23 August 2013
Today was the day that I left England, and Cambridge, and Oxford, and all those charming English villages that I have had the past two months to cherish and adore. It is bittersweet to be leaving such a miraculous place where I have watched myself develop into a person who is more aware of the world around her. Studying at Cambridge taught me the importance of self-expression, and has given me the tools to further develop mine own. I have learned that dinner-table conversation is some of the best out there. It is during times like these that you really open up to what people around you have to say. Now I understand, to an even greater extent, the importance of eating family dinner in the home. It is a time when you learn from all the people around you and develop a greater love for them as you begin to understand where they each come from.
I am sitting in the very back of MegaBus number 02 with Kailey and Pauline. We just left London and we are off on our adventure to Paris! My blue seat has little orange and red circles all over it, and I have a feeling that we will become close friends by the time these next 7 hours are up. It makes me so giddy to go back to Paris so soon. Pauline is a girl who studied at Cambridge with me this summer, the one who rode the Trans Siberian Railway across Russia. She is from Paris and is on her way home after having spent the past year and a half in China and England. If you want to hear a life full of adventures, just talk to her!
We have been on the bus for the past few hours and are now waiting at the entrance of the chunnel–the underwater tunnel that connects England and France. About 10 miles back we were stopped for a passport check, and I received another stamp on my visa pages…the stamp that continues my 90 day count in the Schengen countries. Meaning I have 56 days until my Schengen Visa days run out. Lets hope that my new visa arrives in those 8 weeks! We have to wait roughly 30 minutes before our bus can load onto the Train and continue on to France. All the passengers on the bus stepped off for a few minutes to get a breath of fresh air during the wait. It was so great to feel the sea breeze against my skin, the ocean is so beautiful.
The train is gigantic. We drove inside a completely enclosed space and watched as garage-like doors closed on either side of us, separating each bus from the other. I felt the bus begin to move back and forth, realizing that the train was now in motion. It took about 30 minutes to go underneath the English Channel and surface back up in France. It doesn’t feel all that different yet, but I know that once I start hearing everyone speak French… It is going to be really exciting!
It is an hour later now. France is in a different time zone than England; good-bye Greenwich time… But I am already getting a taste of what the next week is going to be like! We just passed the beaches of Western France as we drove through Boulogne. Boulogne is a port city with lots of old town charm, seeing the beach made me very excited to live in Lisbon for the next four months. I honestly cannot believe this is all happening. Life sure is enjoyable and unexpected!
We have arrived in Paris! Our bus was a little late due to delays in the Chunnel, but at about 7:45 we rolled on into the beautiful city of lights! It is so beautiful here. he buildings are so majestic and you can literally feel the spirit of the French travel through the air. We took a little walk this evening, and I heard everyone speaking French! It is so great! Tomorrow is going to be a blast…..!!