Bonjour from Limoges! I left home on August 24th, so I’ve been in Europe for just short of a month. Before coming to France, I spent a week traveling with my best friend (another Global Engagement Fellow!), Hennessey. We flew into Amsterdam together and made the best of four rainy days eating lots of good food and going museum hopping. During a brief period of sunshine, we rented bikes and rode around the canals, an experience that left Henn with a sizeable thigh bruise from a minor collision.
From Amsterdam, we took a train to Brussels, where we stayed in a very cheap (and highly flawed) AirBnB. On our first night out, we were surprised to find that almost no restaurants served food on weeknights. When I went into one establishment and asked if they were serving dinner, the host said yes, “but no food, only beer.” Our few days in Brussels were marked by many struggles with finding food and using public transportation. We never ate dinner before 9 pm, and I was averaging about 20,000 steps a day. Still, we saw some wonderful things, including the Palais du Justice, which made Hennessey cry, and the Royal Museums of art.
The highlight of our time in Belgium was a day trip to Bruges, a city that seems to just be famous for being cute. We spent most of the day wandering the streets, looking at the beautiful architecture and eating chocolate. The weather was perfect, and I think I’ll remember the day forever.
After that, Hennessey and I went our separate ways– I got a train to Germany to visit some relatives, and she boarded a plane to Amaan, Jordan, where she is studying for the semester. I spent three lovely days with my Aunts Marita and Marlies and Uncle Werner in Aachen. We had only met once previously, but I could tell that we were family. My Aunt Marita reminds me so much of my mom, and we even look alike (rosy cheeks run in the family!).
Finally, I took a 15 hour bus ride from Aachen to Limoges, where I arrived on September 4th. The first couple weeks have been both more difficult and happier than I expected them to be, but I think this is the start of a wonderful semester!