Venezia… land of the never ending puddles

Our adventures in Italy started out with a bang.  Our train was supposed to leave around 11:15 ish, so we had called a cab to come take us to the train station at 10:30.  Calling cabs in France is a bit of guesswork, since you have to talk to the people in French and they will sometimes talk back to you rapid fire, but we hadn’t had any problems before.  That night, the cab never came.  So we called another one.  Then we waited.  And waited.  Freaked out a bit.  And then waited some more before the cabs finally came.  We made it to the train station with 20 minutes to spare and made our way on the train to our room of couchettes (a little room with 6 beds in it to sleep in for overnight trains).  When we got to our room, there were all of these people in it!  We compared train tickets and sure enough we were all assigned to that room.  That’s when we realized… the nice train lady had given us tickets for the train the next night.

So we freaked out again.  Then we talked to one of the train workers who was really nice.  We explained our dilemma and he told us he would try to find us a room.  Luckily he found us a place, so our fall break plans were not completely disrupted.  When we woke up the next morning we were in Germany.  Shortly after we arrived (delayed of course) in Germany.  We waited for our next train and then took a 6 hour train to Venice.  When we got out it was raining, like it is supposed to for the entirety of our trip.  We took a boat bus (!!!) down the main canal to where our hostel was.  We checked in, and then went out for dinner.

We wandered off of the beaten path and ended up in an alley way that had authentic Venetian food… not that tourist shenanigans.  We ordered an array of different meats and pastas and shared family style.  The food was delicious!!  Black pasta is delicious.  I highly recommend it.  I can already tell that eating good food in Italy is not going to be a problem.  Afterwards, we wandered back to our hostels and turned in for the evening.  A full days worth of traveling can be quite exhausting.

The next morning when we woke up we found ourselves surrounded completely with water.  It had rained enough during the night that the canals had flooded and we had close to 8 inches of water blocking all of our exits from the hostel.  Lovely.  Good thing I had just bought some super awesome rain boots!  The same cannot be said for the boys.  Forrest took his shoes off, Jason was able to make it through most puddles in his duck boots, and I carried Charlie on my back.  People were taking pictures of us because we looked so goofy!  We were able to find a place that was selling rain boots/yellow plastic sacks that acted like rain boots after a bit, so the guys invested and we went on our way wading through Venice to go see the main square.

It was really quite bizarre because most of the stores were trying to pump water out, but some had just given up completely and were operating with 6 inches of water just chilling there.  It felt like we should have been evacuated, but apparently that is just business as usual in Venice.  It was certainly quite the experience.  After a bit of sight-seeing, we headed to the train station and took a train to Florence… where we are now!  I can’t decide if I want fall break to be as eventful as the past few days or not.  Goodness knows I’m already exhausted.  Ciao for now!  Pictures will come at the end of the break.

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Paris and Amsterdam!

First off, sorry I’ve been so terrible about updating my blog.  I’ll try to get my life together a bit better so I can update it more regularly.  Second, I’m last-minute writing this a few hours before I hop on an overnight train to Italy where I’ll be for the next 10 days… so this probably won’t be my most eloquent post haha.

Two weekends ago I went to Paris!! Finally, I know.  Unfortunately I had to take care of some administrative stuff here on Friday (I’m an official citizen of the city of Metz now!!), so I was only able to go for one night.  Paris was exactly what I thought it would be.  It pretty much fits into every stereotype that people have of it, which is great!  First we went to the Louvre.  It was.. alright.  The best part of it were the ceilings and the decorations of the room.  The Mona Lisa is also not too exciting.  Some of the other paintings were incredible though!  The sheer size of them had us all wondering how in the world someone could even paint them.

Of course we had to go see the Eiffel tower, and it was beautiful.  It was also a lot bigger than I thought it would be, which made it hard to take pictures.  My life is hard, I know.  Also, CREPES.  Holy moly are those things delicious here!  I swear I’m going to be about 20 lbs heavier for the plane ride home.  The next day we went to Versailles.  Unfortunately it was super crowded, but I saw enough of it to decide that it’s going to be my future summer home.  Historical landmark or not, I think I deserve it.

