Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dinan, Notre Dame & Cluny

Sorry again for the lateness of this post, I'm still playing catch up! So after a yummy breakfast at our hotel in Saint Malo we heading back out on the road and stopped by a small town called Dinan. It was really amazing to just walk around and take it all in. It was still very early in the morning so nothing was really open but we did have a very yummy treat on our way out that Monsieur Sprenger grabbed at a local bakery that happened to be open and have enough for us all (well at least enough for us all to have half of one)! :) I am terrible and can't remember what it is called but when I remember I will be sure to post all about it, basically it was buttery and delicious....enough said.

Then we had a pretty long bus ride to get back to Paris and then meet our host families. There was definitely some sleeping as well as some games, which is always fun in a bus of mostly all girls. Since our family lives technically in Paris (Boulogne to be exact) we had to take a taxi to get to there house, and those who lived farther out in the suburbs had their families waiting to pick them up. I was definitely a little bit nervous but the taxi ride went fine and we found our home without too much confusion. It was definitely a shock to be in an environment that is so unlike normal for me but exhilarating at the same time. Savannah and I both have our own room but we both just decided to sleep in her room because she has the big bed, with a giant blanket with the American flag on it, #america! Dinner was so different from what I am used to in the states and I really like it. For the first course it was a plate of sliced tomatoes and avocados; which usually aren't my style but I gave it a valiant effort. Then came the main course, the cheese course, and then desert. Dinner takes a lot longer because each course is served separately but it gives a good amount of time to talk and discuss various subjects.

On Thursday we started our classes which are held in the LDS institute building in Paris, its in an interesting neighborhood right nearby Centre Georges Pompidou apparently known to be a very colorful neighborhood complete with a bakery called "Gay Choc" with baguettes shaped like various body parts. I'm in three classes: a conversation class, Francophone culture and French Civilization. So I feel like I'm going to be using the word different a million and a one times in these blog posts but class was so different than it is back home at BYU campus. Everything here is much more intertwined which I think really helps to understand the material when it all relates to each other. Then we were on our way to Notre Dame....just like any other after school activity ;) Our program directors Madame and Monsieur Sprenger are the best and they always have good tips and tricks for our various excursions. I'm never much of a believer in cutting lines but in this case it was definitely warranted (the line was crazy) so we just kinda melded into the front of the line and were told to say "Je vais prier" if anyone stopped us, supper stealth! :) The grandeur of it is amazing and after learning more about the gothic architecture in one of my humanities classes last semester I appreciated it so much more than the first time I saw it.

My friend Rachel and I in front of the Museum

Our next stop was the Cluny Museum, which I had never heard of before, but really enjoyed! It was a totally manageable size and had a lot of interesting medieval artifacts, my favorite were the statues that were separated from their heads. They said it was because the people at the time thought the statues were of Kings so they wanted to destroy them but it turned out they were just of religious figures. There were also some tapestries and jewelry from the time, including an amazing golden rose. They date back to the 11th century, and only three have survived. The tradition was that every year the Pope would give one to someone of religious importance that he wanted to celebrate.


Emma Karen said...

"je vais prier!" I laughed out loud when I read that! LOVE. I'll keep that one in mind. ;)

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