Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rome & Dublin

Friday came and flew by fast. Apart from our Oxfam presentation, I worked most of the day on getting my luggage prepared as well as writing my 10 articles for Principles of Marketing. To give you a little more detail on the 10 articles, our major paper that was due during our time abroad consisted of breaking down in detail 10 different articles that related to international marketing. Of course, like most, I decided to procrastinate on the majority of the articles, and since I knew I wasn’t going to attempt to do them while in Rome or Dublin, I decided to finish all the remaining articles in one day. The articles really made time fly by, turning the clock from 2 to 6 in one big sweep. Once Saturday morning came, I woke up early to start getting the finishing touches on what I was taking with me before we left around 11:30 for the bus station to take us to Stansted Airport. Even with all the time we left for ourselves to get to the airport, we barely made it. Our National Express bus broke down twice and it was only supposed to be a 3 hour bus ride, but because of all the mishaps it took 6 hours. Also, talking with the driver about our situation made me even more frustrated because his motto was, “if you are late to the airport because of us the bus drivers), oh well, should have planned better.” It irritated me a little because that would be $135 down the drain, but we finally made it to the airport with 10 minutes to spare. Once we were past security, we were still in a rush and found out we had another 10 minutes before our plane was going to board, so luckily everything worked out for the best.

Once on the plane, we did make a friend with a local named Giulia Grenga that helped us tremendously with where to go in Rome and told us much needed information about the public transportation. For instance, in Rome the trains will stop running around 10:45 and when we got there they were already going to be closed. However, Giulia just came from South Africa and one of the reasons she said she loved it so much was because the people were extremely welcoming and helpful. Therefore, when we landed she called her dad who was picking her up and asked him if we could hitch a ride because her house was probably 5-10 minutes from our hostel. Now on a side note, I do not recommend you get in random cars with random people, but we were desperate in this situation and really did not want to pay a taxi fare for the 30-40 minutes of driving. So, thanks to Giulia and our extroverted personalities, we made it to Tiber Hostel. At night, it was hard to tell what it looked like but in the morning it was amazing! We had a pool, a big café, own mini market, and the atmosphere was so relaxing. I highly recommend Tiber Hostel; it is completely worth the 11 Euro’s to stay there.

Sunday rolled around and we started on our journey, of course first to the Vatican. Since it was Sunday, admission was free, but the wait was about three hours. However, since we looked like tourists, a man that worked for a touring business asked us if we would be interested in paying 25 Euros to skip the line and receive a personal tour guide of Vatican City. Once I talked him down to 20 Euros, we made our way over to a little café where they gave us stickers, then they took our group of 10 up to only a 20 minute line to get into Vatican City. I won’t be going into too much information on The Vatican because there is just too much information to type about. However, as a helpful hint, make sure you get a tour guide. The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Church, and the rest of the Vatican would not have been the same without someone explaining all the interesting history and facts to us. Also, make sure you save at least half of a day for The Vatican and St. Peter's because it is worth taking your time.

Before our trip to Rome, I heard instead of buying tickets to each museum and attraction there is a special called the Rome City Pass for 28 Euros which will get you into a lot of different places as well as free public transportation for 3 days. So, after the Vatican we set out to find that pass and then worked our way over to St. Angelo’s Castle which was okay, but I do not recommend it if you don’t have the Rome City Pass. Following St. Angelo’s Castle and food, we walked around aimlessly for a little while near the Spanish Steps and other places until we realized we had to get back to the Hostel because Giulia was going to take us to an authentic Italian restaurant. It was such a beautiful sight! The restaurant really looked like it does in the movies, such as Letters to Juliet, with the green prairies in the background and outdoor seating with the patio over us. It gave us an excellent feel of Italy and made us feel even closer to the culture. After dinner, the five of us sat there for hours until midnight just talking about life, religion, Christianity, our struggles, and just everything. It was one of the best deepest conversations I have ever had! Then once we actually realized how late it was Giulia drove us back to the hostel where we got our much needed sleep.

