On Saturday the 21th of January, our first day in Paris, we took the subway to Disneyland. Even the train ride was a magical moment. As soon as we entered the amusement park, we were mesmerized of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Main Street with all its shops. At 1 pm there was a parade called “Dream… and Shine Brighter – 30thanniversary parade” with Disney characters (e.g., Mickey, Minnie, several princesses…) dancing and singing along the Central Plaza and some fireworks. Our favorite attractions were Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. Later in the evening there was another parade, a much bigger one (Disney Stars on Parade) with much more going on. After Disneyland we went back to Paris and visited the Eiffel Tower. From Pont d`léna we had a better perspective for the 5 minutes sparkling spectacle.

On Sunday the 22nd of January we took the bus to Arc de Triomphe. This is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe honors those who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surface. After that sight, we took a walk along Champs Elysées  to see the Louvre. The Louvre is the world most visited museum and a historic landmark in Paris. It is known for having some of the most famous paintings in the world including the Mona Lisa. The Roman Catholic Church of Notre-Dame de Paris was our last stop before we had to catch our train to Rennes and a bus from Rennes to Dinan. Finally, in Dinan our host families picked us up.  (Rauda, 7e)

On Monday the Erasmus project officially started. Everyone got to the school at 8 am, where the French teachers, Mr. Brion and Ms. Palacios welcomed the international groups from Italy, Croatia, Spain, Turkey, and Austria. The principal, Mr. Bossard, talked about the importance of Erasmus projects and the cultural aspect of region. After that we did some ice-breaking games to get to know each other. The next lessons we spent in international groups to prepare our travel guides about hotels, restaurants, and festivals in each participating country with canva.com. Another exercise was a workshop about the tide to be prepared for the trip to Mont Saint Michel. After lunch in the amazing school cafeteria, we took a town tour to see the mayor (Didier Lechien), he sadly couldn’t come but someone else took his spot for the day and talked about Dinan. Afterwards we played a game in groups where we got a paper with questions on it, with rolling a dice we got a specific question. The answers could only be found while walking around in Dinan. After getting an answer we had to go back to the main spot and roll the dice again for a new request.

On Tuesday we went to Mont Saint Michel, a pretty little village with around 20 people (incl. seven nuns and four monks) living there, but they get like 1000s of visitors every day. Mont Saint Michel has a long history; it all started with Auber, Bishop of Avranches who had a sanctuary built in Mont-Tombe as an honor of the archangel Michael (708 AD). In the 10th century Benedictine monks settled by the abbey. After some time, the village grew. Until the 14th century it became a bigger and safer place. Even in the 100-years-war the monastery stayed safe because of the surrounding water and its location. After the French revolution religions were banned, that’s why the church in Mont Saint Michel was left behind and became a prison. After some time the ,,monks from the city’‘ came back and took this place as their new living area. Now it is a cultural world heritage site, a tourist hotspot and a home for monks and nuns. After the guided tour, we had lunch at the restaurant ,,La Confiance‘‘ where we ate typical French dishes (e.g. Beef Bourgiugnon or Crème Brulée…). On our way back, we stopped at the dam where the French students explained its function against siltation. (Evi, 7e)

On Wednesday we got to the school at 8 am where we went to the school’s library to continue working on our travel guides with canva; meanwhile the teachers had their meeting about the project. After that, a group of local people presented typical clothing, music and dances from Brittany. We learned that the flag of Brittany was created in 1920 and the white stripes in the flag represent the Breton-speaking dioceses and the black ones the French or Gallo-speaking dioceses. In the 19th century people lived in the countryside and produced e.g., wool and ham. The wool was used for clothing, which was dyed with colors made from vegetables, later people found out how to make dye in new colors (black) from other things like animal products. Singing and dancing was very popular, and people used to dance in the fields to pack down the ground. The citizens showed us traditional dances which the whole group learned. After school, all the students from the Erasmus project went bowling.

On Thursday morning we drove by bus to the biggest former tidal power plant where the French students held a presentation. Then we moved on to the city Saint Malo where we had a guided tour. Saint Malo used to be an island 150 years ago, today it is another tourist hotspot in Brittany. Saint Malo got destroyed in 15 days during the 2nd World War in 1944 and it took 15 years to rebuild it. Jacques Cartier from Saint Malo was the first man who arrived in Quebec and Montreal. He named the land he found „Canada“. After the tour we had lunch in a creperie where they served galettes and crepes, which are very delicious. Our program of the day ended back in school. (Linda, 7e)

Friday was our last day with all the Erasmus students. Once again, we met at 8 am at the Lycée Fountain des eaux. The students were divided into four groups for a guided tour in school with different activities. At one station we got the possibility to bake chocolate muffins. Another station was a “hospital”, where we had to treat “patients”. At the last station we had to take care of baby-dolls, bath them, change diapers etc. After the activities, we had the chance to see French students having classes. After our last common lunch, we met the headmaster in the classroom Le-Leard, where all project participants got their certificates. Then we sadly had to say goodbye to each other.

On Saturday we met at the „Gare Rotiere“ where we said goodbye to our host families. Thanks to them we learned a lot about French culture. After that our journey to the airport Charles de Gaulle began. First, we took the bus to Rennes, where the fast train OUIGO to Paris departed. After a two hours flight we arrived in Vienna. We had a great time in France! (Ionela, 7e)