Friday, October 23, 2009

Hmm... so its been a while... lets see
On thurs oct 15th I walked from chatelet les halles subway station (which doubles as a mall) and outside there was a nice promenade area to walk around... then i walked over to church st-eustache, scooted past the bourse de commerce (i think the french stock exchange?), to the palais royal, with its famous cour d'honneur, which of course was under construction so i couldn't really get to see it. but the garden behind the cour was beautiful, with fountains and benches and flowers and trees. I then made my way to the Louvre. the Louvre looks the coolest from behind the arc de triomphe du carrousel, which is this adorable "little" arche of pink marble built by napolean before the grand arc de triomphe. I then walked through the jardin du carrousel past beautiful ancient and modern statues and ponds and fountains and plants. At one pond, you could rent little sail boats to play with, and it was so picturesque to watch children with these little sail boats. Then the jardin becomes the famous jardin de tuileries. Again, more beautiful statues and ponds and trees... i passed the jeau de paume (once a tennis court, then an impressionist museum, and now a temporary gallery- right now they are playing a french film there) and the orangerie (built by napoleon III, it now has monets water lily paintings... ill have to go inside one of these days!) next i walked to the beautiful place de la concord where you can see on the one side the arc de triomphe, and on the other the louvre. so beautiful! and all in one day!!!
Friday's event was the salon du chocolate, which was cool, but a little pricey since it was 12euro to get in. I also hadnt had the chance to eat lunch before, so i felt a little nauseuous after all that chocolate! but there were so many free samples, and these cool clothes made of chocolate and chocolate statues and shows and demonstrations and things... i went with a few friends... something like that would be more fun to do alone i think...
Saturday was girl scouts. today was fundraising day. so we walked around with these adorable 8 year olds selling postcards and calanders. hilarious! (a little chilly and tiring though... but i got to practice my french!!!)
Sunday I went to Giverny (known for being where monets home and garden were). My friend emily and i went. you take the train to a town called vernon, and usually you take a shuttle, but we wanted to use the bathroom in a restaurant, so we got a coffee, and missed the bus. thank god. because that made us walk. and it was the most beautiful walk ever. 3miles. so nice. the town still had homes from the middle ages. a beautiful river and bridge. a castel from the 1600s to protect a brige which barely remained. all that remained was a house on 2 pillars. so cool. then there was just farmland and a nice path that was a little off the road for walkers and bikers. giverny was gorgeous as well. the plants were amazing in monets garden. we saw the famous lily pond. we also went inside his home, with really cool japanese art from the 1800s. we walked around the town, but now it was about 4 or 5. there a great museum of american impressionism at giverny, but we didnt have time. so we wandered the town and found a free museum of what i think were very old engines (something mechanical lol) and a free "museum" of sandsculpture that was really cool (not really a museum- just someones big frontyard with this cool stuff). We sat and split a bottle of red wine, on a hill overlooking the valley. amazing. then we walked back, arrived just in time for the sunset, had dinner and took the train hom. by far my best day here so far!
monday i started work. Not very glamorous
tues i foudn a free french tour guide so i went with my friend emily again. but her french is not so good, and shes not really a history buff like me, so she didnt really enjoy it. it was also freezing cold that day...
wed i went to see the play Julius ceasar. it had french subtitles, but was in english. i met up with a french girl who was also looking for the theater, and so i sat next to her and hung out with her and her class (she was there with her theater class) during intermission, and left with her (good thing- she knew there was a bus i didnt know about, and it took us to the bastille which was easier to get a train from. The play itself was really avant garde, and i dont know how i feel about it. it was also 3-4hours long, so it didnt get out til 12:30 (was supposed to start at 8:30, though i think it didnt start til 9). that's a little long for me. most of this girl's class left at intermission. im really glad i stayed though. it was a cool experience. after, stephanie and i took the bus to bastille and then hopped on the metro. I knew my friends had gone out that night to bastille, but i couldnt get in touch with them, so i figured theyd gone home. suddenly on the subway i hear someone go "kristen?!" it was all my friends who had gone out! what are the odds of not seeing e/o on the platform but still getting on the same car and the same train??!! so when i had to separate from stephanie, i got to keep my company, which was nice. i should have asked stephanie if she ever wanted to hang out again i guess, but i was too embarrassed b/c she didnt really ask me... so i was like "uhh... it was really nice meeting you and everything..." awkwardly waited, and when she didnt say anything i was like "byee!" haha so dumb...
i also had my first real lectures this week. I'm taking "modern myth and thought" and "geography of france" i really like them, and i understand, so thats good.
tonight im going to see the play l'avarice by Moliere and tomorrow i leave for nice and come back monday morning. it'll be quite a whirl wind trip!!! :D