On Monday morning, we hit the sites early, traveling first to the Coliseum where the Rome City Pass allowed us to skip a Long line really started out day out perfect. We walked around in amazement in the Coliseum just imagining years ago that it was completely packed of people cheering on gladiators. Right after the Coliseum, we made our way over to where Caesar used to live as well as the ruins surrounding the Coliseum area. Rome was all around just a perfect place to visit. After our morning attractions, we went to a nice, quaint, cheap restaurant down the road from the Trevi Fountain. Afterward, we went to the Trevi Fountain which has the most beautiful architecture I have ever seen. Seeing as it is “The King of the Wishing Wells”, we each had to get a coin and toss it in backwards and make a wish. However, I encountered a little problem because when I flicked the coin it decided to go straight up and fall back down to my feet, so I completely missed probably the biggest fountain in the world. I don’t know what kind of luck that brings, but the second time was the charm and I made it! The Trevi Fountain was so eye absorbing that somehow our group got separated. Even though we had Walkie Talkies, it didn’t help because the two people that had the walkies were right next to each other. It probably was not the best plan we'd made, but we all knew that the next stop on our adventure was the Pantheon, where we were going to meet up with Giulia. So, we made our way down Souvenir Road to the Pantheon where we found one another and Giulia under the most famous architectural design of its time – the hole in the top of the Pantheon. From the Pantheon, Giulia took us to the best ice cream parlor I've ever been to. It was like a Baskin Robbins on steroids with 118 different flavors of gelato ice cream. After our tasty dessert, we wandered around Rome seeing other major attractions like Foro Di Traiano, or “The Wedding Cake”, Piazza Del Popolo, and the main shopping street. We then parted ways, said our goodbyes, and thanked her for all her help. Having our own personal tour guide really delivered the best feel of Rome we could have ever received. We really didn’t know what to do with the rest of the late afternoon so we took a nice leisure stroll through Villa Borghese where we came across the FIFA fest in Rome. It happened to be the best game-viewing yet! Unlike in Paris, the structure of this consisted of, not just a huge TV and stage, but a turf soccer field with goals, the South African mascot, a peek of the Sony 3D TV’s, foosball tables galore, and other various attractions. The rest of the night was a blast! We played soccer with a few Italian guys on the soccer field and, following the game, St. Angelo’s Castle shot off fireworks! What a way to end our Rome excursion! It was depressing to leave Rome the next morning. We'd had such a fun time and saw the most amazing places. The entire feel of the culture was so unlike anything I have ever encountered. Only a couple of hours from the beach and a few hours from the Alps, Rome has like everything you would ever need/want from a city. If you ever have a chance to pick one place out of the places we have gone, I highly recommend Rome.

After traveling all over Rome once we arrived at Dublin we knew that it was going to be a relaxing time. Because we left Rome on the 29th and got back in London at 11, we knew ahead of time we would only be in Dublin for a few hours, which literally ended up being 5 hours. We were not planning any huge tourist adventures. We just wanted to go to Ireland to say we went and because it was a very cheap plane ticket. Which is exactly what we did. Once in Dublin, we hopped on a bus to the center of town, stayed on the same street, and just sat down in different pubs meeting new people everywhere. After about 4 hours, we hopped back on the bus to the airport and left. I know you’re thinking that that was probably the dumbest idea ever, but it was rewarding because we were able to relax and feel as if we were blended in with the culture. It was a very short trip and, if you go to Ireland, I recommend that you do it on a short weekend and go to Cork because you can at least tour Blarney Castle, which I heard was even better than Warwick Castle in England. To wrap this up, and I am sorry for the length of this blog, Rome had the most influential impact on me that gave me the highest appreciation for history and the European culture, not to mention the finest food I have every had. And you also need to visit Ireland, even if just for a few hours, to get the feel of a completely different culture. This past week was more than I could have wished for and my next blog will be my last where I will wrap up the trip and explain our last day of the program.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lloyd's of London & Oxfam/Nielsen

