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Published: January 30th 2007
this past saturday i took a day trip with my program to several choice sites in provence, which is the region in france right next to mine (languedoc-roussillon). there were a lot of people that went on the trip, because there were students from both the language and culture program, which i am a part of, and the integrated studies program, where students can study other subjects at the university with french students. since there were a good many of us, we toured provence in a large bus. our first stop was the pont du gard, where we were greeted by le mistral (here's a brief explanation)
. i looked around, climbed a hill, looked over the top of the aqueduct, walked through a tunnel, took some nice pictures, and walked down some steps to the river underneath. despite the cold, it was a very beautiful day. after the pont du gard, we drove to fontaine de vaucluse, which might be the most picturesque town i've ever visited. i walked around with a gal named sarah, and we after veering off the beaten path, we found a small mausoleum high up on the side of a hill. the town was small, but the surrounding mountains
were enormously tall and steep. a lazy river with a lot of algae twinkled in the sunlight, and the town was nearly vacant except for a few dozen loud americans. i had the best pastry of the trip so far in fontaine de vaucluse. it was an almond croissant that also was filled with chocolate, and it was delicious. according to the scale that i found under the stairs in my apartment, i have already gained one kilo. one down and many more to add i'm sure. after enjoying the town for nearly two hours, we again boarded the bus and drove to les baux de provence, an old town built high up on a cluster of rocks. there is a lot of old history there, and there is also a castle, although i believe it's mostly in ruins. they were charging 5 euro to enter though, so i don't know anything else about it. since we were so high up, the wind was at its utmost strength here, and i was pushed back and forth around the village for the time that i was there. we made one final stop, at alphonse daudet's windmill in fontvieille. it was a
super touristy day, but i made time to count the number of fascicles per bundle on conifers along the way. hopefully this week i can find a field guide to trees in the area!
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