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Bastille Day in Nice

by Andrew B. This week was my favorite yet. I particularly enjoyed this week’s combination of French language immersion with frequent cultural experiences. Monday July 14th, better known here in France as le quatorze juillet, was spent enjoying the day’s festivities as well as learning about its historical importance. This national day, which commemorates the fall of the Bastille and essentially of the Ancien Régime, is very similar to other countries’ national holidays. While we spent the morning studying French and interviewing people in Old Town, we were quickly swept up into the excitement of this momentous holiday. While roaming around the small streets of Old Nice, I noticed that the already colorful buildings were adorned with both French flags and banners. Signs declaring the French national motto: “Égalité, Liberté, Fraternité”, were plastered around the city. After yet another delicious lunch prepared by our multi-talented and polymathic Abbey Road Staff (especially our wonderful resident Chef and French instructor, Pauline), we spent the afternoon at the beach swimming in the beautifully blue Mediterranean Sea as well as soaking up some sun on the Côte d’Azur. The evening was spent watching feux d’artifice (fireworks) on Nice’s rocky beach and talking with friends. Andrew B. view Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were classic, albeit extremely fun, school days. I spent the mornings as I usually do in my advanced French class, learning about French culture, stereotypes, and improving upon our advanced grammar and vocabulary in order to better express ourselves. Tuesday and Thursday afternoon were spent in my conversation elective where we visited a famous photography museum, an old villa in central Nice known as Villa Massena, and enjoyed the view from the terrace of L’hôtel Méridien. Wednesday’s afternoon was dedicated to free time which I spent exploring old Nice with friends. This morning was also spent in class. In the afternoon, we voyaged to the picturesque town of Saint Paul de Vence where I encountered many Italians who were thrilled to practice Italian with me. Dinner was at an Italian restaurant in Nice where I once again was able to use my Italian skills to both order a delicious pizza and have some extremely interesting political discussions.

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