08 May 2008

A few photos and a few words

So Far:

- went to buy train tickets
- walked around downtown a little and dropped Kristen off at the castle
- went to take my didactics exam: it went wonderfully, I think! I feel confident about 80-90% of the short answer section, and quite confident about my short essays too.
- went grocery shopping
- I went to choir (we were recording our semester's repertoire) and Kristen journaled
- awesome dinner (steak, brie filled artichokes, lots of fresh veggies with some sort of cheese dip we bought)
- watched a movie

- made crêpes for breakfast
- set off to the Cointreau distillery (Cointreau is made in a suburb of Angers), but couldn't take a tour because you apparently have to reserve.
- went shopping downtown
- ate lunch at a modernish style French restaurant. Kristen got rabbit and a cheese/pineapple dessert, and I got egg rolls and fish with Asian style vegetables. We made a long to-do list for the summer.
- went to my French class, in which we watched a movie.
- went to the movie theater, where we watched a movie: 27 Dresses, which is a really cute romantic comedy. It was dubbed in French.

- disappointing beginning: we had gotten our train tickets to go to Chenonceau, which is an awesome castle. But today is a national holiday, and the Sunday schedules were in use instead of the Saturday/vacation day schedule, so there was no bus when we expected there to be one. So we couldn't go to Chenonceau: and when we went to try to change our tickets, we found out that because of construction, we won't be able to reschedule. We weren't the only people to have this problem: on the way back, I warned an elderly couple waiting with their suitcases at the bus stop.
-fun interlude: so we took the bus toward the Lac de Maine (lake by the river Maine), which is a medium-sized lake with a sort of forest preserve around it. On the way there, we saw a market, so we jumped out of the bus and market-shopped for a while. We both got some handmade soap, canvas African-style purses (which are big in France among our demographic), and some olives. Plus a loaf of bread and kiwis. Fun stuff.
- relaxing middle: we then continued to the lake, where we spread out a sheet and lay around in the sun, eating our picnic lunch and watching a movie on my portable DVD player. It was wonderful to be lazy for a while, and the weather was beautiful.
- surprising end: we decided to wander around a bit, and saw this mini-mountain in the middle of the very flat region. Huge rock with a cross on top? Neat!

So we climbed up the hill to get a closer look. There were several paths, and the ones we chose got us there surprisingly quickly.

The view from the top is wonderful: you can see the lake and forests, and in the not-so-distant distance, the towers of the cathedral and the walls of the castle.

Here are Kristen and I at the top of the hill:

I particularly like plants and rocks, and Kristen particularly likes plants and animals, so between us we have very geeky conversations when we wander around. In Europe, a lot of our "what's that?" questions are open-ended, since there are some different species here. I christened this tree a Serengeti-conifer-bonsai, and Kristen said that it's called a Broccoli Christmas tree.

Those are our adventures so far! More to come... tomorrow is a very busy day.

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