Today, Wednesday, we had a break from our projects to travel to London for a speech given by a former ACU Alumni, Doug Lacoss, who currently works for Lloyd’s of London. The speech gave a Christian's perceptive into the business world. Mr. Lacoss started out his presentation by explaining about his time in college, and then proceeded to talk about the many cities and cultures that brought him to the Christian life he lives now. He has encountered a few situations which he has had to overcome since working in London that have increasingly tested his beliefs against what can be “tolerated” with the European business sector. When I say “tolerated”, I don’t mean complete morally wrong issues, but situations that are written down as a rule but can be stretched for certain circumstances. For instance, one situation consisted of hiring a new employee and the benefits this employee could bring to the company. However, with European businesses, the former company that employed an associate can choose to hold/employ this person for up to 6 more months, so now the employee “technically” can’t get a new job during that time because they are still part of the other company. Now, this rule is stretched a little and isn’t completely bad if another company starts employing this person. But Doug saw this as a strong moral conflict which, on one hand, will benefit the company very well during that 6 month time span, but, on the other hand, he would be risking his ethics to create more money for the company. This is one intense double bladed sword! There are actually no serious physical consequences and will be very beneficial to the company therefore raising stock holder wealth, every businesses goal, but will add a trade off of his Christian moral standard to make more money. His decision, of course, was to tell the employee that Lloyd’s cannot work with him until his employment is up at his current job. It was a great moral insight into the European business, and the rest of his presentation dealt with similar ideas.

After the presentation we said goodbye and headed for a lovely lunch along the Thames River. Following lunch, about 10 of us made our way around London in search of the US vs. Algeria soccer game. However, we were lost for about 30-40 minutes and missed most of the game because every pub around was only playing the England game. Finally, we found the Texas Embassy where, naturally, the U.S. game was on. However, the “bouncer” wouldn’t let us in because there was not enough room. Even though we saw a couple of free tables, and we even offered to stand, the answer was still no. So, we decided to leave and went around the side of the Texas Embassy to watch the last 20 minutes game through the window. As you may have heard, the U.S. won, and we all celebrated on the sidewalk with locals and tourists watching us jump around and scream as we were chanting for USA. Shortly after the game we walked to the Underground and took the next available train home. Unfortunately, we had to do a little unexpected train/underground changes because all trains to Oxford from Paddington Station were delayed for roughly an hour or two. This made the trip there a little more exciting because once we found a train, we got to sit down on the nice hard ground instead of the comfortable seats due to an overcrowded train.

On Thursday, back in Oxford, all of Nielsen’s team finished preparing their speeches on Wednesday night and decided to travel over to Nielsen to listen to their presentations they had worked on. They did a remarkable job presenting all their statistics they had collected on the three different gums and how each one measures up in the current market environment. The extensive and in-depth marketing research they gathered was astonishing, even to Nielsen who was shocked that their team collected around 600 surveys from the Oxford community.

Following their presentations, the rest of the day was spent getting our presentation together, which we worked on till about 2:30 Friday morning – it was a very long night. Then once morning came around, we brought our A-game to the table and delivered an incredible presentation to Oxfam targeting all the exact problems while giving concrete solutions to each one. After our presentation and the little extra side job, Nielsen spoke to Oxfam about creating a value gum. We all headed back to the houses for relaxation and a few hours of sleep. The rest of my day was spent getting laundry together and preparing for our Rome trip. (Hint of advice, prepare everything in advance, so at the last minute you aren’t running around trying to figure out how to get to the airport. You can always buy direct tickets online to airports for 20 Euro’s, but if you want to save a good amount of money you can book Megabus online to London for 1 Euro and EasyBus from London to either airport from 2-7 Euro’s.) My friends and I didn’t leave for Rome till Saturday around six which will be all covered in my next post. Next stop Rome & Dublin!

June 21-22

The past couple of days have been quite strenuous. With our Oxfam project and Nielsen’s project due right around the corner, everyone has been working pretty intensely to get them perfect. On Monday, the “Oxfam Headquarters Committee” made a visit to Oxfam’s HQ’s (we are very creative when it came to naming our committees). The visit was extremely beneficial and clarified our needed-to-know questions. We wished we could have planned the meeting a few days earlier so that we would have had a little more time to analyze the answers and how it related to our ideas. However, one thing I found out about projects are that they don’t always flow in the most ideal ways. Also keep in mind that through these different experiences, if you attend a study abroad program you will learn that there is a significant difference in consulting with a company and the group projects we receive at ACU. The guidance we receive with a group is much more helpful on what specifically you need to accomplish, however, your group has to all agree on a certain goal. This project by far is the most difficult yet rewarding project I have faced so far in my college career.

