During J-term 2019, 367 students and 32 program leaders will participate in one of Luther's 18 courses around the globe.Each course is a different journey and has a different blogger (or several). Below you'll find a blog post from the French 347: France course, "Introduction to Commercial French." Check out the January Term 2019 Course Blogs page for more on each of the courses! Although it's impossible to keep up with everyone, these blogs are designed to provide glimpses into our students' adventures.
Saturday, our group traveled to Normandy, France via bus to see le Mont Saint Michel.
Le Mont Saint Michel is one of the oldest and most iconic monuments in France, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's a magnificent structure sitting on its own island with beautiful medieval architecture. Truly breathtaking. The weather on the day of our visit was rainy and foggy so it added to the mystery of this island. It also made me feel like I was at King's Landing in Game of Thrones to be honest!
We climbed many many stairs and got to the Abbey. For this part we had audio guides! We listened to stories of amazing parties, asceticism and torture: a most lovely combination.
Today is our free day. So, we are all doing different things. Some people in the program went downtown and explored, some went to KFC, some went around Angers and looked at old houses, and a lot went to see le Château d’Angers — a castle in the city limits!
Maya and I slept in, getting our much needed hours of sleep, and then had a very late petit déjeuner, breakfast. Déjeuner, lunch, was at 13H/1 p.m. In France, lunch is the primary meal of the day so it is the biggest. For contrast, in the United States, it is dinner, by far. Our host parents explained to us that lunch is the biggest because it is in the middle of the day, so after you eat you can easily do other things and have ample time to digest your meal. For example, you can complete your work day, complete your school day or perhaps do errands. Dinner is a smaller meal, and part of this is because it is late in the day. If you eat a lot of food at 19H/7 p.m., it would be hard to digest it all properly before going to sleep. I think this makes a lot of sense, and learning this has left me reflecting a lot on the schedule of meals in the U.S.
Alors, so, we had lunch. We started with appetizers and an aperitif. Maya, Claudine (our host mother) and I all had Passoã — a passion fruit liqueur that is actually made in Angers — with orange juice. The appetizers were black radishes with a sardine paste on them, dry sausage with mushrooms in it and a wrap of ham, Boursin cheese and lettuce. It was all so delicious! I had never heard of, or seen, a black radish before. It was similar in size to a zucchini, but the exact same texture as a red radish. After that, we had beef lasagna for the main course. Followed by an endive salad in a light vinaigrette. And for dessert, we had tiramisu. All of it was wonderful. And while eating we had great conversation about different vegetables and their origins, and also the Tunnel sous la Manche, a train that goes under the sea from France to England.
Later in the day, Maya and I decided to go into downtown to get some fresh air after having a relaxing morning and midday. Sadly, the bus that we take to get there was not running today! Like at all! A lot of things are very slowed down in Angers on Sundays, and this is one of them. Because of that, we just decided we would walk instead. It was pretty nice out so walking was enjoyable. But it was still cold enough that I could wear my new yellow faux fur coat, thank goodness.