Apparently, “Let’s take a train somewhere” is a phrase that can be said at any moment and followed through just as easily. My house sister asked me at breakfast if I would like to join her and some friends on a day trip to Nimes, just 30 minutes by train—by noon I was at the train station with only a 9 euro dent to my wallet.

Nimes is an ancient Roman city slightly bigger than my current home, Avignon. It was part of the Roman Empire at one time, and it is a famous tourist spot for the remaining Roman structures. After strolling through a beautiful garden with giant stone remains and a perfectly intact fountain system complete with statues, we hiked up the little mountain to the Tour Mandre. This is an ancient tower that overlooks Nimes and the surrounding land.

“This building was built in year two. YEAR TWO!” my friend shouted as we strolled past the Maison Carrée, which resembles the well-known Pantheon and other Roman structures. As a bit of a history nerd, seeing structures as old as recorded time itself was able to leave me in awe. Obviously, nothing in the States has as much history as the most simple buildings here in France.

Aside from our history fix, we realized first-hand how much easier travel is in Europe, with high speed trains and amazing cities within day-visit proximity. Where to next? Maybe a weekend trip to Italy won’t be so bad…