Monday, July 4, 2011

Au revoir Paris et Bonjour Angers

After church yesterday and in honor of my dear friend jillie I sought out the oldest house in Paris, that of Nicolas flammel. On my way there, I found the musee carnavalet... Which I tried so hard to find a few days ago, buy wandered in circles instead. It's a free museum with lots of artifacts. I was hungry by then and walked by this little bistro. I saw some one eating dime charcuterie (think several types of dried salami) and I saw little French pickles on the plate... I had to have it, so I stopped in. Had I paid closer attention, I doubt I would have ordered it though because there was a huge slice? of pate in in the middle. It looked a lot like dog food, but was amazingly yummy... Who knew?
I found the old house... And then hopped on the metro to the marmottan museum. It's a but far from the center of Paris, but a great collection of Monet (my all time favorite artist!!!!!!!!). I walked over to the bois de bologne but not sure of the significance) then I stopped in a little park with a carousel where a man walks it around and kids have little wooden sticks trying to get the brass ring. I read there for about an hour, and then took the metro to the Eiffel tower.

Remember my complaint about the big giant screens for the world cup? Well, i was foiled again. The fountain was not covered, it was empty! Ugh!!! (maybe because of their drought?) I guess I just have to come back;) I stood in line forever (thank you kindle for getting me through the long wait) and it was freezing at the top, but the view is great. Starting at 11 pm, it has thousands of twinkling lights. It was 9:45 when I descended, so I read a bit more and then grabbed a sandwich I am sure glad I waited... Such a fabulous sight! It was late when returned, so I didn't finish the post. On my way back some guy on the metro interrupted my reading to ask about my kindle. I was a bit caught off guard because I've never had a conversation started on the metro before. I told him about it, but the funny thing is he was sure I was english because of my accent... I guess at least it's closer to France...but I still need some work:)

Today, I decided to have breakfast in the hotel. It was12€ so I'd not eaten before. Most of the places we'd stayed were 8€ or so for part if a baguette, some jam, and a coffee. (a huge rip off when I could get a super yummy chocolate croissant for about 1€. I had to leave quickly and their breakfast is held in their15th or so century basement, I thought the experience would make it worth it. I was also surprised because they had eggs and some hotdog type sausage, yogurt, cheese, croissants, baguettes, cereal, fruit, juice, and a whole pitcher of coffee least I didn't feel cheated.

Then I caught a high speed train to Angers. Boy did my ears have to pop...I'll not mention the awful toilettes... Oh wait...;)
I got to the train station wondering how I was going to find a lady I'd never seen. Thankfully, the university people had signs. Unfortunately my lady had come and gone, thinking I was arriving an hour later the university people were super nice.

I am super happy and the lady so far is so nice. I am living with one other student and have definitely been a translator, but I enjoy that. The girl I am staying with is from west virgina and seems super nice, but super jet lagged as she had just arrived. I have a nice blue and white striped room with lots of room to unpack...such a weird concept after back packing last year. The bed does make me feel like I'll soon fall out...same width as a sleeping bag! My twin bed at home seems like at least a queen in comparison! Happy 4th of July all:). I've my first day of school tomorrow...complete with a 2+ hour test... Boy am I nervous :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Final deux days in Paris!

Okay so yesterday, I set out to get my money's worth for my museum pass. Unfortunately, I stayed up to late and didn't set an alarm. Not a great combo. So after my rather late start, I climbed the steps of l'arc de triomphe. I think the view from the top is spectacular! From there, I sought this crepe stand in the tulleries garden...still yummy. I visited monet's giant waterlilies at the orangerie. Then I headed o er to the musee d'orsay ( these day's I'm heading no where fast;) I love impressionist paintings, and they have a great collection. With less than an hour left, I made it to the louvre, deciding to head straight to the ancient Egyptian exhibit...missed tons, but still worth it. I made it home and decided to try to get reservations to this restaurant I read about in a book about where to eat in paris. It was great, but a limited menu had me choosing some not my favorite foods and some I've never heard of (seabream) fist with flat beans. Grand marnier cream with candied orange rinds and chocolate ganache (closer to chocolate pudding) good but a bit weird.

I am falling asleep so I'll just tell you that I started the day in a great little Protestant chuch, with my first sermon and church songs in French. Many familiar tunes, it was fun... My voice isn't completely back, but thankfully I could sing. For communion, everyone stood around the circular sanctary and passed the bread and the wine. The bread was all cut into pieces and kept in the bread bowl. There was also no escaping the communal cup. Great service! But I missed you all too! The rest of my fabulous day will come later! Bonne nuit de Paris!

Friday, July 1, 2011

So, I woke up at 6a.m., which is way too early to do anything, so I decided to read for a while...which then had me getting started close to 11 a.m. It's probably good that I started later than I had intended because I don't think my feet could handle any more.

I started the day with a yummy almond croissant and some Starbucks. Then it was off to the musee de cluny the museum of the middle ages. It's pretty neat... Lots of stuff , and I'd only given myself 30minutes to see the lady and the unicorn tapestries. I forgot to get a map, so I'm not 100% sure I saw everything but if nothing else, I came closer to it . From there, I picked up some toiletries due to the roast chicken scented ones from the hotel. I headed back to my hotel thinking about lunch, unfortunately it was around 2pm when restaurants close until the dinner service.

I headed to the palais de justice to see thchurch of ste. Chapelle with it's amazing stained glass windows. The whole front was being finished and under tarps last time, so the effect was way more majestic. From there, I headed to the marais district of Paris. This is where I should have spent more time orienting myself with the map, because I ended up making large circles around le place de Vosges. I did stop to see victor hugo's apartment. I got turned around( nobody's surprised right? ;) so as I was close I decided to go see the column where the Bastille used to be.

I attempted some fine dining, but all tables were booked (a bit funny though because most were empty when I showed up. I ended up eating in a mediocre restaurant with a nice view of notre dame. The lady next to me sent back her starter and her main dish...clearly expecting a much finer dining experience. Her French onion soup was too cheesy and I over heard her say she knew it wasn't right because the waiter smirked at it!?! It looked pretty normal to me . Oh well, off to bed!