Apart from working together, the feel of this international business class is much different than our marketing class. From a classroom standpoint, we gather in our own groups, on our own time, and get done what we feel is needed most. Within our groups we create the different ideas and guide ourselves. We've learned, through various interviews, how to distinguish what Headquarters has asked of us, how to determine if this is an actual problem, how to analyze data we collect to create an answer to their problem, how to research a wide variety of solutions that will benefit the company, and then finally how to narrow down the best solution and present it. Again, this has been the most challenging project I have ever encountered, but has given me amazing insight into what it is like to be part of a group of individuals that work together as real consultants to create solutions that will benefit a company. Now our trip is coming to an end, but we get to kick it off with a bang by getting to visit Lloyd’s of London tomorrow, which is one of the biggest reinsurance companies in the world, where we get to learn about having Christian ethics in the business world.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ashlee Cherry's Weekend in London

Hello everyone, for this weekend of the 19th I figured since I didn't do too much I would get a girls perspective of the trip that went to see a play in London. So, here is Ashlee Cherry's weekend in London.

Within the time span of 24 hours, I went to London and back and had a crazy day full of events. The trip started (and ended) at G & D’s. On our way to the train station, Callie, Austin, and I got waffle cones, with chocolate sauce in the cone, a scoop of chocolate and a scoop of vanilla. Our train left at 2:30ish. We arrived in London, and took a taxicab to our hostel around 4:15. We stayed at the London Eye Hostel, which was only a few blocks away from the real London Eye, although you couldn’t actually see it from the hostel. We had 5 o’clock reservations at the Texas Embassy, which is only a restaurant, nothing else, so we had to quickly change and get ready. Of course, Callie and Austin ended up waiting on me… We enjoyed chips, salsa, and queso, but not so much our meals. After that we had tickets to Chicago, the best musical in the entire world. We got there on time, and had to pick up our tickets at will call, Austin got his, I got mine, and then Callie tried to get hers.

The man asked (in a Brit accent), “What’s the surname?”

Callie: “Partee.”

Man: …silent, but had a strange look on his face.

Callie: “Partee.”

Man: No change.

Callie: “Callie Partee.”

Man: “OH! Your name is Partee!”

Yea, we’re still laughing about that. Chicago was phenomenal. Although, the song “They Both Reached for the Gun” wasn’t as good as it was in New York. But that’s my only one of dos complaints. Since I am a Chicago fanatic, I sat in the middle and would sporadically explain what was going on, because unless you know, it could be confusing and not make sense. So this one time I was talking, and maybe I might have been talking a little too loudly, this woman sitting way diagonally in the row in front of us turns around, gives me a death stare, and shushes me as loudly and obnoxiously as she possibly can. Needless to say…Austin, Callie, and I all tried to muffle our laughing. The play was excellent. After that we decided to go back to our hostel. There was a lounge area and a pool table. We opted to watch a movie, District 9. Obviously I could’ve cared less to watch this movie, which was displayed when I fell asleep 4 minutes into it. After the movie we went up to our room, which we shared with 12 other strangers…weird and awkward.

The next day, we woke up at nine, only because check out was at ten. We hopped on one of those red, sightseeing tour buses. We rode on top, and in the very back, our usual spot on the bus. However, it was freezing cold, and the driver probably got up to 45 mph. After that, we decided to move to the sheltered bottom of the bus. We had already seen, the London Eye, Big Ben and St. Paul’s Cathedral by that time. After the tour, we took jump picks in front of Big Ben. We were starving at this point, so the next thing to do was get lunch. We were completely indecisive about where to go, but got a taxicab anyway. The driver got frustrated that we had no idea where we wanted him to take us. Note to self, don’t get a taxicab if you don’t know where you want to go. Done and done. Austin finally told the cabi where to take us. A restaurant called ASK. On the way… another car cut off our driver. I had never heard someone use so many curse words in a real life scenario, until then. Our driver sped up and cut off that car, then they both rolled their windows down and started yelling at each other. It was pretty intense/epic.

We arrived and the three of us enjoyed a quiet lunch and a short nap on the train ride back to Oxford. On our walk back to our houses we stopped at G & D’s for some sweet treats.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Canterbury and Warwick Castle

