In the past three weeks I have:
-Spent the weekend in Lyon, an amazing city full of life and color and history. I met up with one of my favorite professors from UT and he gave me an incredible guided tour of the city. Lyon is lovely! It's a large city but doesn't have the hurried/harried feel of Paris. I had quite the adventure, too, when it came to the food there. At one of the many Bouchons Lyonnais (Lyonaise restaurant) I tried one of their specialties: blood sausage! And while it was not quite aesthetically pleasing, it was delicious, surrounded by baked potato and apple pieces. I walked around the whole city for two days, and though my feet were tired, it was one of my most memorable experiences here in France.
-Travelled to Marseille and spent the day at the beach. Oh, the beach. Oh, the Mediterranean Sea! If I envy the French anything, it's their access to beautiful beaches along the Mediterraneanm with its cold blue water and hot hot sun. I spent the day lounging around until I got too hot, then plunged myself in the water until I got too chilly. It was a great day!
-Visited various archeological and architectural sites including le Palais des Papes here in Avignon, le pont St. Benezet (or le pont d'Avignon), various cathedrales including l'Eglise St. Didier, and St. Marie des doms. I went to Nimes with some friends yesterday to spend a relaxing day and we saw the roman amphitheater (where they later had a concert!), the temple of Diana, and la maison carre (which, sadly, was mostly covered up due to revonation work being done). We also visited le jardin de la fontaine which was so incredibly beautiful! The weather was on our side yesterday too, as the Mistral (a strong wind from the north) came to pay us a visit! So we spent a breezy day walking around the quaint, tranquil city of Nimes.
-Bastille Day was on July 14th and I spent it watching fireworks next to the Rhone river with friends. It was beautiful and EVERYONE was there. It was quite a challenge to get back into the city walls after the fireworks because it seemed that the entire population of Avignon was out and about. After the fireworks we found a petite place (square) full of restaurants and treated ourselves to wine and dessert to celebrate France and its Revolution :)
-Last Saturday I went to Arles with the program (the archeology professor and all the rest of the students) and we saw what there was to see around the city: the outdoor market (from which I bought a tasty pizza and giant donut-ish pastry filled with custard...oh yes.), the amphitheater there, and the first cathedrale built in France, called a primatiale.
Apparently I'm not the best blogger, but I hope this petite morceau d'information keeps you filled in on what my life has been like these past few weeks!
The program here in Avignon ended yesterday and today I'm readying myself for two weeks of exciting adventures! I'm off to Florence Italy for two days, and then Munich Germany for two days, and then to top it off, I'll spend eight days in Paris before coming home.
I can't wait to let you know how my travels go!