Joie de Vivre à la Champagne

Penthouse Girls' Exchange Journey in Troyes, France

March

The idiom ”time flies” applies to our life here in Troyes so well at the moment, since March just seemed to go by in a second; WOOOOSH and it was gone 😀 Now we´re already in April and the spring (read: summer for us Finns :D) is showing all its glory.

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The view from our French balcony

In fact, our stay and exchange here has already reached the midway, since as it turned out to be, our last exam in ESC will be on the 3rd of June. We thought we would spend the entire June here and of course have informed that to all parties involved in the exchange, including KELA, the Erasmus money (wherever it comes from :D), our landlord as well as our employers back in Finland. To be honest, neither of us minds returning Finland a little earlier, but just the mentality behind all this is just unbelievable, maybe it’s just the French style 😀

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During the first couple of weeks of March we had just a couple of lessons per week, so we had quite a lot of free time, most of which we spent sitting in the sun in the garden of our German friends 🙂 We continued the luxury industry course, which turned our to be nothing but a disappointment. The teacher was so fixated just to the Palaces (the suuuuper expensive hotels :D) in Paris, since he seemed to be so WOWed about them and totally forgot what the course was supposed to be all about.. Now the course is over and the ongoing ones are way more interesting 🙂

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The other courses we’ve had so far are Upscale Travelling and Tour Operators, Hotel Management in the Luxury Industry, Brand Management, Luxury Hotel Management and Trend in Business Tourism. It’s mysterious how the names sound so fancy and interesting, but majority of them have included all the same things about luxury and some additional information, which was not mentioned in the course descriptions, and which we did not want to learn anything about 😀 Anyway, lots of groupwork, some of which were extremely interesting and innovative, especially the one in Brand Management, where we had to design our own luxury brand.

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The timing of our trip to London was perfect after a mentally exhausting period we had had. It was a time to load our batteries and relax in the idyllic surroundings of lovely London. The time there went smoothly, but way too fast, even though we had time to do some sightseeing, shopping and just admiring the beautiful city. The weather was favorable for us, and we enjoyed the sunny skiee, apart from a mysterious thunder- and hale storm on Saturday evening.

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Our hostel was extremely cozy and the staff helpful and friendly, from the first moment we walked in. Our room was a tiny mixed dorm for six people, and we four shared it with a girl from Denmark and with a guy from the US. There were moments when the room was way too crowded, especially in the mornings, and the air too thick for all of us. Luckily the hostel was juts a place to sleep, and since it was in such a perfect location, we had easy access to the city by both walking and using the underground.

 

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On Friday we started our morning with a walk through the Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Green Park and St. James’s Park. It was already a proper spring in London, and the cherry blossoms were blooming everywhere. Choosing to walk through all the four parks was a perfect idea just to get some fresh spring air and to get rid of our tiredness after the first, not so delightful night in the hostel bunk beds. We naturally saw all the main touristic destinations, such as the Buckingham Palace, the Big Ben, the Westminster Abbey and the London Eye. In addition, we took a tour in the area of Baker Street, just that Lilli would be able to find the house where Sherlock Holmes ”lives” and to go to the Madame Tussauds.

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We continued our tour around the city on Saturday, this time with the underground, cause our feet were dying from the previous day 😀 We went to see the Tower of London as well as the Tower Bridge, after which we stopped by on Twinings tea shop. After the tour around the important places was done, we decided to see what the Oxford Street had to offer. And boy, we were in heaven. With our little student budgets, we just fell in love with Primark, where we spent couple of hours 🙂

After the exhausting shopping spree we headed for dinner to the Hard Rock Cafe. It was packed with people but luckily we were able to get a table without waiting too long in the storm we mentioned above 😀 The dinner was a celebration of Sofia’s 23rd birthday, and the girls just happened to mention that to our waitress, and after the dinner the entire restaurant sang her a birthday song. We all got a complimentary ice cream to share, and it was delicious! 🙂

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The Sunday morning went pretty fast, since we had to leave early just to get to the Luton airport. Before, we had time to visit the famous Portobello Road, but unfortunately, the market was not yet open. Nevertheless, the houses were so cute and pretty and we all are going to move there some day 😀 The journey back to France was exhausting and disastrous, just the parts in France though 😀 cause apparently someone had jumped in the RER tracks and the trains were delayed and crowded. Luckily we were able to catch our train to Troyes from the Gade de l’Est and arrived home tired but happy 🙂

We promise not to have a silence this long again, and probably post again soon! 🙂

Bisous,

-L & S-

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