Living independently for the first time at my MBA college hostel, I had a gruelling and taxing first 4 months in Ghaziabad with extended lectures, assignments, sleepless nights and of course partying. The last exam of the term was over and we rushed to our rooms to pack our bags because we were headed to Marseille, France for a 40-day course as part of our International Immersion Program. The vacation mode was on in full swing with plans being made to travel to Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Prague and Rome during our off days from the university.
The initial days, we explored Marseille with local sightseeing tours to their town hall across the Old harbour Vieux Port, crime streets with abstract graffiti on walls, museums, witnessing local protests from the Yellow Vest movement at the city centre, view of the Chateau d'If (a fortress later turned into prison - read the book "Count of Monte Cristo"), attended a French League football match and finally what got me most excited was the visit to the Port of Marseille - Ships, Ships and Ships.
Next up was the most exhilarating part of my stay in France, we took a 12-hour bus ride and arrived at Paris in the early hours of dawn and headed straight to the Eiffel Tower. A long queue of tourists, cold weather at 12C, we went to the top and I enjoyed a glass of champagne witnessing the beauty and spectacular view of Paris. We explored some local restaurants for the French cuisine, then the Avenue des Champs-Elysees - the fashion street of Paris and eventually touched our most awaited destination - The Stade de France, drunk out of our wits to attend the 'Metallica' concert live with an audience of over 35,000 people. Heavy metal music, beer in abundance and some green ended one of the greatest nights of my life.
The mornings started with croissants and occasional cycling, BBQ bacon cheeseburger for lunch and ready-to-eat Indian food to go with our daily binge drinking parties in the hotel rooms or at local pubs/clubs - you've got to party at R2, Le Rooftop.
More than a month with a group of 20 friends is bound to result in arguments and fights over everything from girls to money to room cleaning to places to visit. So we eventually decided to visit Nice and Monaco the next weekend and got to witness the French Riviera, lost 250 Euros in 15 mins over Blackjack at the casino, found a secluded beach at the southeastern coast of France and relaxed over beer and wine with conversations about life and college gossip.
I'm sure you're wondering wasn't this a study trip? Well, I scored a 10.0 GPA to end my trip.