A Letter from France: Learning to Apply the Theory in Practice through Study Tour

By Putu Devi Rosalina, Udayana University Student, Year 2014

hotel mercure saumur

Taking Picture with the teacher and director of Mercure Hotel, Saumur (Photo by Ester)

The time is ticking away too fast, not realizing that I am now nearly at the end of this Master 2 Class in University of Angers. After learning those four months lessons of tourism theory, we luckily have something to freshen up which at the same time learning to apply the theory in practice.

Just like when I studied Master in Udayana University Bali, we had a study tour to Agrotourism Pelaga (http://tourism.pps.unud.ac.id/kunjungan-ke-bagus-agrowisata.html), so now here in France, we would have a visit to Nantes and Saumur with the distances are about 90 and 60 km from Angers.

The study tour is part of the project on Travel Service Management class, which is lectured by Mr. Jean Danion. We learn how to organize and manage the travel package, by choosing Loire Valley as the destination, located at the western part of France.

Passing through by France’s longest river, Loire Valley is famous for the richness of its history and architecture and it was once regarded as France’s royal and intellectual capital in the 13th century.

castle saumur

Taking picture of the last trip in the Castle of Saumur (Photo by Ester)

Two Groups

In order to organize this trip, firstly we are divided into two big groups, one group is to organize the trip to Nantes and another is for Saumur. Our group is then divided again into some sections, such as Package Tour Team to organize the transportation, schedule and meals; The Tour Leader to organize the activities during the trip as well as the games; The Guide to explain the touristic sites; The Professional Meeting in four star hotel or tourism office; Public Relations handling the brochure, photos and an article to local press.

Machine de l'ile Nantes

Machines de L’île is on his way to amuse everyone.

Our preparation is about three weeks before the departure. We also minimize the expenses as low as possible, thus we take the chance by buying a Tribu Card offered by SNCF (Société nationale des chemins de fer français or National Society of French Railways). This card costs €45 and it is used for a group consists of 2 until 5 persons which will be valid for 2-days-travelling by TER (Transport express regional or Regional Express Train) in the region of Pays de La Loire. So, this would be a super cheap option yet perfectly advantageous for us.

At the 3rd of May in the morning, everybody gathered at the train station Angers Saint Laud. With only 30 minutes by train, we finally arrived in Nantes, the capital city of Pays de La Loire. Our first visit was to Nantes Botanic Garden. This garden successfully attract two millions visitors and it also has different theme each year to enhance its uniqueness. In this garden, we also played Guess and Run competition which added more laughter and excitement during the trip.

Nantes botanic garden, there are the smallest until the biggest chair!

The giant chair in Botanic Garden, Nantes (Photo by Léna)

Next, we moved to the castle which owned by the Dukes of Brittany between the 13th and 16th century. It was also listed as historical monument by French ministry in 1862. Then, we took a walk to the Passage Pomeraye. This shopping centre was constructed in 1843 by Louis Pommeraye, the style has a very strong influence of Renaissance.

After having lunch, we had a visit to see Machines de L’île as the image of Nantes.  There were François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, who are the men behind this. They tried to create the concept in order to visualize Imaginary Worlds of Jules Verne and Leonardo Da Vinci.

Finally, our last stop was The Slavery and Abolition Memorial or Memorial de L’abolition de L’esclavage, which was located at the riverside walk. Interestingly, this memorial explains clearly the slavery history through the map, and at the corner there are also the words freedom written in all languages around the world, including Bahasa Indonesia Kebebasan.

wine tasting saumur

Wine tasting in Combier Saumur (Photo by Ester)

Visiting Saumur

The next day at the 4th of May, we were still excited to visit Saumur. Most people said that Saumur derived from the word Mur which means wall, perhaps it is because Saumur has many caves, hills and cliffs.

First of all, we visited the University of Saumur, the building was impressively constructed by using a former castle. The architecture was very ancient yet classic. Then, we took a walk to Cave Combier to have a wine tasting and directly see the production.

After having lunch, we had a professional visit to the Mercure Hotel guided by the Director, he explained the type of the rooms, the facilities and the general information of the Hotel. We continued the trip by playing Whispering Game. Last but not least, we finished this trip by visiting the magnificent Saumur Castle where we can see the beautiful city of Saumur from the top.

The beautiful view of Saumur taken from the Castle.

The beautiful view of Saumur taken from the Castle.

Overall, our trip was memorable and well-organized. Especially, with the promo given by SNCF which makes the transport very cheap and easy.

Moreover, what makes it more convenient is the tourists attractions are in strategic place and easy to reach by walking. It is a perfect match to encourage tourists to travel and discover many interesting places nearby.***