This past weekend I went to Amsterdam, where we also only stayed for one night.  Amsterdam is just a really chill city.  There’s some stuff to do, places to see, but it’s one of those cities where you could just meander around the canals and enjoy the scenery.  We went to this ridiculous museum called “Museum Electric LadyLand”.  Just wait until you see the pictures.  The “museum”, if you can even call it that, was in this random, hole in the wall shop where you went into the basement and got to walk through this fluorescent cave like thingy.  Like I said, you have to look at the pictures.  Also, the guy who was showing us around really reminded me of the old guy from That 70’s Show.  It was great.

Later that night, we just kind of wandered around.  There was a lot going on so it was a lot of fun.  The next morning we got up and went to the market!  I’ve really become a big fan of the markets here.  I bought some wool socks and my friend Tara almost bought this great tacky Christmas sweater vest thing.  The market was huge, and they literally had EVERYTHING.  After that we headed home, very exhausted.

As promised, here are all of my pictures!!  Oktoberfest, Ireland, Paris, and Amsterdam

PS… shout out to the Weyerhaeuser people who made the dirndl possible!!  It definitely took Oktoberfest to a whole other level

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Well that was a lot of beer…

First off, let me apologize for the absence of a post last week and the delay in my post this week.  It’s slightly annoying when you actually have to study during a study abroad, but a few tests in one week tends to do that to you.  I’m also posting this from a friend’s computer because mine has conveniently decided to die.  Lovely.  Unfortunately, I don’t have access to my pictures to upload them to the internet at the moment, but I’ll make sure and put the links in a new post as soon as possible :).

Two weekends ago I went to Oktoberfest.  Holy moly was it insane.  The beer halls were huge!  There was a total of about 15 beer halls and each one could hold over 8,000 people.  They were all packed.  People walked around in their dirndls and lederhosen just enjoying the day and being friendly with everyone… it was great!  I caved and bought a dirndl (betcha wish I had pictures now :P) which I think just added to the experience.  Plus, two other friends of mine here have borrowed it when they went to Oktoberfest.

Now, you may have heard a rumor that Oktoberfest has a ton of beer.  That would be completely accurate.  When you order a beer at Oktoberfest it comes in one size…. HUGE.  1 liter to be exact, but those mugs were ginormous!  A lot of us ended up with small bruises on our hands from where the mugs had been resting all day.  Woe is us…

This past weekend I went to Ireland, which is also notorious for its beer.  Also true, but not in the capacity of Oktoberfest.  Let me preface Ireland by stating that I absolutely LOVE that country and if the opportunity ever arises for me to visit again or spend a longer amount of time there I will take it.  The people were friendly, the food was delicious, the pubs had great atmosphere, and good music was always playing.

Unlike a lot of other countries I have gone to, Ireland didn’t give me the impression of being very touristy.  We went and saw the sights, but the Irish culture is what made it distinct.  That being said, some of the tourist sites were absolutely awesome.  The Guinness factory was great!  I learned all about how beer is made, how to officially taste it, how advertising was used, plus all kinds of other things.  Another really cool thing we saw was a rare book collection that was on display.  I saw pieces of Paul’s original letters to different cities and parts of the original gospels!  We also went and saw the Book of Kells which is an incredibly old and ornate version of the four gospels.  Dublin was teeming with history, but in a way that was unique and warm.

After spending a couple of days, we headed to the West coast of Ireland.  We had been advised to go to Galway, and I sure was happy we did!  Galway was definitely off the beaten path for most tourists, so it felt more authentic.  A friend who is from Ireland met up with us in Galway and took us to the next town over (Salthill) to a microbrewery where the most epic game of Jenga took place.  It was seriously an engineering wonder that thing stood up as long as it did.

