
“Bring good walking shoes because you will walk everywhere.” –Allie Thomas
“Eat lots of crêpes! As many crêpes as you can.” –Megan Ewing

Overall, we had a wonderful experience on our Fall Tour and could not have asked for a better trip. We even got a group picture in front of the Eiffel Tour after taking a driving tour of the city.

Everyone in front of the Eiffel TowerEveryone in front of the Eiffel Tower

Everyone in front of the Eiffel Tower