This past month has been pretty exciting in Paris is terms of all the different weather conditions. First there was an unprecedented amount of rainfall, causing the seine to flood and worryingly closing many metro and RER stations. Not only that, but lots of the stations still open had leaks all over the place with the water being collected in buckets. It wasn’t amazingly reassuring… Next came the snow which was quite exciting. Paris itself looked beautiful in all its white sparkling glory but it seems the city isn’t really cut out to deal with adverse weather and many stations were closed and all the buses cancelled for a while.
The flooding Seine
First signs of snow
Lots of snow
While all of this has been going on, I’ve been steadily getting through a mountain of work – a lot more than last semester. However, despite the stress of this work and lots of speaking French, I managed to fit in a little visit to New York (or at least Paris’ mini Statue of Liberty) and a trip to Normandy, which was also affected by floods at the time. Even though much of the area was water logged it was still very pretty and visiting the D-Day landing beaches really left an impression. What as more impressive was that the soldiers each carried the weight of another person on their back up the beach whilst under fire. I tried to carry my boyfriend, Charlie, up the beach and promptly collapsed. I would never make it as a soldier.
Throughout all the fun, excitement and work one thing that has always been at the back of my mind has been to try to get an internship for the coming summer. This has been quite difficult to do from another country and has involved a skype interview as well as an assessment day squeezed in in early January, 2 days before I was due to fly back to Paris for my exams. Since one of these first exams didn’t go fantastically well, I’m going to put it down to this assessment day (which also had me missing out on other more fun plans I’d put into place before this last-minute interview).
I was lucky enough to interview with such an accommodating company but others have not been as helpful. I’ve known some people who have had to fly back at short notice, at their own expense for an assessment day. This means missing classes and sometimes losing a large amount of money from your own pocket. This kind of thing is something to bear in mind when doing a year abroad, you have to be prepared to be flexible and to pay. Fortunately, I have now managed to find an internship for which the final stage was a telephone interview – lucky me!
With my summer plans in place, I’m looking forward to focusing more on my French work, knowing that I won’t have to hurry back to England any time soon. This is only good news as I’m becoming more and more << Parisienne >> by the day (see photo for proof!).
I ventured out for a day trip and took a 25 minute ferry to the island of Rottnest, in search of a famous quokka selfie. What happened next is going to be the next Hollywood blockbuster rom-com. Well, maybe not.
I had to do a double-take. After a cycle round the whole island, I finally got what I was looking for. I took my selfie (as you can see, very pleased with myself) and was going to move on.
What is the first thing that comes to your head when you think of Australia? It could be the blazing sun. Or dangerous animals, furry animals, weird animals, kangaroos. Tourist attractions like Uluru, The Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House, the Great Ocean Road. But also beaches, a bucketload of beaches.
It’s a good life
Western Australia has possibly the best collection of beaches in the world, and I’ve certainly enjoyed exploring and sunbathing on them (England doesn’t quite compare) so here are my top 5.
I guess there are two ways you can read the words ‘study break’ – a break during which you study, or a break from study. You can probably imagine which choice I made.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to travel to some amazing corners of the world and see some incredible places, but nowhere has been as jaw dropping as Karijini National Park. I could place you anywhere in that park, and you can stay in that one spot for hours, swiveling your head at any angle, while standing in awe at the looming canyons, narrow gorges and tranquil pools that engulf you.
But it is in the middle of nowhere (like everything else in Australia) – to get there is a 14 hour drive. So we planned a 10 day, just under 4000 kilometre roadtrip.
It was a normal day at the beach, laying down on the sand watching the fiery clouds and waiting for the sun to disappear below the horizon. Actually, that’s not a normal day at all, but by Perth’s standards it is. And then, we spotted a fin.
Sometimes you just know you’re going to like it. Ever since I received my offer, I have been like a kid waiting for Christmas, counting down the days and having ridiculously high expectations. And after the first week, Perth has not disappointed. It truly is an awesome place.
Our first four days by Scarborough consisted of sunbathing on the sand, taking a dip, eating and relaxing. Upon realising that we were actually going to university, us four Durham kids ventured towards campus to have a sneak peak of where we were going to be living and studying.
I’ve been told people don’t get bored of sunset pictures
I’m writing this post whilst lying down on the beach waiting for the sun to set over the ocean. That’s pretty cool, huh.
It’s all a bit crazy. I’m on the other side of the planet from most of the people I know; we’re in the middle of winter, but earlier I was sunbathing in twenty degree heat and went for a dip in the sea; as I entered the beach, there was a sign – “Snakes on this reserve”. Not like a ‘Danger! Snakes!’, but more like a casual ‘meh, snakes’, like that is the least of your animal worries. I guess the great white sharks aren’t far from the coast.