We were going to pay a visit to downtown Troyes today! Our residence is in the campus of the Technology University of Troyes which is at the outskirt of city Troyes. In order to get to downtown, we would have to take buses there. Usually you can buy bus tickets from the driver which costs 1.2 euros per trip. However, the program purchased each of us a bus card which allows us to travel 45 trips. It took us around 15 minutes to get there.
I would say downtown Troyes is like a typical European old city. The buildings are all gothic, wooden, or baroque architecture style. There is a square in front of the delicately built city hall. We were fortunate that the weather was nice with blue sky and white clouds. In the square, there are fountains, a huge merry-go-round, shops and restaurants surrounding by.
Our first stop was having lunch at the Pancake restaurant in the old street. As you may know, the pancake is called a crepe. French crepes have a lot of choices. There are sweet ones, savory ones, and dessert ones. Since its lunch, I chose to order a savory one called the Royal as there was ham, eggs, mushrooms and some kind of savory sauce on it. Thanks to fellows who know some French, otherwise I would not know what I was ordering from the menu.
After our crepe party, we set out to have a walk around the city. The city has a history of around 2000 years. As I passed by each building, I kept wondering how many people and events they had witnessed. There are a lot of huge churches in the city. All of those huge churches in Europe were built delicately both inside and outside in grand scales. In one of the church we visited, there was an overhanging carved out of stone. It was sculpted by a guy spending 40 years on it. That masterpiece is literally a record of his life!
We also visited a tools’ museum which has collected thousands of different tools for manufacturing all kinds of products. The museum used to be one of the finest skill training school in France. They said that the Statue of Liberty’s torch was once renovated by craftsmen from this school!
One addition note, the city seems to have some connections with cats as there are cat sculptures scattered on the walls of many buildings in the city.
As evening came, we were heading to have dinner. It was a welcome dinner party prepared by our program supervisors. The dinner took place in a night club restaurant beside the town center square. It’s underground and it’s like a maze. I had wine, green salad as appetizer, roast chicken with red fruit sauce as main dish, and a vanilla cake as dessert. It was nice and fulfilling. After that, we took the bus back to our residence and be “ready” for our first day of class next day.