The next day we were sadly all getting ready to depart.  Rather than traveling with the same large group of guys, I met up with two other girls who are studying abroad in other countries.  But, before one of the girls and I left, we stopped and got donuts from a guy who was making them fresh on the side of the road.  I have never teared up from food being so delicious until then.  To quote my friend Kelsey Tarzia, “I have teared up from happiness a few times in my life…. and this is one of them.”  Seriously the best things ever.  So, we went back and told him that he made the best donuts in the world.  His response:  “Well judging by your accents you gals might be experts!”  And yes, I did just write an entire paragraph about donuts… I see no problems with that.

Ireland… seriously amazing.  This is a place that I have to go back to at some point.  Easily my favorite country and it’s definitely going to be hard to beat!  Hopefully my computer will be fixed soon and I’ll be able to put up pictures with next weeks post.  So, instead of pictures I’ll post a link to a fun song here.  Au revoir!

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LCC Trip 2

This past weekend was our second trip for our LCC course.  It was a pretty heavy weekend with a concentration camp and one of the largest American WWII cemeteries on  the agenda, but we also got to go see a castle and some of the old fort systems left over in France from WWII, so the weekend wasn’t completely depressing.

Saturday morning we got up early and went to Natzweiler-Struthof, a concentration camp located close to the French border in a mountainous region.  The total number of prisoners was well over 50,000 which is a huge number considering how small the camp is.  The realization of how short a time the prisoners probably stayed in the camp to achieve these numbers really hit home.  Barbed wire surrounded the camp and would have been electrically charged during the time the camp was in operation.  The quarters were cramped with some of the smallest “rooms” probably only reaching 8 square feet of space.  A child wouldn’t have even been able to stand up in one.  The systematic ways of killing people was so disturbing, it’s difficult to think about even now.  I’ve posted pictures of the rooms as well as the description of their functions, but it’s not really something I want to talk about.

Later that afternoon we went to Koenigsbourg Castle which was even closer to the border of Germany.  If you stood at the top and looked out, you were actually looking at Germany.  The castle itself was not very large but was more of a “political statement,” as we were reminded multiple times by our tour guide.  The original castle had been burned early in the century, but it was redone to look like it would have looked in the middle ages.  The woodwork and the wall paintings were probably my favorite parts.  Most of the time it seems like all that is left are ruins and although some parts of the castle were not historically accurate, it was really cool to be able to get a feel for how magnificent it would have been when it was functional.

The next day we started out at the Maginot Line.  The Maginot Line is a series of underground defensive forts that were networked together to try to slow down the advance of a German attack long enough for help to arrive.  The amount of thought that went into the creation of the Maginot line was amazing.  Of course, the only time it was used was by the Germans, but oh well.  It’s the thought that counts, right?  There were miles and miles of underground catacombs that took to you to where the ammunition was stored, the kitchen, the air purification units, the fighting blocks, and so on.  The terrible thing about it was how cold it was.  I was not dressed warmly enough in the slightest.  But, once you can’t feel your toes anymore you just kind of get used to it.

Last we went to an American WWII cemetery.  It was beautiful.  Definitely something that I was proud to say was American.  It was also technically American soil, so it was like a little piece of home.  While this cemetery is one of the largest in France, it is still only one of many cemeteries of comparable size… and it was huge.  When people throw out numbers of casualties, you always kind of say “wow, that’s a lot” and that’s that.  Well, when you go to a cemetery like this and actually see how many graves are there and then realize that’s only a fraction, you begin to realize what “a lot” actually is and how many people gave their lives for our freedom.  Definitely an overwhelming experience and one I will not forget anytime soon.

While this past weekend was slightly depressing, it definitely was thought-provoking.  Here I am, messing around in Europe having a great old-time somewhat unconsciously glancing over the darker side of European history.  We all love the beautiful parts and the parts that make us proud of humanity, but this weekend helped me to remember that it’s the darker times that truly need to be remembered and learned from so that humanity can move forward.

