Our last part of the trip was spent in France, mainly Paris.

Our first stop was Chateau de Chantily, a beautiful chateau surrounded by gardens. I would have liked more time to explore this location but due to some issues with the bus we had to depart earlier than expected.

Paris day 2 was one of my favorite days. We visited Versalles and Monet’s garden, in a day full of beautiful sites. I think these were the most beautiful places we visited, both very different from each other but breathtaking. Versalles was more formal design with structured sections, while Monet’s garden was more informal with a more free flowing. Overall, this was my favorite day of the trip. I could have spent days explore each individual location, but I think visiting them on the same day gave us more of a comparison of the variety of gardens.

Our next group activity was visiting the Louvre, which was remarkable. I enjoyed being able to see all these historic works of art and learning about their history, how they got to the Lourve and what makes them so well-known. Of course the Mona Lisa was one of the pieces which stood out to me. With an expected long line, you only get a short window to stand in front of her. I think with the Mona Lisa being at the Louvre people often overlook the other wonderful piece there such as Cupid’s kiss, the winged victory, and Venus de Milo. Later in the day we had a group boat tour, which put into perspective how much bigger and more populated Paris was.

Overall, we got to see a lot of Paris both with the group and on free days. I loved getting a group together and going to the Eiffel Tower every night. I got a lot of wonderful opportunities on this trip to see new places, but I believe the most impactful for me was getting to meet new people and form new friendships. I believe this trip gave me new knowledge and interest in the horticultural field, new independence, and knowledge of different countries and cultures. It was an incredible experience hosted by wonderful professors.