Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ma Vie en France

I've thought about blogging a couple times now. I've even opened up the website with every intention of writing a post.

Then I thought 'nahh' and ate some French chocolate. And French bread. And crossiants. And pain chocolat. And French wine.

But! Here I am; finally writing another post from the wonderful country of France. I've started classes, opened a bank account, and explored my new home.

 Our first weekend, we headed to a local museum dedicated to the arts and industry of St. Etienne. St. Etienne was an industrial town and one of their major claims to fame was their ribbons.

The museum was interesting-- those intricate drawings in the video were created by these machines. Since the museum was completely in French, Michelle and I walked away still not entirely sure how the huge machines functioned, but it was still a cool place.

Talking about historic places...this is the view from the roof of a historic apartment complex. Last weekend was a special weekend in France-- no one particularly explained why it was special, just that almost all the museums in France were free and a lot of normally private historic sites were open to the public.

This apartment complex did not look like anything special from the outside-- just another, slightly outdated big building with an oddly bluish coat of paint. However! It was the famous (or you would think so how much my professor talked about it) maison sans escalier!

But what does that mean?? It means, house without a staircase. In lieu of a staircase, there was just a huge spiral ramp that ran along the inside with doors leading into the various apartments. It was interesting, and the view was nice.

Talking about views....(look at my transitions!)

This is the view from my window! Michelle's window overlooks the city but I take solace in the fact that I get the warm afternoon sun through my window, heating up my room. Since we're currently experiencing a cold spell and the heat doesn't seem to work, this comes in handy.

 I'm not entirely sure but I believe this is the view from the communal kitchen on our floor (5th floor). 

Yeah. The windows in my classroom over look those hills-- and I'm supposed to concentrate on French?

This is a small green spot in the lovely downtown St. Etienne. We had a school sponsored trip to the l'Hotel de Ville (city hall) and afterwards we followed a drum line/band thing through the streets, passing by this area. The drum line was cool-- just a passionate group of amateurs with makeshift drums marching through the streets.

So not only does France lack Netflix, it also lacks Starbucks. Luckily for us, we found an even better replacement. It's a cute little coffee shop right next to l'Hotel de Ville. We got these delicious, if a bit hard to drink, cups of coffee. :)

Whew! I don't even want to think how long it has been since I last posted. I don't have many photos from my good camera to put up. Mostly because I already feel like such a tourist (as Michelle and I speak English together) that I don't want to pull out a huge, official camera.

St. Etienne doesn't get many tourists-- so they are not accustomed to hearing English. I've seen people nearly do a 180 when they hear us speaking English. Perhaps because I can be really loud if I'm in the midst of a good story and someone exclaiming 'and then he did THIS!' in any language is guaranteed  to garner some attention.

This weekend is the largest Renaissance fair in France apparently and the school is sponsoring a trip to the nearby town where it's held.

Stay tuned to read about my adventures there! :)

As always, thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely charming and beautiful views. Thanks for sharing Anna.