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“Wait, so is Monaco a country?”

In order to shake things up a bit (ok, more like a lot), our group headed south to Nice, France.  I started the weekend out with a bang by setting my alarm clock incorrectly and getting woken up 5 minutes before the cab was going to take us to the train station by someone banging on my door.  Somehow I managed to grab everything and get changed in those 5 minutes while only forgetting my face lotion.  I might have super powers.

When we arrived in Nice, the temperature was at least 15 degrees warmer and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Lush, green mountains surrounded the city on 3 sides and the darkest blue ocean water was on another side.  To make things even better, our hostel was an older european-looking building that had recently been converted into a hostel.  It was the nicest hostel we have stayed in so far.  We immediately put our stuff down and set out to go find “Old Nice,” the older more central part of the city.  We walked down to the ocean so we could look at the scenery some and as we walked further and further down the coast, the more we realized we didn’t really know where Old Nice was.  Well, we saw a rather large and steep hill so of course we decided that Old Nice had to be at the very top.  It wasn’t.  But of course we didn’t realize that until after we had spent about 20 minutes straight of climbing hills.  Instead we had somehow made it into the very wealthy part of town with gorgeous flats and houses, so I suppose it wasn’t all for nothing.  Eventually we found Old Nice and ate dinner in a small Italian restaurant.

The next day, we all wanted to go to the beach.  Well, the beaches in Nice are rocky.  Like super painful to walk rocky.  So instead we took a train to Cannes where rumor was there was actually sand.  The sand was a little dusty, definitely not what I’m used to back home, but at least it was soft and comfortable to walk/sit on.  The water was COLD.  I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I only made it up to mid-thigh before quickly vacating the water. But, the weather was nice and it was good to be able to actually sit and relax instead of frantically power-walking through cities or, ya know, climbing the tallest mountain in Europe.

We left pretty early so that we could all get back to our hostel and clean up because that night we were headed to none other than the Monte-Carlo Casino in Monaco (yes, the one that’s in the James Bond movie).  So we got dressed up all fancy like, ate dinner, and headed over to Monaco.  Unfortunately you can’t take any picture once you go inside of the Casino because the ceilings and the walls were probably the most gorgeous things I have ever seen.  Most everyone was dressed in nice clothes and it was almost like walking into a movie.  I exchanged some money for some chips and played black jack for a little bit just so I could say “I played black jack at the Monte-Carlo straight up James Bond style.”  Definitely worth it.

The next day we hiked back up a trail in Nice to see the waterfall (if you can call it that because it was man-made) and see some gorgeous views of the city.  After that we just relaxed on the beach until our train at 7 pm.  We took an overnight train and didn’t get back until 8:30 am the next day.  Super rough.  Next time I’m investing a few extra euros so I can get the little bed because those seats just weren’t cutting it.  The overnight train was definitely worth the extra day we were able to spend on the beach, but it was definitely a good thing that I had invested in a coffee maker at the beginning of the semester :).

It’s weird to think that it’s already been a month since I’ve gotten here.  Time has flown by, but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here for so much longer because of all of the traveling we’ve been doing.  Well, I suppose that’s how it goes… I have to fit it all in while I can!

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The Hills Are Alive…

… with the sound of 8 Duke students romping around.  But actually.

This past weekend our group split with some of us going to Switzerland to see the Alps and some of us going to Paris.  I went to Switzerland and it was absolutely amazing!!  Our train left at 6:30 am to take us to Zürich, so we were up super early.  Especially since the busses don’t run that early and we are too cheap to pay for a cab… so we left our apartments around 5:30 am to hike all the way down to the train station.  Gotta burn off all that cheese, ya know.  A few hours later we arrived in Zürich.  The city is located on Lake Zürich (inventive name) which is in a valley.  So looking around there is beautiful architecture but there is also incredible scenery.  We walked down to a main part of town and rented a paddle boat for an hour.  Unfortunately paddle boating is a little slow so we weren’t able to catch any swans, but we were able to go see some really pretty areas of town and paddle up to a really large fountain.

