A Travellerspoint blog

October 2007

Bordeaux avec Lynn et Rachel

First aventure of les vacances de Toussaint

overcast

Had such a great day today.

Yesterday, I really was a big lazy bum. Apart from going to buy lunch and have a gorgeous Indian meal with Lynn (tried my frist Mango Lassy and a spinach and goat's cheese curry...both highly recommended!), I really did not leave my room. Just sat curled up in my duvet in front of Facebook, or watching Spooks on DVD that Dad brought out or reading trashy magasines that mum brought out! I also listened to Matt on Oxide radio and got a shout out which was fun! It was a kinda nice and relaxing day, and good to catch up with friends online, but I didn't realise how sad until I had such a brilliant, busy day today! I am also getting a bit of an addiction to photos! Have uploaded so many since I've been here, but it is a good way for people to see what I'm up to I guess and SUCH a good record of the memories.

Other news; I miss Joe lots!

I need to start a new regime of eating healthier (i.e. proper meals rather than constant snacking!), doing some University work and integrating myself a bit more into the whole Frenchiness of this country now I'm settled!

But, anyway, to my fun day exploring Bordeaux which has left me really happy! Set off at 8am this morning, met Lynn at the train station and headed off to Bordeaux (with Rachel meeting us half-way there at Montpon). We then spent the day exploring, taking photos and eating! We started off by taking a bus tour which was good giving us a better idea of our bearings (I'd really only explored a very small part of the city on my other two visits) and a bit about the history of the city which is basically really wealthy due to its Port-action.

We did some shopping; a lot of the same shops as Perigueux (Pimkie etc), but also a H&M and a Fnac (electronics shop which they also have in America, Lynn was very excited!). Interestingly also a C&A (old school eh?!) where the girls tried on winter hats! It was pretty cold today at times, and even rained a bit...I think winter may be here at last. There was a fun toy shop all decorated up for Christmas which reminded me of when we used to go to Toys R Us in Plymouth to choose what to put on our Christmas lists!

We also went out for a yummy lunch. The first cafe/restaurant we tried was a bit rubbish, they had two dishes of the day, both pasta. We rocked up at 12.30 and they told us one of them had run out so we all ordered the other (as did most of the French people sat around us), 10 minutes later they came and told the three of us that they only had 2 of those meals left! So we tried out our stroppy French and told them we were going elsewhere. Ended up at a slightly more up-market restaurant where I enjoyed a salad with goat's cheese toast and we shared a yummy ice-cream dessert. We have basically been eating all day...we also enjoyed chichis at the Fairground, which are like long doughnuts, and sampled the two local cakes; little flavoured macarons and a bordelaise Canale...neither of which were actually that good! Eurgh I feel like such a big pig tonight!

At the fairground we went on the big wheel...Lynn was slightly freaked out by it, I enjoyed it and Rachel, eyeing up the spinning-you-upside-down-rides, said it was boring and too slow! But, whatever, it gave you nice views of the city...he he...photo opportunity! DSCN3705.jpg
He he I took 101 photo today, Rachel kept moaning but I think we all agree that it's really nice to have the memories.

We went into the cathedral...it was nice but a bit strange because they were doing some more kind of renovation work on the inside so it wasn't exactly peaceful! There was a weird display in there about some nun who they're trying to make into a saint.

We went back to the misty miroir d'eau just as it was getting dark and the pretty lights were coming on which was very atmospheric. There was this funny Asian couple who asked us to take a photo of them and then kept doing different romantic poses and got us to take about 5 or 6 photos in all I think which was funny.

And then we caught the tram back to the station, and the train home (playing Tarot with the celebrity Tarot cards in French Glamour to pass the time!).

I really liked Bordeaux, and I think I'll visit again, but in many ways I'm happy to be in a small town. Definately happy to have found such brilliant friends. Rachel is so settled in Montpon, she went to her neighbours birthday party and she's going to be performing in a Thai Boxing display in December...I'm so impressed. And both her, Lynn and the others have been so kind, thoughtful and fun to have around these last few weeks. Yay!

Halloween tomorrow! My mum left me a little treat :-) ... I wonder if there'll be many children out here?

Rachel and I just realised today that there won't be any 5th of November celebrations here which is kind of sad, but I'm really looking forward to Christmas...I'm such a kid! There are lights up in Perigueux waiting to be turned on and I'm REALLY hoping there's going to be christmas markets and carols and stuff! I'm going to have a little Christmas tea chez moi at some point; Christmas dinner is a no-go what with the whole no oven situation, but the American assistants aren't going home so it would be nice to have some kind of celebration with them, plus they don't have crackers in America! What's with that?! So yeah I'm thinking head to Lidls for some stollen cake, some of those nice gingery biscuits and mulled wine! Also trying to think of the best way to cover Christmas in my last week or so of teaching...I was thinking of making cards and maybe talking about some cultural stuff? not sure.

