Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Monday, 28 June 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
The app. is on the 2nd floor, (More stairs) and there is a Madame who lives on the third floor who is 94! It must take her all day to go up and down.
I went to the local vendre where I had to be patient, the owner served one person at a time talking to each customer and wrapping each item individually. A lot of old people go to the one little shop for most of their daily goods. I actually felt a little French in there as we all chatted together. I think I am going to enjoy this part of my holiday.
Josh called in on his way to the Gare. He is off to Bordeaux for another 4 week course of French ,and then to South Africa for a 3 month study course for uni. What a life for a 26 year old. Josh and I became great friends and I hope he will visit Australia one day.I certainly will miss him.
Spent the rest of the day just enjoying the apartment.
Bon Nuit,, Ros xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sat morning Francene asked if I would like to join her for Thai Chi in the park. We were there for two hours and even though I struggled with the language it was fun. I bonded with Madame Francene at Thai Chi.
In the afternoon I moved into an apartment which I have rented for 2 weeks. Although I am looking forward to having my own space, I will definitely miss the family and their beautiful home and every thing about them.
In the evening I returned for dinner. It was a special day for Paul (naming day) and also to celebrate Josh and I leaving.
We had a platter of fresh oysters and muscles. They were delicious and if I had known more was to come...we had traditional french salad served with a pastry with 3 pate's and a blood sausage called Boudin Antillais! Afterwards a frozen gateau of chocolate glacee (icecream) with berries.
Josh and I gave Paul and Francene a small gift and we received the traditional three kisses on either side of the cheeks. We all complimented each other and I felt it was very genuine, we were a good mix.
I could hardly walk home to my apartment where I slept like a log!
Bon Nuit Ros xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
33 degrees to day in Montpellier, and I have just spoken to the Girls who are stranded in between Pompei and Rome. Apparently the train broke down. Luckily Sean is with them for the day. He is in Italy for 2 weeks, he won a trip through Uni and after spending a week at a conference he has a week for sight seeing. (Enjoy Sean. xx)
Friday last day at class. The 4 weeks went by quickly. After our goodbyes to the teachers and Lois who is returning to the US. Josh and I caught a train to a town on the Coast called Sete, which is the scene of the famous "joutes nautiques",jousting tournaments! We wandered over some small bridges over the canals and came to a square with a market. We tasted wines from Italy, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. If only I could carry some home.
Afterwards we went to see the lookout which is 175m above sea level. The reason I am telling you this is because we climbed the hill via gardens and streets and ten thousand steps to get there! Any other sane tourist would catch a bus. Josh was very patient and encouraging as I thought I would never make it to the top! Voila! A view from the top was tres bien. We could see the acres and acres of oyster farms in the sea, fishing boats galore, the beaches that surround Sete and the buildings and canals. It was well worth the effort in the heat.
We walked down the other side of the hill(MOUNTAIN) HA! to the beach which was lined with holiday apartments and some very large expensive homes. On the beach we found a bar with umbrellas and lazyboys. After a cold beer I slept in the lazy boy (or died, I am not sure which) whilst Josh swam in the crystal clear water.
Another long walk around the rocky coast back into town where the fishing boats were unloading the catch of the day, the smell of the salt water, the breeze, it tempted us to stop at a restaurant and order a plate of oysters to share and 2 wines. I have to say they were the biggest and best oysters I have ever had....time was not on our side, we were running late for the train and had a long walk to get to the Gare (Stn).
We moved very fast along the canals, over the bridges and thought we would never get to the train. On the canal we saw the jousting boats, each with around fifteen men, heading towards each other with lances trying their best to knock a person off of the dragon style boat. People were sitting along the canals with their wines watching the jousting and if ever one did not want to catch the train it was then.
However....there was only one train so on we went only to arrive at the gare too late! Mon Dieu!
You would not believe it but we looked at the board and our train was ten minutes late! How lucky can one get. When the train arrived it broke down. After a long wait another train was used as there were many people waiting and we arrived back in Montpelller tired, hot and exhausted. Monsieur Paul cook a delicious salmon dinner, it was so hard to concentrate on the conversation.
Bon Nuit xxxxRos
Thursday, 24 June 2010
Another beautiful day in Montpellier,lucky it is as we had tickets for an outing after school today and were unable to go.........yeah yeah.....you guessed it.....another manifestation. Of course the shine has come off now that I am being affected. Never mind we can go another day. I have learnt that there are so many of these manifestations because the government does not look after the workers. France has no retirement scheme and people are really stressed over this. They also loose a days pay by taking part in the manifestation.
I have just heard that Julia Gillard is our new PM! Boy, I am really out of it. I had better do some homework it may be a topic at the dinner table tonight.
We had our last test today at school. AFTERWARDS...... the teacher made us correct our own test in the class!! I have struggled this week. One more day to go.
I did however manage to get my hair cut and coloured yesterday. It was challenging as the girl spoke no English (which was good for me) and I left poor but happy. Richard, please send more money.xx
Last night Francene took me to Musee Fabre where we viewed Houdin's sculptures.I leave the family on Saturday, but because I am staying on in Montpellier I hope to keep in touch with them.
Today I took part in some "serious people watching" and I have come to the conclusion that to be French you have to be capable of the following:
Women, always wear leather shoes, the higher the better. Soft lace skirts, soft flowing scarves, hair a la natural not necessarily combed, very little make up, excellent skin and of course always have a cigarette in hand. Never completely smoke it all. Must be able to walk up hill on cobblestones in high shoes looking natural. MUST BE A SKINNY BITCH.