The atmosphere in Zürich was great.  It seemed like half of the city was out relaxing by the lake and enjoying the nice weather.  We walked through a park and made our way to some docks where a lot of people were relaxing and laying out in the sun.  Of course we all had to join and we immediately all fell asleep.  Travel is exhausting.  By the time we woke up we had to walk very quickly to catch our train.  We managed to catch it and then made our journey to Grindelwald.  By the time we made it to Grindelwald it was dark out and none of us had the foresight to figure out exactly where our hostel was located.  We couldn’t even remember the name.  Oops.  Luckily, Grindelwald is a very small town and there were signs pointing us toward the only youth hostel in town.  We hiked down some very steep hills for quite some time (maybe a mile or so) before we finally got there.

The next morning when I woke up, I was finally able to see our surroundings.  The mountains were beautiful!  Some were even still snow-capped!  There was a beautifully colored creek that ran right by our hostel too.  I really felt like I had stepped out of reality and into a fairy tale.  We all got up and ready early so we could begin our 8 hour hike (yikes!).  We started in Grindelwald and started hiking up the tallest mountain in all of Europe.  At the start, the scenery was all green.  We were surrounded by trees and flowers… it was absolutely beautiful.  As we kept going though, we went above the tree line and all that was left was rock, some grass, and moss.  The temperature dropped really quickly too when we were in the shade.  But, we kept going… mostly because that was really our only option at that point and the view was too good to pass up.  We made it up high enough that we even encountered a patch of snow!!  I was about to turn into an ice-cube at points, my legs were screaming in pain at the end, and there were multiple times that I thought I was going to fall off of cliff that was supposedly “our trail,” but I would do it all over again.  Our hike ended about 4 or 5 towns over and after climbing up (and eventually back down) over 1500 vertical meters and a total of 12-15 miles, we were ready to take a train back to Grindelwald.

The next morning we got up and went to a small town called Brienz, which is located on Lake Brienz (I think there is a theme here..).  Brienz is the woodworking capital of Europe and some of the wood carvings were extraordinary.  The detail that was put into them made them come to life.  However, the real feature of the town was the lake.  The lake is a beautiful aqua color that made it seems as though the Swiss had put massive amounts of food die in it.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t, but I’m not ruling anything out.  There were tons of mountains all around the city and waterfalls coming down from almost all of them.  We didn’t spend long there because we were all so exhausted, so it was time to head home to France.

Switzerland gets a huge thumbs-up from me.  Sure it made me use muscles I didn’t even know existed in my legs, but I would love to go back and hike another mountain… I just need a month to recover from the last mountain I climbed.

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LCC Weekend 1

One of the classes I’m taking this semester abroad is super awesome because we learn about the history of the region by visiting places.  Super hands-on, which I am definitely a fan of.  Also, our professor isn’t interested in us learning dates and names.  Instead our trips are designed to show us the different lifestyles that different cultures and groups of people had a given points in history.  Definitely a very cool course.

This weekend was our first trip and it definitely lived up to my expectations.  Friday we stayed pretty local.  We first went to a small town right next to Metz called Scy-Chazelles.  This is where a man named Robert Schuman took up residence for the later part of his life.  Now, I had no idea who this guy was but it turns out he was pretty important.  He is the father of Europe.  After all of the wars it was his idea to unite Europe into a single entity.  Pretty cool in my opinion… especially because most of these countries had been busy trying to blow each other up less than 5 years before he made it happen.  After that we went to the Cathedral in Metz.  It has so much stained glass!!  What is interesting is that a lot of the stained glass was lost during the wars.  So to fill the windows, different artists designed stained glass windows that resembled the modern, abstract, and even cubism art styles.  More of a mix of the old and new.  Then we went to a local museum and an old abbey that has been turned into a local music venue.  We were told about how Metz used to be a very large city in the Roman empire and there are still Roman walls scattered throughout the city.  Who knew?!

