Sunday, 15 December 2013

Year abroad #3

I feel like I haven't updated you guys in ages. It's actually my last weekend in Tours before I go back for Christmas, and I am so excited to go back and see everyone. I'm currently in the middle of my exams, which is quite stressful. At Newcastle, I usually do all of my exams after Christmas, but here, some take place before Christmas and others happen after. I feel really ill prepared for the exams I have now, because I've only had a week to revise really. Although, I only need 50% to pass and I have been writing ERASMUS in large letters next to my name, so the lecturer takes pity on me when marking.

Squidgey and I

Other than revising, I have been on some really fun days out. Towards the end of October/November, my friend and I rented some bikes and went on an adventure. We cycled north of the Loire river, and through some little towns, including Vouvray (famous for its wine), and lots of vinyards. We ended up in the town of Amboise, which is really pretty and has some quite famous chateaux, so it's well worth a look. A couple of weeks later, my boyfriend and I rented some bikes again, but this time we went south and cycled along the river Cher before joining the Loire towards the end and finishing up at Langeais, which is also a really nice town, and also has a chateau. Basically there are chateaux and vineyards everywhere here.

Me in front of Le Chateau de Langeais

A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I spent the weekend in Paris. I've never really been to Paris before, but I completely fell in love, it really is as beautiful as it's hyped up to be. We stayed near Oberkampf, which I believe is in the 11th arrondissement. We didn't spend loads of time in Oberkampf, because we were too busy being tourists in the centre of Paris, but I've read it has quite a good nightlife there. We did happen upon a really great, and reasonably priced restaurant right by the métro stop called L'Éventail, which served some beautiful food. I tried the some caramelised pork with homemade coleslaw and chips on the first night, and seabass with quinoa and olives the second night, which were both stunning, and cost less than 20€. They also had their cocktail menu on a fan (éventail is French for fan) and did a mojito tester platter, but I didn't get a chance to try that.

Thanks to the people I went with, this was the most well organised trip I've ever done, and we managed to see everything on our list. Which included:

  • Champs Elysées (which had the Christmas lights up!)
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • The Louvre,
  • Musée d'Orsay
  • Notre Dame
  • Eiffel Tower (viewed from Trocadéro)
  • Montmartre and Sacré-Coeur
  • L'Hôtel de Ville
  • Pompidou Centre
We didn't go into every single one of the museums we saw, only the Musée d'Orsay (which was amazing). It was a really great weekend and I'd love to go back to Paris soon.

So, that's it for what I've been up to on my year abroad recently. Next time I report back will be after Christmas (speaking of which, I can actually taste my Christmas dinner, I am so excited!)
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