Men, always wear leather shoes, scarves (not necessarily for warmth), Jackets (often linen) over jeans or any trousers and a carry bag.
All of the above have an aperitif before a meal when in a restaurant, have lots of patients in restaurants when being served. After all they are there for the experience and to look good, not necessarily to eat much.They are able to avoid the eyes of the gypsy beggars who plead for money or food. And any person who drives must be able to manoeuvre a vehicle around small corners on narrow uphill roads full of people. Bike riders must have good brakes as downhill trips can cause some angst as people suddenly appear out of doorways in the narrow roads. Above all, one must like dogs!
Talking about dogs, last night I watched a man with 2 dogs. One was skateboarding! I kid you not!
Ce Tout...love Ros xxxx
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Monday, 21 June 2010
Sunday, 20 June 2010
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Kim and I are hijacking your blog again to let you know what we are doing... Hope that's ok?
It's our last night in Switzerland, heading back to Annecy in France tomorrow before we go to Nice.
Yesterday Kim and I went to a local Swiss chocolate shop and watched a demonstartion on how they make their chocolates, truffles, cakes and Florentines. But best of all there was free tasting! Even better was the fact that only 4 other people were watching this demo, so the samples were very generous! Of course I responded with a big spend afterwards in the botique.... Who can say no to Swiss chocolate?
That night we had a traditional Swiss meal, starting with salad and cheese fondu with rye bread, then a main of a sort of chicken stew and potato rosti.... And just to make sure out arteries clogg properly, chocolate fondu with fruit for dessert!! That was all washed down with some steins of the local beer and glacial water....
Today we headed for a day trip to 'Jungfraubahnen' (pronounced young-frau), known as the top of Europe. We left interlaken on train known as the Harder Klum, taking 'Murren Railway' an amazing, almost vertical train trip that takes you 3571meters up to the mountains through rural picturesque villages, waterfalls, wild deer and amazing wild flowers. A real engineering feat!
A long 2 hour journey and a freezing train ride led us to a fog covered 'top'. Not being able to see the view the place was known for we headed through the ice palace built on top of the mountain, we braved the weather and went outside into the snow, while it was snowing and attempted a snowman, but cloud was so thick we couldn't see our feet! The glacier was closed due to the weather, so we took a further climb to the highest peak, known as the Sphinx. Where we ventured out into a slightly more freezing -7 C!!!
After 2 hours we found it difficult to stay up any longer, altitude headaches (at this height we were getting 1/3rd less oxygen than we're use to) were setting in so we decided to take the train back down to town.
There is a fantastic traditional drumming festival on here tonight, bands are set up with traditional Swiss outfits and plenty of beer amongst the locals has already been consumed well before the festival has started (you can tell by the grown men in the streets with their hands around eachother singing French/Swiss/German songs).
Although they are so close, Switzerland it very different from France, looking foreward to heading eastward!
Hopefully email you again when we get the Internet.
Love Kate and Kim xx
P.S. I've done this on my phone so sorry for mistakes :)
Friday, 18 June 2010
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Saturday we travelled with a group of French students from another school in Montpellier to Aix en Provence, by bus. It was really hot and It’s about here that I must tell you the girls did not want to go as the tour and commentary was only in French! I convinced the girls to go as Aix is known for its specialty of 13 desserts on 1 plate!
Aix was nice, more of the same beautiful Cathedrals, narrow streets, busker’s and lots of sweet shops. Aix en Provence specializes in a French biscuit of an almond/sugar mixture on top of a communion wafer. We also discovered that the plate of 13 desserts is only a specialty served on Christmas Day after midnight! I was not popular!!!!!!!
The French artist 'Paul Cezanne' lived in Aix in the late 1800s, of course the French have an artist of some sort to brag about in each city. But one gets saturated with history after 6 weeks! But we never tire of the markets! They were huge, food, clothing, antiques…great stuff, it’s a pity we can’t carry more home.
It is hard to find a loo in Aix, or for that matter, anywhere in France! After the long bus ride, the information centre told us to go across from the fountain and down the stairs to find a public loo. When we arrived we found an old lady with one tooth and 2 dogs in charge of the toilets…. 50c later, as we walked past men doing their thing at the urinal, we were shown the squat loo’s. Oh yuck. The French may have famous artists but their dunnys leave a lot to be desired! After that experience we crossed our legs for the ride back to Montpellier!
Today, Sunday, after having a dozen oysters fresh from the market for lunch (bargain at 8 Euro) we revisited the Fabre museum to look at the classical furniture collection which was displayed in an elegant old hotel; afterwards we watched the volley ball competitions in the square and had a cold beer and coffee, as the weather (a humid and hot day) changed with a nice cool breeze, we listened to a summer thunder storm and watched the amazing clouds fly over the city!
World Cup fever continues here! Bars, streets and restaurants are full of eager fans cheering and yelling no matter what the outcome!
Last day with the girls tomorrow before they head back to Paris and travel off for 4 weeks through Europe.
Love Ros , Kim and Kate xxx
Friday, 11 June 2010
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOSH PUCKRIDGE!! We hope you have had a great day. We have a candle for your Birthday from a Monastry/Abbey called Saint Lauren built in 1206 in a small village called Saint Guilhem le desert! The things we do for you! xxx
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Bon Jour mon amies,
Monday, 7 June 2010
Bounjour tout le monde,