Sunday, November 27, 2011

Reunion in Angers

On Friday evening, I hopped on a train and in just 35 minutes found myself in the city of Angers, where my former exchange student and my French friend are studying. When I got to the station, there were so many people that it was really difficult to find them. Finally, I saw my friend, Louise, who was in my class the last time I came to France. After almost 4 years, we were seeing each other again! It was pretty bizarre. We couldn't believe how much time had passed. As I stood around with her and Camille, my exchange student, we were in a bit of shock at first. It was just so weird to be back together after so much time.
We went over to Camille's place to hang out and eat dinner. It was great catching up! Plus, I got to speak French so that was a definite bonus! We chatted about what we'd been up to, what we were all studying, etc, and how neat it was to be reunited.
For dinner, we had a very traditional meal of "raclette." Basically you melt cheese in these little trays and pour it over potatoes with various meat. It doesn't sound like much but it's really, really good. I also got to see Camille's photos from her 1-month Scout trip to Burkina Faso. It made me appreciate the state of France and Canada... just from the photos I could tell that we are very blessed to live where we do. The streets in BF were basically just dirt, and when it rained you couldn't pass them very well. Camille was there to work in a type of orphanage if I understood correctly.
Anyways, it got kind of late so Louise and I headed out to her apartment to sleep. After having a wonderful sleep-in, we had some breakfast, showered, and went grocery shopping for lunch.
Camille came over for lunch and brought her boyfriend, Quentin, who was visiting from Rennes. We had the little aperatifs as usual, then steak haché (like hamburger), potatoes, and beans for our main course, followed by bread and cheese and vanilla yogourt for dessert. As per French standards, we spent about 2 hours eating and chatting. It was a lot of fun.
After, we walked around the downtown for a bit. I've already been to Angers, so seeing the castle and other touristy things wasn't a big deal. I will come back though with my friends to see it again... and I intend on taking some pictures in the same spots as last time I was there. So after walking around, we decided to grab a drink at one of the cafés, since it was pretty chilly yesterday. Louise and I got a viennoise chocolat (like hot chocolate with chantilly cream), Camille got a cappucinno, and Quentin got a beer. We also ate some delicious Speculoos cookies, which are far too dangerous for me to buy (because I eat them all).
Our chocolat viennoise... dangerous on a daily basis!

After Quentin graciously paid for all of our drinks, we walked past the chateau and then back to Louise's place to grab my stuff so that I could catch the train. We made it to the station with only a couple of minutes to spare, so we said our "see you soon's" and I hopped on the train. Little did I know that I would sit there for an hour while the train was delayed for an "undetermined amount of time," because they were searching for someone... I didn't really get the whole thing, but apparently there was some man in the station that they were looking for. Anyways, it was weird but finally the train departed.
And now I find myself once again on Sunday! I went to church this morning, which was very nice. Next weekend will be my last weekend in Nantes until the New Year, because we only have two weeks of school left until Christmas vacation. I will be going home from Dec. 22-Jan. 4, and I am very excited to see my family and friends!
But before that, myself and two friends are going on a little trip. We are flying into Dublin (because that's where all the cheap flights go to/from) and staying one night there for our friends 20th birthday. The next day, we're heading to Munich, Germany for a few days. We don't have a huge itinerary yet, but one of the things we will definitely be doing is seeing the Dachau concentration camp from WWII. Then, we're catching a night train to Strasbourg (on the border of France and Germany), the Christmas Capital of France! It is going to be beautiful. After that, a few days in Brussels, Belgium, and then ending off in Amsterdam, Holland. We are so excited and it will be a wonderful Christmas trip before heading home.
I hope everyone is getting excited for the holidays!

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