Thursday we got to miss class for the day and travel to Canterbury’s chocolate factory for a tour. Once we arrived, we had about 20 minutes to relax before our meeting with one of the managers from the plant, so everyone decided to go check out their mini chocolate candy store. They had so much chocolate in there, it was awesome! They even had a replica soccer ball of the 2010 world cup made of full chocolate for only 16 pounds! Unfortunately, I left my wallet back at the Oxford house, so I wasn’t able to buy it. However, I did purchase a pretty good size chocolate bar. Later, we were able to tour their facility and see how they go about creating the wonderful bars upon bars of chocolate. Once we finished the scrumptious tour and the free chocolate they gave us, we headed back to the bus to take our next tour of Warwick Castle. Warwick Castle is an authentic castle from the medieval era that was refurbished and now presented as a tour attraction that offers a viewing of a working trebuchet, a jousting arena, a reenactment battle with Warwick warriors, and viewing of how dungeons looked and treated the prisoners. It was a lot of fun with a great tour along the walls where hundreds of years ago people stationed at to defend their castle from invading forces. After Warwick, we headed back to our Oxford houses for a late class from 7pm to 10pm. Friday brought an early morning but was soon made better by having a couple of outdoor games like bocce ball and soccer. Then we wound back down by spending most all night studying for our marketing test Saturday morning. It has been a busy past couple of days with our projects but we have persevered through it and are coming to astonishing results in regards to the technology basis of Oxfam. Thank you for staying in touch, looking forward to the nice relaxing weekend in Oxford, Jeff Bartosh.

Tuesday June 15

These past couple of days have been a good amount of class and working on projects. After our seemingly early class on Tuesday, most everyone went to sleep during the lunch hours. I spent most of my time looking over my blogs and new innovative products on Tuesday was definitely a relaxing day after the few hours spent on the Chunnel and late bus ride back from London. For our afternoon class, we worked heavily on our Oxfam project. We created various questions for our interview with Oxfam’s Headquarters as well as edited our business proposal for Oxfam. Nielsen group has been quite busy using Apple iPads to generate a survey for their market research in Oxford. Wednesday brought a much more stressful day, mostly for me, because I was trying to figure the cheapest way to book transportation to and from every airport for our deviation and open travel week. Class was quite interesting this morning and Oxfam project preparations are coming together perfectly. I love the brainstorming and creative ideas my group is doing to better help Oxfam’s technological sector. I feel that introducing a closed intranet system for the company will bring a more effective communication basis with stores and better time management for store managers. Later Wednesday night, after uploading pictures to Facebook, we started our first Star Wars movie night. And for the next 5 nights we will be watching in numerical order one of the Star Wars movies. It has been a great environment for history and even relaxation. Oxford offers so much to do and see that even when we are on trips and supposed to be relaxing, we end up completely exhausted from being active tourists. I wish I could just go back “home” to Oxford to relax. Now look forward to my next blog, because Thursday we visit Canterbury Chocolate and Warwick Castle.


On Friday, it was extremely hard to wake up, especially since I stayed up packing till midnight and our bus was scheduled to leave at 4:30am. So, since we had to wake up to get on the Eurostar (the chunnel) to take us from London to France, almost everyone crashed on the bus and the chunnel. However, waking up to the country side of France was pleasant and very peaceful. Once we arrived in Paris we went straight to our hostel, which was extremely nice, to drop off our bags. I was lucky enough to be included in the room with 8 guys, but we had a lot of room compared to the other hostel rooms, as well as two showers and a bathroom! However, I didn’t find that out till later that night because check-in wasn’t until later. Once we dropped off our bags, a group of us led by Charles, an international student that from France, headed over to Notre Dame. It was the most amazing church I have ever seen. We went inside to take pictures and it was so vibrant with its stain glass windows that everyone was in awe. A few interesting things that we found out a couple of days later: it used to be an all black but they used lasers to grind off the hundreds of years of age, 2) the back is so heavy because of the stain glass windows that the Gothic aesthetics arm-like structures that reach to the church actually support it from falling down, and 3) in the 19th century, Paris was going to tear it down to rebuild it but because of the book The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Paris thought it had become too famous, so they preserved it.

Following Notre Dame, Charles took us down towards the Louvre where part of The Da Vinci Code was filmed. It was so astonishing. We walked down through the court yard and had some ice cream while soaking in the Paris atmosphere. It was unlike anything else. The looks are identical to those seen in the movies, minus the magnitude of people. From the Louvre we walked to the subway to get back to the hostel because later that night we planned on watching the World Cup at the Eiffel Tower, France vs. Uruguay. The match was awesome and the Eiffel Tower not only lit up but had flashing lights, as seen in my picture. Afterward, we went back to bed and enjoyed the hours of sleep before our busy Saturday.

