Monday, October 5, 2009

le weekend.

Hello all !

I’m hoping you had great weekends, full of wonderful fall things – big warm scarves, boots, crisp leaves, blue skies !

My weekend was spent exploring Beaune a bit more, getting to know this city I’ll call home for the next little while. Even though I loved Sens, I feel myself settling and sinking into Beaune in a different way. It may simply be because everything is new and exciting and undiscovered – I’m hoping it will continue to charm me as the months go on.

Friday was a stage, a day of training and administrative paperwork in Dijon, about 30 minutes away by train. It was also the chance to meet several other assistants in the area and promise trips to visit each other in our various cities. It was a rush of excitement, talking about our duties as assistants and ideas for lesson plans – I felt like I was a student, taking notes on the first day of classes.

Saturday morning had a wonderful start at the weekly marché in la centre ville, downtown Beaune. Next week I’ll certainly have to take pictures- I was seriously impressed !  I was expecting a small, concentrated market, but was pleasantly surprised with several streets overflowing with antiquités, frommage, des vêtements et des legumes et des fruits (antiques and baubles, cheese, clothes, veggies and fruits).  It was a bustle of people doing their weekly shopping, moving from booth to booth, pausing to say hi to their market friends and wish them happy weekends.

Saturday night we met up with two other assistants also living in Beaune, a German and an Australian. We found a potential favorite Saturday spot, Au bout du monde, a bar called ‘at the end of the world’, meaning more, ‘the other side of the world’ rather than ‘the end of life as we know it’. As a helpful reminder of how small the world is, we sat next to a couple from San Francisco who have been traveling around France/Europe for the past 8 (!!!) months, and met two guys from Australia and Portland, Oregon who were here studying the wine business.

Sunday was an exciting day because I got my bike ! A teacher offered to lend me a bike for the year, and I am already in love with it : ) It’s an orange Peugot, complete with basket, bell, lights (which automatically activate when I pedal) and a platform on the back to bungee cord things down to as well. I went for my first test run from the teacher’s house to my apartment and all went well ! If the weather is ok tomorrow, I think I’ll make my first daily bike commute to school. So exciting !

Since Stéphane was visiting for the weekend, I took full advantage of having a car here :) Across from our apartment is a big hill peppered with vineyards and country houses, which we decided to go check out. We wound up steep drives between the vines, turning wherever we wanted when we came to crossroads. We got to the top of the hill and then wrapped around and came down the other side, which looked so similar to Northern California/the hilly part outside of San Diego, that I had to remind myself I was on the other side of the ocean. We played tag with the sun which peaked behind the hills as we made our way down. And to my delight, we ended our adventure at the local airport. I knew it was somewhere around the area, and after spotting hangar-looking buildings in the distance and a huge sign that said ULM (ultra légé motorisé… the French acronym for experimental aircraft), I kindly asked Stéphane to please-drive-over-there-so-we-can-peak-at-all-the-airplanes ! It was quiet, the windsock flapping calmly with a Cirrus parked outside of the hangars. I laughed at the English translations on fliers posted by the doors of the flight school, asking if you’d closed your ‘fight plan’ instead of ‘flight plan’. Hopefully I’ll make it back there (by bike?) sometime soon, and maybe even hitch a ride over the vineyards : )

Here are some pictures from Sunday !

View from the hill opposite our apartment.

Sunny fields.

Shadowy paths.

Vineyard cabana.

Les raisins !

Wine route.

Beaune Challenges Aérodrome


Picturesque, eh ?  Don't be fooled - it's a remote control plane :)

Wishing you a wonderful week ! I’m observing some more classes this week, and will start in the classroom soon enough !

Tell me about your weekend !


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food for thought.

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