Normandie, et plus

I have so much to say, the last week has been so busy and interesting.

First of all, my classes have been pushed off another week. Yes, the French university system is extremely disorganized, so, while we were supposed to start this week, we don’t actually start until next week. Sweet. Today, signed up for my literature classes, and that went relatively smoothly, so I’m excited. Still have to sign up for history, but then I’m set.

In other exciting news, my friend Dan and I bought tickets today to go to Oxford at the end of the month! We discovered last week that we have a good friend in common; Casti girls – Debbi! Turns out, they’re good friends at school, and as soon as we figured this out, we started planning our trip to visit her, as she’s at Oxford this year. (Don’t worry, Willa, I’m coming to see you too, of course!) We get along fabulously well, and have become good friends really quickly, so I’m really excited for the trip. We managed to get reasonably-priced train tickets, so that was good too.

The other really exciting thing was this weekend, where Sweet Briar took those of us who were interested (there were two weekends available) to Normandy, for a whirlwind tour of the interesting attractions. Despite the fact that we spent lots of time in transit, and didn’t get much sleep, it was really fun, as most of my friends were on this trip, and the places we went were cool.

We saw the Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde (the tapestry chronicling the conquest of William the Conqueror), which was really cool, actually. Especially the entertaining audio guide narration. ;-) If you ever go, definitely get the audio guide.

That was bright and early Saturday morning. After that we went to the D-Day beaches (Omaha), the American cemetary, and the Pointe du Hoc. I knew I’d seen the first two before, and turns out I’d been to Pointe du Hoc also, as I recognized it as soon as we got there. Once again, I’d recommend that everyone go to these places. Really moving, beautiful, sad… thought-provoking. And it was funny, because it was supposed to rain the whole weekend, but when we were at the cemetary, it was absolutely beautiful. The colors there are so vibrant, so clear, and the sky and the sun matched them. And then, when we arrived at Omaha Beach, it started to pour. After Jake went swimming in the ocean, of course. haha But really, it was fitting, to match the weather of D-Day. And the miserable weather continued as we wandered the bombed-out, ruined Pointe du Hoc.

After, we headed out towards Mont St. Michel. The weather cleared and we spent the night in a cute little town just across the water from Mont St. Michel. Not much there, despite it being the Fête de St. Michel and them having a little carnival. We found a bar that was open, and had cider, the regional specialty. Yum. ;-) It was a fun night, getting to hang out with everyone, and stay at a cute little hotel.

Next morning, we got up waaaay too early and went to the Mont St. Michel. It was amazing and beautiful. I took so many pictures. Everyone should go there. It reminds me of the castle/island from East of the Sun, West of the Moon. I seriously told half my friends that story that day. I wish I could live there, or could have lived there in its hey-day, or could at least film a movie there. Absolutely beautiful.

Afterwards, we drove out to St. Malo, which, I realized as soon as we arrived, I have also been to before. Beautiful little seaside town, a little touristy, but has great seafood and crêpes, and beautiful walls surrounding the city, right up to the water. I was reminded of books I read when I was younger, and once again, decided it was another place I would loved to have lived several hundred years ago. Ah well.

Sorry if this is kind of disjointed. I wrote the majority of it in a room where I was surrounded by French, because the news was being watched, and people were speaking, so it’s hard to deal with both languages simultaneously.

Other exciting/interesting things:

The French train system is apparently never late, but our TGV (the super-fast trains) was an hour late last night, because it didn’t have electricity. Curious.

Today, we went to Angelina, a classic Parisian tea room that Kaki introduced me to way back when. I’ve introduced more aspiring Parisians to it. Yummy, yummy hot chocolate. If you make it to Paris, it’s right across from the Tuileries on the Rue de Rivoli, next to the famous hotel Le Meurice.

As usual, I know there was more I wanted to write about, but for now, I’m going to bed. I’ll try to update more often to write about more.

In other news, the playoffs start tomorrow! Go A’s! :-D

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