Arrival in Paris!
Arrived early in the morning at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris without any hassle. What to tell about Paris as everybody knows it is one of the top tourist destinations. The stone carved buildings, beautiful stone bridges on Seine river makes it eye loving place. Me and two other friends reached early but the train to Cluny was around five pm from Gare de Lyon. Took a Le Bus Direct from the airport to Gare de Lyon. I would recommend this Air France bus service from the airport to Paris city because it is safe, cheap and wifi enabled bus. We walked around Gare de Lyon and found the Promenade Plantée which means green walkway. It is a world’s first elevated park walkway. The group of study abroad met at Gare de Lyon and from their, we took a TGV- High-Speed rail of France to Cluny around 6 pm. The TGV trains are worth a ride at least one time.
Main Destination of the Study Abroad: Medieval Town Cluny
Two hours from Paris to Macon-Loche and then a bus ride of almost half hour here we reached Cluny where we will stay for most of the trip. Cluny is quite a historic town. As time went by we learned a lot about Cluny from having biggest monasteries of middle ages to what happened during French Revolution. I got the idea of how important the family, community, local culture is for French People. It was almost night but the sunsets around 9:30 in France so it didn’t feel like it was a night. The first meal in Cluny was simply amazing at a Brazziere called “la Nord”. I really liked brazziere because it had vegetarian options because it really hard to find vegetarian options at home.
We had an opportunity to explore a weekly market that gathers in Cluny every Saturday. I really learned a lot from just exploring the market about local culture, local business, and other aspects. The reason for having markets is that local producers, farmers can sell and advertise their product to the people of the town. The most delicious item was “Feuillete au Chevre” that is puff with goat cheese inside it. The market was the first place where we started our journey into the world of French cheese. From soft cheese to hard wheels the market had every type of cheeses. I bought a lavender cheese made from goat milk and also a small circular white cheese called Brie de Maeux which had white rind from a mold. However, my first experience of tasting brie was not good but it got better with time and other cheese. Later in evening, we went to the wine shop named “Cellier de Abbaye” to learn about the essentials of wine tasting. It was an eye-opening presentation as I really had little to no knowledge of wine. There is so much that goes in wine tasting all five senses are at work. It starts with color, sound, smell and lastly the taste. It changed my view on the taste of red wine.