The next day was definitely my favorite.  We went to a city in Germany called Trier.  Trier is a very old city and it has a lot of Roman influences still.  The emperor Constantine actually lived in Trier for years before eventually establishing Constantinople!  We were able to see the old amphitheater which was actually being used that weekend for faux-gladiator fights.  Basically half of a hill was relocated so that the amphitheater could sit down in the ground.  No big deal.  Then we went to the palace hall.  It was huge!!  It was also really cool because two of the walls were the walls that the Romans had built.  And this wasn’t a ruin either; it was a fully functional Protestant church with Roman walls.  Last we went to the Porte Negra, which used to be the gate to the city back when the Romans were there.  After that we had some free time to go get some food (YUM) and walk around some.  We stumbled on a guy wearing a cowboy hat singing “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”  Europe never ceases to amaze me.

Today we stayed local and went to the art museum.  We had to provide our own transportation, so we biked.  We tried out a new way to get to the city so that we could avoid all of the scary construction.  It was great on the way there because it was all downhill!!  It was a little scary at times though because my bike was not made for speeds greater than about 7 mph (it’s pretty terrible), but I somehow managed to survive.  The ride back was exhausting… I might be sore tomorrow but I deserve it.  I’ve been eating too much cheese anyways.  The museum was really cool though.  The exhibit we saw was all art from 1917, during WWI.  It was interesting to see how the war had changed so many people and how it had such an effect on artists.  My favorite was probably a collection of artillery shells that had been carved and hammered out to make beautiful vases.  It was the only art that showed anything beautiful coming from the war.

Other than that it’s just been the same old thing.  The boys are still doing p90x and I still refuse to join.  Laundry is more of a pain than ever because I forgot a laundry bag… a trash bag just doesn’t work as well.  Last night about 8 of us huddled around a little computer screen so that we could all watch American Psycho together… great bonding time.  Planning for the next few weekends has already begun and I can’t wait for more adventures!!!

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“Turn right by the building with the flags…”

After a week of Metz under our belts, pretty much all of the GTL crowd was ready to make a big weekend trip.  I decided to tag along with some friends who were planning on going to Brussels and Brugge, Belgium.  So, at 8:00 Friday morning a large horde of bright-eyed American college kids waited for the bus.  And we waited…. and then we waited some more.  Our train was due to leave at 9:00 and the city bus was conveniently 30 minutes late (and it’s about a 25 minute bus ride to the train station).  So, we missed out train.  The group who didn’t have to activate their Eurail passes was able to catch a train that left about 10 minutes later, but a large group of us had to wait another hour for the next train.

When we finally got to Brussels, we called the other group to figure out where they were. Turns out the hostel where we were planning on staying was really far away from the city center.  Not a huge deal, they just went to a new one.  Getting there is super simple, they said.  Just turn right when you see the super modern looking building with lots of flags and then follow the train tracks until they end.  Then go to the cathedral and the hostel is right there.  There are at least 6 cathedrals in Brussels…. but we somehow made it there and then we went exploring.

Brussels is huge.  There is stuff everywhere!!  The first thing we did was get some french fries (apparently Brussels is known for them).  Holy moly, they were so delicious!!  Brussels is also known for its chocolate, waffles, and mussels so we got those too.  We really ate a lot.  Brussels is one of those cities that still has the really old architecture and the cobble stone roads in some places and then there is a skyscraper right down the street.  It’s really incredible to be able to see how the modern world has inserted itself into this really old culture.

