Annecy and Au Revoir

Part Un: Annecy, France

My final trip with friends was to a quaint, peaceful little town in France, right outside Geneva, called Annecy. I went with Jessica, Colby, Nicole and Cameron. Everyone I knew who had been, described it as a “fairytale land”, which was reinforced by a BuzzFeed article I read entitled “17 Real Cities that Look Like Hogsmeade” which included Annecy.
  photo 3   photo 1
We mostly walked around and enjoyed the stunning scenery, as shown below, and in the middle of the day we rented a paddle boat and took it out on the lake.
   photo 5  photo 4
photo 2
Part Deux: Au Revoir, Lyon (well basically)
This portion of my post will include a fair amount of lists, because that’s how I organize my thoughts/life usually. Note: none of the lists are in any particular order.
List of Reasons Why Saying “Au Revoir” to Lyon/France/Europe/My Friends Was Weird To Me
  1. I was sad, obviously, because (pardon my cliche) this was truly the experience of a lifetime. Even though I know I will return to Europe, it just won’t be the same without everyone in the IBP (International Business Program – the exchange I program I was enrolled in with about 120 other students from all over the world). It’s like visiting your summer camp during the winter.
  2. At the same time, I was also very ready to return to the US. As much as I love it in Europe, Dorothy was right: there’s no place like home.
  3. One of my best friends Isabella (one of my roommates at Elon) even came to visit me for a week (as I previously mentioned, during exam week), which was really exciting for me. She even flew straight from L.A., where she had been interning for the semester, and flew straight back to the U.S. afterwards. I really enjoyed experiencing Europe with her, especially because she grew up in Switzerland and she had always told me great things about Europe, but it also made me miss home even more. Especially because we will be living together in D.C. this summer.
Things I Will Miss About Lyon
  1. The view from my dorm (pic below)
  2. My daily walk to class
  3. The markets
  4. Cheap and local food/goods at the markets
  5. Cheap and local food at the grocery store
  6. Non-GMO foods, not to mention food without extra sodium, sugar, and whatever other crap is in American foods
  7. Cheap wine, baguettes and pastries
  8. Walks along the river, especially in the spring
  9. Conversing in French with French people
  10. The relaxed, laid back way of life
View from my dorm
Things I Will Miss About My Semester Abroad
  1. Having 0 responsibilities and little to no homework – the complete opposite of my life at Elon
  2. Being able to hang out with your friends pretty much all the time, and whenever you feel like it, AKA not having to schedule a lunch with them every Tuesday at 11:30 between classes (again, not like Elon)
  3. Spontaneous activities after classes get out, i.e. going to someone’s apartment and making homemade fried chicken and waffles (yes this is a thing we did)
  4. “What country are we going to this weekend?”
  5. Getting out of class and gathering with the rest of IBP in the center of our university, just hanging out and not having any commitments except to stop at Carrefour, go home and make dinner
  6. Learning simply from comparing and contrasting cultures; not only between the U.S. and Europe, but also among other countries/cities/towns etc.
  7. Not always having internet and being “forced” to have actual conversations with people at meals etc. Except when there was a wi-fi hotspot. Which may or may not have actually worked. But honestly by April/May, I gave up on my need for constant internet and usually didn’t even try to connect to wi-fi, even if we were in a wi-fi zone, unless of course I needed to post a photo on Instagram (very important stuff).
Things I Will Not Miss, At All
  1. Inconveniences when trying to do pretty much anything. See blog post #3, paragraph 2.
  2. Ridiculous business hours, AKA non existent, usually when you need something
  3. Most stores being closed on Sundays
  4. The absence of iced filter coffee (Am I addicted? Probably. Will it get worse upon my return after being deprived of it for several months? Absolutely.)
  5. My dorm residence – while I enjoyed living in the same residence as a couple of my friends, I did not enjoy the following: extremely spotty wi-fi, an ant-infested kitchen that quickly became a pigsty over the weekend (maintenance off from work on weekends), showers that require you to press a button every 15 seconds for water, among other minor details that made me really appreciate life at home.
Highlights of the Semester
  1. Hanging out with approximately half of IBP at the top of the cathedral (which provides a beautiful view of Lyon) while drinking wine and singing along to an Argentinian guy playing guitar
  2. Spontaneously meeting up with my childhood best friend, Melina, in Geneva after thinking I would never see her again
  3. Dancing on tables with my friends in Brussels
  4. Meeting up with my roommate Caroline in Prague, as well as some other Elon friends
  5. Meeting up with my cousin Emily in Lyon and drinking wine by the river
  6. Waltzing at the Imperial Palace at a ball in Vienna
  7. Hiking a mountain in Grenoble and subsequently enjoying the view, then getting semi lost and  ending up taking the longest possible route back into the city, but not once stressing over being lost or having anywhere to be
  8. The view of the sunset from our hostel rooftop in Morocco
  9. Riding camels in Morocco with a perfect view of the Atlas Mountains
  10. Wine tasting in the Beaujolais region
  11. Any time I explored Lyon on my own and discovered new things/people watched
  12. Any time I mastered traveling alone
  13. Riding quads around Santorini
  14. Just being in Santorini in general
  15. Meeting up with my distant relatives in Athens
  16. Meeting up with Louis, who is a student at the French university I went to, who also was my “Phoenix Pal” (think: international buddy) when he spent a semester at Elon
  17. When Isabella visited me for a week
  18. When my Aunt Nancy took my parents and I to meet our distant relatives in rural Italy, and then eating a 3 hour long, 15+ course meal, which was not only the longest meal of my life, but also the best
Lastly, and Most Importantly, Things I Will Do Upon My Return to the US: 
  1. Order a sausage, egg, and cheese on a bagel from Manhattan Bagel
  2. Go to Dunkin Donuts (shocker, right?)
  3. Go to custard stand (for those of you who may not know, it is without a doubt the best soft-serve ice cream in existence)
  4. Go to Wawa
  5. See my friends…. all 2 that will actually be home
  6. Go to a diner, specifically Hathaway’s and enjoy a full breakfast – omelette with everything, toast with jam, unlimited coffee and home fries
  7. Consume copious amounts of fresh, farm market Jersey peaches
  8. Catch up on every missed episode of Shark Tank
  9. Finish the final season of Parks and Rec, then probably cry because it’s over
  10. Cry because my semester abroad is over
  11. Pack for my summer in WASHINGTON D.C.!

(Sidenote: I originally wrote this while I was still in Europe, but now that I’m home, I can confirm that I completed 9 of those 11 things on my list, so I think I did pretty well. And I may or may not have done #1 twice. No regrets of course.)

Donc Lyon, au revoir, et merci pour un semestre incroyable. À la prochaine !


2 thoughts on “Annecy and Au Revoir

  1. Awesome blogs (Dancing on tables???). I’m sure you know, but just a reminder that the DC train station is huge so you might want to give yourself plenty of time when you get there. See you tomorrow!   From: Just Another Travel Blog To: Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:59 PM Subject: [New post] Annecy and Au Revoir #yiv1079008151 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv1079008151 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv1079008151 a.yiv1079008151primaryactionlink:link, #yiv1079008151 a.yiv1079008151primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv1079008151 a.yiv1079008151primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv1079008151 a.yiv1079008151primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv1079008151 | alexbattaglia posted: “Part Un: Annecy, FranceMy final trip with friends was to a quaint, peaceful little town in France, right outside Geneva, called Annecy. I went with Jessica, Colby, Nicole and Cameron. Everyone I knew who had been, described it as a “fairytale land”, whi” | |

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