Page 5 of Awilliams Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 20th 2010

CLASS: Yesterday I had my two Contemporary Art components which go from 3:00-7:00pm. One is "Sculpture and Color in the 19th Century" and the other is "History of Photography". Here, you just show up and then you find out what the actual subject is. The first prof. is a guy who was pretty disorganized. He arrived 15 minutes late, and dictated the bibliography of the course to us, but had forgetten to write down the names and dates of several publications. Hmm.... The photography prof. seemed cool at first. She works at the local art museum here. She didn't really give much of an introduction to the course before she launched into the early development of photography. For two hours she listed names of men who had done this or that aswell as different methods that ... read more
my room!
my sink!
my kitchen area!

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 18th 2010

Thanks to Christine, for suggesting that I borrow her camera and take pictures for you guys! I hope this gives you an idea of where I'll be spending the better part of the next five months. Before I get into my first day of class, I'd like to tell you about a game that I recently invented. It's called Trashball. HISTORY: invented out of bordom and laziness. YOU WILL NEED: one bag of trash, and one dumpster. OBJECTIVE: to get the trahbag into the dumpster. HOW TO PLAY: after tying up my trash and relizing that since it was the weekend, it would not be collected for another day, but still anxious to get the smelly bag out of my olfactory radius, and relizing that there was a dumpster near by building, I thought about taking ... read more

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 16th 2010

Last night I got together with the other American girls that I've met so far and we had a wine and cheese party. It was pretty fun, and I found another cheese I really like! However, I'm now resolved that I don't want to be one of those people who studies abroad and leaves knowing little more than they came with. After a week in Paris, hearing very little English, it's true that I was starved to hear English and be with Americans again. But now, after hanging out several time with the group, I recognize that each time I feel less and less like I'm in France--or at least that I'm living the full experience. It's the days I spend with Regane and Christine that I feel most at home, it's the days that I ... read more

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 14th 2010

In the shoddy hall kitchen this morning, I heated up some milk to make hot cocoa with the mix I bought last night at the Intermarche. I ate dry cereal and drank the cocoa as I did online French grammar exercises. Though I've attained a strong level in French, I make mistakes all day and so I've instituted a regimen called "PRACTICE FRENCH GRAMMAR EVERYDAY OR ELSE!" It's going well so far. Today, my school orientation revealed to me that the French university system is quite complicated and bureaucratic (surprise? not really :) ). I'm going to start looking at courses and registering soon because courses start Monday, though nothing is settled until the end of January. The fac (campus) is composed of really old buildings, and the halls are a maze-like weave of honeycomb. ... read more

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 13th 2010

What is a raclette, you may ask? Well, it's a type of cheese, and it's also the name of the get together that happens when people gather to melt this cheese and eat it atop of many delicious things! The raclette was set for tonight, and Regane and I were supposed to see a movie before. I was set to meet Christine at 4:45, because she kindly offered to drive me to the supermarket to buy some food. And I was set to meet Regane at her house at 5:45 to see the movie at 6:00. I thought the store would be close, and that we could get it and out in half an hour because I didn't need much. At 5:00, Christine arrived, and though she knew of my plans, we lingered and waited for ... read more

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 12th 2010

I let myself sleep as long as I wanted today, the first time since I arrived. I took my time getting ready; my socks and boots were warm from drying on the radiator and felt cheery against my tired feet. Last night, Regine and I watched FRIENDS in French and then met up with her boyfriend Hocine. He's a really funny guy, and is good at making people feel at ease. We wandered around, trying to decide what to eat, and settled on a North African burger/sandwich joint. The fries had curry seasoning and were so good! And they came with various sauced, like curry, Marocain (dill, and some curry), and other neat ones like that. It was a small place that seemed to be popular for congregating. Someone would walk in, and everyone would know ... read more

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 11th 2010

Ok! So today was 5 million times better than the last! It turns out that I am not Dostoevsky and I have not been sent to Siberia as pentinence for some crime I am not aware of. During the week, when the stores are open, Besançon is actually not a ghost town. It is a thriving little town in a valley with lots of shops, restaurants and cool buildings. Sleeping at Christine's last night was very comfortable, and this morning she accompanied me to the building where i got my dorm keys. With much effort, I hauled all of my luggage through the snow and up to my room, which is actually quite nice. On the way I met a Finnish guy who had also just arrived. This afternoon Régine was so kind as to take ... read more

Europe » France » Franche-Comté » Besançon January 10th 2010

With a sigh I packed my things this morning at Oops!. My roommates were still sleeping, and it was difficult to gather all of my things in the dark and try not to make too much noise in a room that is only 8X11. I said goodbye to Tom and lugged my things to the metro, where I made three transfers to get to Gare de Lyon, the place where my TGV train would depart. On the train, I watched as we left Paris and entered a rolling landscape covered in snow. As we neared Besancon (which is only about 2.5 hours away), the terraine became more extreme. I'm not sure when a hill stops being a hill and becomes a mountain, but there were lots of hilly-mountainy things that rose up into the white sky. ... read more

Europe » France » Paris January 9th 2010

To those of you who tuned in especially to see if I made it to Versailles today, I'm sorry to disappoint you. But I have a different story to tell! Last night, when I returned to my room I met one of my roommates, a guy from Austria. We started talking, and our conversation ended up going until 2am! We were talking about politics, and sort of comparing American and European stances on certain issues. It was really fascinating! It's nice that even though I'm by myself here, I have made several friends. Titillating conversation or no, waking up this morning before 11 (when we have to be out of the rooms for cleaning) was difficult. I finally managed to lug myself down from my top bunk, and like a zombie I got dressed. When I ... read more

Europe » France » Paris January 8th 2010

I met Aurelie (my Parisian friend who studied abroad at Agnes Scott two years ago) this morning in the common lounge of Oops! today. It was so wonderful to see her again! And then we were off for our adventure! Aurelie was a great guide, and had made a plan for the things we would see today. So for the first stop, we took the metro to.... THE FRAGONARD MUSEUM OF PERFUME: one of my favorite things so far from Paris, this museum is free and has information and objects concerning the fascinating history of perfume. We saw little carved stone flasks from Egypt circa 3000 B.C. and contraptions used for pressing the essential oils out of flowers. Then we went to the exit, which was the Fragonard perfume store. We smelled the perfumes on display ... read more
hey! is that notre dame?
yes, it is
rose window

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