The next day we took a train to Brugge.  Brugge is a very small and old town that is geared toward tourists.  There are horse and buggy tours, walking tours, boat tours… etc.  You name it, and they have a tour for it.  We took the boat tour and it was amazing!  Brugge has multiple canals running though the city so you can basically see a large portion of the city from a boat.  I’m in love with how many window boxes I was able to see.  We also went to a flea market that they have towards the middle of the city every day, a lace shop, a few chocolate shops, and a cafe.  Truly just a great day of wandering through the city and trying all kinds of things out.  That evening we headed back to Brussels for one more night out before heading back to Metz.

We’re clearly still trying to figure this whole traveling thing out.  A lot of us aren’t used to actually having to make the plans, so sometimes things are a little interesting.  All of my pictures from Belgium can be found here, but be warned… there are a ton of them.  Au revoir for now!!

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“Yo, smell my cheese”

France is pretty well-known for its wine, baguettes, and cheese.  Well let me tell you… I can get a wheel of good cheese (roughly 4 in diameter), a meter long baguette, and a bottle of wine for a total under 5 euros.  It’s also all delicious (I’m eating a baguette and camembert right now).  As soon as someone buys cheese, they immediately get everyone to “smell how weird it is”.  About 5 minutes later the same person will be walking down the hallway raving about how delicious it is.

This week is the Festival of Plums in Metz and this morning I braved the market sale in the center of the city.  It was absolute craziness!  Street upon street was filled with vendors selling clothes, shoes, purses, hookahs, and even garlic.  Yes, there was a stand with just garlic.

We’ve finally figured our way around the city pretty well.  I attribute a lot of that to the time I was lost with two other Duke students for roughly 2 hours.  We took a wrong turn on the way into the city and almost made it to the next city over.  It was also the hottest day Metz had pretty much ever seen.  We did happen to find the FC Metz soccer stadium on our mini adventure, so I guess we’ll have to go see a game now.  Now we have rented bikes for the semester and will be using those to get around locally.  We’re already so European.

Yesterday was my first day of classes and as far as I can tell they are going to be pretty good.  The professors seem pretty relaxed and the material actually sounds interesting.  My French teacher is probably my favorite.  She’s a little crazy.  When she shows us how to pronounce sounds she has no shame.  I have never seen a human make some of the faces she has made.  But it’s ok because she’s awesome.  Also, when I whipped out my pack of different color pens and started color coding my notes for Thermo (yes, I’m very type A) I got some strange looks.  Apparently not very many people do that around here.

Besides that, it’s mostly been random things… I walked out of my room and into the hallway and saw all of the guys doing ab ripper x together.  I had no desire to join so I just continued eating my baguette and cheese.  I’ll probably have to start exercising at some point.  However, if I keep buying so much heavy stuff at the grocery store I may not have to.  It’s about a 15 minute walk to Cora (the best super market on the planet!) and both times I’ve had to take rest stops on the way back.  It’s kind of embarrassing.  Oh… and there is a prison right across from where I live.  No big deal.

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Santé to New Experiences

I’m an organizer.  Just ask my roommate, Carly.  So after such an eventful trip over to Metz, all I wanted to do was get settled in my room.  So after unpacking all of my stuff, it was time to go to Cora and get all of the things I couldn’t pack.

Cora is amazing.  It’s like Wal-Mart except bigger and better organized.  Need a haircut?  Oh, just stop by Cora.  Want a cell phone plan?  Cora has all kinds of options for mobile carriers.  Want some freshly baked baguettes, all kinds of meats, plates, or school supplies?  Well, Cora has all of that too.

I got all kinds of things at Cora.  Item number one, and the most important purchase, was a coffee maker.  Mostly I got food and dishes.  Oh, and a .39€ baguette.  A girls gotta eat.  The one bad thing about Cora is that it’s a 15 minute walk from my dorm.  I’m sure Forrest and I were quite the site walking down the side of the road with about 30 pounds worth of groceries and necessities each.  After stopping for a quick break on a bench by the sidewalk, we made it back.  Then I went on a cleaning and organizing binge.  Here is the final result!!

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