A Trip To France: Amiens

The details of my trip to France continue! The second part of my trip revolved largely around meeting up with my online friends. I met a majority of them almost 2 years on a Japanese language learning Discord server. We all connected because we all had an interest in learning Japanese at the time, and as we became closer and closer we frequently talked about someday meeting up in real life.

The people on the server come from all over the world, so choosing a location we could all 'meet in the middle' at was something we discussed often. My original plan was that I was going to France to see Amanda for a few days, and then meet with my friends Berry and Woufh in Amiens. As this plan was set into motion, more and more people from the server voiced that they were interested in coming, and soon a meetup of 3 turned into a meetup of 10!

After being in Paris for a few days, I have to be honest with you: I was tired of it. While Paris is a beautiful city, I wasn't really feeling the 'french fantasy' I had envisioned. Paris very much felt like an 'old NYC', so my next stop in Amiens was very much welcomed.

Berry and I met up at Gare Du Nord, which is where the train departed from, totally by accident! I was standing by the restrooms as Amanda went inside and saw someone familiar walk out of the men's room. I immediately called out without thinking: "Berry!" and when he turned to face me, he was equally as surprised!

He brought me over to formally 'meet' everyone in person, and it was such a strange feeling to come face to face with people you 'know' but have never met. Online friendships are so special, as soon as I put a face to the name, the connection was instant.

The train ride to Amiens from Gare Du Nord was really lovely. Seeing the cityscape of Paris fade away and turn into seemingly endless fields of grass and tiny french houses was like a dream for me. I immediately knew I was going to fall in love with Amiens, and I can confirm I totally did.

Being able to experience Amiens with a bunch of friends that have also never been there really elevated everything. It's in this city where I begin to finally start having good food in France. As you know from my previous post, I didn't eat any 'French food' for the first few days I was in France and even the food that I did have wasn't the best. Hilariously, the first night out we all went to get sushi together, which we joked was a very French first meal. It was yummy, and it allowed us to take our first and only group photo with everyone in it!

We spent much of our first full day shopping around, nibbling on little snacks here and there, and breaking up into smaller groups to go to different stores. I traveled to France with only two backpacks which, at that point, were full to the brim with souvenirs. So I thought: Well, if I'm going to buy something I'll have to buy something temporary. Hence, an entire container of macarons at the top of this post. 

While walking, we came across a cathedral that looked MASSIVE! It was a perfect photo spot, and the inside was even more beautiful.

The second night was probably my favorite night. We threw a party in our BnB with food, drinks, and a ton of music courtesy of Lexy's speaker. I have a ton of funny photos from that night, but I'll just include this one. A few of Berry's friends came over, bringing us to a grand total of 13 people in our BnB dancing the night away~ I'm so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing group of friends.

We also had an amazing meal prepared by Maria, Joo and Lexy. They made kimchi jigae for everyone and it was amazing! I have a vivid memory of laughing and singing kpop songs while sitting on the couch beside Guillaume. I'm pretty sure Lexy said 'This is amazing' over 500 times, but I wasn't counting (and she wasn't wrong!).

When I slept that night, I'm sure I was smiling.

For our last day together, we got crepes! If I had a euro for every crepe I ate while in France, I'd be a very rich woman, that's all I'll say. This day was a little sad because it had the general feeling of 'Goodbye' in the air, but Berry cheered everyone up by bringing over homemade tiramisu that morning. It was AMAZING, and I'm not a tiramisu person. 

I don't have a photo of it, but I picked up a sweet and round honey snack at a local shop. I'm not sure exactly what it was called, but it was as if a funnel cake was made out of pure honey. It was super sweet and good, I have a fond memory of it sticking to my hands as we walked in the direction of the train station. 

I knew saying goodbye was going to be hard, but I didn't expect that we would get as lost as we did! When trying to find the entrance to the train station, we discovered both the top and bottom entrance were locked off. We had to go through a side entrance all the way down the street and then found yet another locked door. Climbing up the side stairs, I glanced at my watch and saw how close we were to missing this train: we had 3 minutes to get to the platform and board. At this point, Berry whizzed past me and said 'You should run.'

Though I managed to give a very brief hug goodbye to Lexy, Riri, and Berry, it was a sad way to part as none of us had enough time to say what we really wanted to. Still I'm confident we will all meet again really soon, and I 'see' them every time I open up my computer.