Nuit Blanche et Langres


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October 5th 2009
Published: October 5th 2009
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Nuit BlancheNuit BlancheNuit Blanche

This is one of the coolest things in Metz. If you stand in the center of the square, you can see this formation! It is drawn on individual houses, but at the center of the square, its an artistic design. Amazing!!
On the 2nd of October, my host family took me to Metz, the capital of my region for la nuit blanche or "white night". In French, a "white night" means that you don't sleep at all, or you had a bad night's sleep. This however, was very different. Every year about this time, Metz holds this festival. It is called la nuit blanche because it lasts from 6:30pm on Oct. 2, to 9:00am the next morning! There are exhibits, bands, art shows, music and dancing in the streets. All to celebrate the beauty of art both old and new. There were some pretty strange things there, but it was all very well organized. There were certain areas for everything, and each area had a giant spotlight shooting into the sky to let everyone know that there was something initresting there! There were eight "districts" within the city for different things, depending on your intirests. Each "district" was represented by a different symbol, such as Mars, or Jupiter. We stayed mostly in the Jupiter district because it had a lot of music. There were even DJ's there! And I mean the REAL DJ's, not the fake ones. These guys really used the
LangresLangresLangres

This is the city of Langres. It was taken from the top of the church. It was an exhausting trek!
turntables with the records! We only stayed for a few hours, but it was still very cool! The next morning, I had to get up early because it was a three hour drive to Langres!

The 3rd and 4th of October, I went to Langres with all of the students in my district. Langres is one of the oldest cities in France. It has been inhabited by both the French and the Germans. It is a walled city and, since there are no cities in France without churches, the church dates back to about the 1100's, so that's an approximation on how old the city is. We took a walking tour of the city, and walked along the outer wall and then into the center of the city. There, the church stands as the highest building in the city. We all went to the top of the tower, but the stairs were spiral and the staircase was all stone and very small, so we had some claustrophobia issues with some people. The view from the top was spectacular, though! After we finally made it back down and our legs had stopped shaking, we walked a few blocks to the
The Oldest HouseThe Oldest HouseThe Oldest House

This is the oldest house in Langres. In the US, if a house is 100 years old, its a VERY old house. This house is almost 600. Pretty darn old if you ask me! It's the very German-looking house in the center of the picture :)
hôtel de ville, or the city hall. The mayor greeted us and welcomed all of us to France and gave us all pens! He was upset because he couldn't give us pins for our jackets, because Langres doesn't make pins, but he gave us pens instead 😊. Afterwards, we walked to the other side of the city to the tower that was used as a prison before the 1830's. Inside and at the top, a presentation was given to us by a man in traditional garments of the region. He demonstrated how early rifles were used and how they worked. I mean the REALLY early ones, with a piece of string as a fuse, and you had to put the powder in the barrel and tamp it down. He even fired it for us, but he didn't have any shot in it, so it just made a loud BANG. It didn't sound like any gun I have heard, it sounded more like a cannon! We then ate some cheese from the region, made by a mixture of cow and sheep milk. VERY tasty :P.

There were some students who were there that were from Germany as well. My host
The Church of LangresThe Church of LangresThe Church of Langres

This is the church at Langres. It had horrible steps, made by bad people. I am glad I have been swimming or I never would have made it to the top!
Rotary club has a partner club in Germany, and those exchange students came with us! There was an American, a Mexican and a Brazilian, and they were boys. There was only one girl, and she was Canadian. We had a BLAST! We did what is called Acrobranche which means climbing trees in harnesses and doing giant obstacle courses while up there! It was SO much fun!! The night of the third, we had a live band play a whole bunch of French music, both traditional and new. We danced for a very long time, and I learned how to do the Madison! Everyone laughed because Madison is the capital of my state! 😊 We spent the night in bunkbeds in a local boarding school. The building was built for summer scouting, so it was well-equipped to handle all 28 of us! We didnt sleep though, so there were no need for beds 😉

The next day, we went to a museum that displayed urban life in France during the 19th century. It was an old castle that was renovated after a fire, and it had lots of very old stuff in it. As a museum should. There were no
Us in LangresUs in LangresUs in Langres

Left to right: Carla (Ecuador), Nora (Mexico), Lizzie (Top, Australia), Maël (Bottom, France), Amy (USA), Dorìs (Brazil). All of us after the Acrobranche!
photos allowed, so I can't show the outside world what it was like, but trust me that it was cool 😉. Then we ate le déjuner, or lunch, at about noon back at the cabins. We all left around four, and it was a three hour drive back home. I slept the whole way 😊

It is official. In school, I understand almost nothing. The teachers talk too fast, and it is very hard for me to be concentrating all of the time. My least favorite subjects are history and math. I think the teacher doesn't like me in math, because he never helps me when I ask him for help. The history teacher is okay, but his voice is very monotonous and I want to fall asleep! That, and it is all French and European history, and to be honest, we dont study that much European history in the US. At least I didn't. The classes are one hour long, and it is set up like a college schedule. For example: Mondays I start at nine and have two hours of French Litterature, then at 11 I have a break for three hours. My friend Laura and I
The MadisonThe MadisonThe Madison

Okay, I had to add at least one picture of me acting like an idiot. At the rotary retreat, I learned how to dance the madison. This is me. I was having WAY too much fun haha! :)
go into town on Mondays, but no shops are open on Sundays and Mondays, so we walk around and window shop. Then at two, I have English LV1 for two hours. LV stands for Litterature Vivant or "living litterature". It is like an AP English class at RLHS. So, Advanced English. All classes are like this, but on different days and at different times. It was hard to get used to at first, but I think I have gotten over it. From what I understand, halfway through the year, after Christmas, we will change our schedules, but keep our classes. It can get confusing, but there you have it!

I was asked by one of my friends what the French listen to on the radio. All I can say is turn on the radio closest to you and thats probably pretty accurate. Yes, they have all-French stations, but a lot of their stations broadcast British and American bands, all in English. There are a few very popular singers, but mostly, younger people listen to Eminem and Flo Rida, just like we do in the U.S. Helmut Fritz and M are some good artists to look up if you are intirested. When I heard Mika on the radio, I was very happy 😊. Ian would understand 😉 (And Ian, to answer your question on my last blog, yes, the factory is and was controversial because of pollution.).

Here, people are very concerned about "la grippe A" or the A virus (swine flu haha). The younger people joke about it a lot, but that hasn't stopped them from bringing hand sanitizer to school and using it after every class. The teachers are more concerned about it. One boy in my class was very tired one day, and my French teacher sent him to the nurses office to get some vitamin C! He went home after that class, and stayed home the rest of the week. I wonder if everyone at home is as worried about it or not....hm...

Well, so far these are the most exciting things to happen to me! In two weeks there is the Berlin trip!! I am very excited for that! I hope to update this blog after that. Maybe before if I get really bored! Love you all! If anyone has any questions, I can try to answer them in the next blog! LOVE!!

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9th October 2009

Langres
Hello Amy...It appears that you have been seeing many lovely places. We love hearing about all of your travels,. It is also nice to see you in some of your pictures enjoying the experiences with your new friends. Study hard...love mom

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