When Saturday came, a group of us headed for the Eiffel Tower area yet once again, but this time conquered it by climbing up the farthest you can, then hopping on an elevator to the top. Now, I’m from Dallas and have been on the titan at Six Flags and I knew the Eiffel Tower was higher, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this high! Even the Huge screen we watched the soccer game on seemed like a spec. It was so unbelievable to experience that view of Paris - much bigger city than I thought. We were smart and decided to take the elevator down this time, and broke off into our own separate groups. Michael and I decided to visit the Louvre which literally took us forever to just walk through. We actually had to rush to make it out within 3 hours due to the fact that USA was playing England, and we had to represent our country at the Eiffel Tower! There were seriously so many statues and paintings, my favorite being the Mona Lisa and the Greek mythological statues, that I recommend you have at minimum half a day prepared for the tour. And I also recommend you pay the extra 6 euro’s for the self guided tour because everything is in French so you won’t know what you are looking at. Also, as I already said, after the Louvre we went and cheered for USA and (unfortunately) ended up tying England. And, similar to the night before, we were so exhausted we went back to the hostel to pass out, but we did make a little stop at a restaurant to order some authentic crepes. it was an amazing way to end a long day.

Sunday, was filled with excitement! After barely waking up in time to hobble downstairs to grab some breakfast before it ended, I went back to the room to get ready for Mass at Notre Dame with the Morgan’s and other students. It was really interesting to hear the international service, which was not too different from my church since I am Lutheran except the exquisite beauty of Notre Dame and a few other details like the fact that it was in French and the process of the service. Afterward, a couple of guys and I ate some Subway, which so far if you have noticed I haven’t said much about the food mainly because I did not want to spend too much money, and Paris food is not really the cheapest, especially the way I eat. But once our Subway sandwiches were devoured, Michael and I again broke off to spend some time at the D’Orsay museum which I recommend to everyone! They have exquisite paintings and beautiful art work, and not as long as the Louvre, but make sure you go to both. And if you buy a museum pass for 32 euro’s you can go to any museum for free for 2 days. Another interesting part of the D’Orsay is a crime area exhibit. It shows you dramatic paintings of a darker/death feel to them as well as the change in the way the death punishment was enforced. It was pretty gruesome yet interesting when you see some of Van Gogh’s artwork. Right after the D’Orsay we bolted for the subway so we get to the hostel and back to the Eiffel Tower for a midnight bike tour of Paris called, the Fat Tire Bike Tour. Now I apologize for the length of this blog, but there is so much in Paris to see and write about, but I’ll sum up our tour because it felt like we saw easily 50 new different landmarks that would turn this into an encyclopedia. So, once we met our tour guide Bubba and finally started heading out we rode all over town, a few new interesting places to me were a bridge that has locks all over it that couples put there to symbolize their forever love, the bridge that was in the first Bourne movie, the bridge that was in the movie Taken, the statue of a flaming torch were Princess Diana died, and a multitude of buildings that I can’t even start to guess the names to. My point being that the Fat Tire Bike Tour is well worth the 26 euro’s, with student ID, especially the feeling of riding around instead of having to walk to enjoy the scenery. And unexpectedly we also were given a boat tour around the two islands in the Seine River, which was a lovely experience were we had completely different views points of most the places we saw while riding our bikes. So, once the boat docked back at our bikes, we rode back to the Fat Tire Bike Tour’s building, and then a few of us decided to take some “jumping pictures” as Callie called them in front of the Eiffel Tower. By the time we final were able to get the camera to take a good picture and get back to the hostel it was extremely late, we were all tired, and I had the best night of sleep that night. Now Monday was not that special because some of us were so exhausted from the late nights and early mornings; therefore, we literally sat at a few places around Paris after walking around some souvenir shops and just relaxed and watched fútbol. We would have slept in the room for longer but we had to be checkout by 10am, but it was nice getting a different feel of Paris, away from all the tourist attractions and “kicked back.” After we met up at 7pm to come back we took the chunnel back to London and a bus from London to Oxford, which I slept basically the entire time. Overall Paris was amazing, there is so much to do and see, but if I could recommend one thing apart from the main tourist spots in Paris, is to take a day to just relax, read a book, and absorb the feeling of Paris away from a touristy ideology. It is a completely different feel and I promise you will not regret it. This is Jeff Bartosh signing off, sorry about the “essay” I just wrote.