Posted by LHsugarsugar 13:55 Archived in France Comments (0)

29th October 2007

Start of Toussaint holidays

overcast 13 °C

Had a lovely weekend with mum and dad, nice to show them everything and besides all the stuff they brought me out from home they really treated me while they were here! I got back from my Thursday at work to find them with a big floor cushion and a bread basket for my room, and was lovely to hardly spend a penny for a few days...even though we have been paid! Yay! 600 euros advance for the first month...not bad. Have just paid November's month though so over half of that is gone already.

On Saturday Iwent to their hotel for a big yummy continental breakfast, we did the market and they bought me some new boots. Then we walked along the Voie Verte, which is a 16km long path which follows the river Isle through Perigueux and beyond.

IMG_1773.jpg

Poser?! Moi?!

Was lovely, the trees were autumny but it was nice and sunny and warm. Unlike today...grey, cold and rainy :-( . And went out for a meal in the evening.

On Sunday we had to get the superearly train into Bordeaux again, but this time rather than going into the deserted town as I had done with Joe we walked along the front, which is very smart and looks newly renovated like the trams. They had an awesome 'mirror of water' thing which is difficult to explain, but every 20 minutes or so it vapourised and you could walk through the mist...quite fun.

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We also found a lively market where there was a lady with a music box singing French songs and lines of trestle tables packed with locals say enjoying lunch together.

Rachel kindly invited me back to her place for Sunday evening...she cooked a yummy beef, rice casserole thingy which I must get the recipe for, and we tried watching Harry Potter in French but I was falling asleep so badly I gave up and went to bed at just gone 10pm. We also made our plans for this week, which I'm quite excited about.

This morning I had to come back into Perigueux early, but it was kinda worth it because my landlord has been to fit a nice new shower curtain and the electrician has (hopefully) gotten me some hot water back. Wooo! So it'll be superduper showertime tonight!

Just off to meet Lynn for lunch and talk to her about plans for the week...haven't seen her in a few days so that should be nice.

Posted by LHsugarsugar 02:55 Archived in France Comments (0)

'bons' that I've heard

Bonne journée
Bonne soirée
Bonjour
Bon après-midi
Bonsoir
Bon fin de semaine
Bon week-end
Bonne nuit
Bonne semaine
Bonne leçon
Bon shopping
Bonnes vacances
Bon appétit (every time a teacher walks into the staffroom at lunchtime)
Bon courage
Bon film

And my two particular favourites…

Bonne continuation (when the dessert of our meal was served)

Bon fin de soiree (good rest of the evening…apparently a very trendy thing to say in Paris as it implies you have something very cool that you’re going to spend the rest of your evening doing!)

Posted by LHsugarsugar 02:47 Archived in France Comments (0)

Plans

Plans for this halfterm:

Bordeaux
Toulouse
Bergerac
Sarlat
Brantome
Museum in Perigueux

Limoges? Brive? Agen? Libourne? Are these places worth going to?
St Emillion

Plans for future holidays:

Montpellier, Nice, South-East France

Biarritz/St Rochelle, coast of the South West

Paris, visiting another big city on the way up? Disneyland?

Barcelona?

Caves, Castles and Vineyards in this area

Posted by LHsugarsugar 02:42 Archived in France Comments (0)

Busy busy bee

sunny 13 °C

Have been tres busy, and rubbish at updating/keeping in touch with people etc this week.

Parents are here which is cool, they brought over all the bits I wanted and lots of little treats as well, and cool to show them Perigueux (going to try and follow the long walk along the river tomorrow which should be nice). The one small mishap was that they arrived, the suitcase with my tablecloth, sleeping bag, fajita seasoning, books etc arrived, but the suitcase with their clothes, toiletries and underwear Flybe decided to leave at Bristol!

School has been better this end of the week....4 words...THANK GOD FOR BINGO! Has totally saved me; suddenly the children have a reason to keep quiet and pay attention. In between lessons I have been busy being supernice to the teachers and trying to rearrange lessons. Some of them were really nice, others were not sooo happy with me but all (just about agreed) so I have been able to get the 16th and 19th November off to go home for Alex's birthday, and the 21st December off to fly home for Christmas. I have rearranged all the lessons though (rather than just not showing up) so I don't think they have any reason to sack me/not pay me. Not sure I should be going home for Alex's birthday...money-wise, French-wise, teaching-wise I know that it makes more sense to stay, but ah well the flight is booked now and it will be the best way to see Joe too. And it IS my baby brother's 18th. And yeah there you go.

Went out for lunch with the teacher's today for the end of term, which was nice. Cool to try and do a bit more French small talk (such as when someone commented on me squiting and I said "yeah my eye has...shiticantexplainthisinFrench err...its not normal!), and food was yuuuuumy.

I have no hot water at the moment.

Google analytics is fun.

We may have seen a beaver today.

On Sunday I'm going to do my last ferrying-people-to-Bordeaux trip for a while and then go and stay the night with Rachel at Montpon. Next week I shall update properly about our adventures around South-West France! I want to make it to a cemetry on Thursday...may sound odd but I've heard that they really go in for All Saint's Day here.

Off to bed...small children, my parents and teachers make for very tiring life.

Posted by LHsugarsugar 13:11 Archived in France Comments (0)

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