L’arrivée de la neige!

Je suis super heureuse: après viewing beaucoup de photos of Leeds in the snow, finalement there is some here too!

La semaine dernière involved possibly the most hilarious lesson I have experienced jusqu’à maintenant; evidently mes élèves étaient in agreement, since one of them filmed ce qui s’est passé on their téléphone portable! We had been doing un peu de travail on la première guerre mondiale – hardly my area of expertise, but pas de problème! The students had to create a sketch (or a poster, but the sketch was plus drôle) encouraging people to sign up for the army. Cue: un groupe of very enthusiastic garçons who tout de suite began drafting une publicité super – and all of it was en anglais! Résultat: a sketch including les soldats Allemands et Anglais, selfies avec les now-blown-up soldats Allemands and the McDonalds’ slogan. Definitely one of the highlights of my time as une assistante d’anglais so far! La journée finished on a high: Laurence is coming to France en février!

Le samedi, on a fêté Chrissy’s birthday, un jour plus tard. We started with some home-made choc-chip cookies (merci Simone!) and un chocolat viennois (hot chocolate with cream; essential vocabulary for la vie en France) à Amandine, un café au centre-ville. We then saw ‘Les Souvenirs’ au cinéma…la fin was très triste. We ended notre après-midi fantastique by going to ‘Le Palais des Légendes’, which is a crêperie in Colmar – which, selon leur website, is in Sète! I had une galette nature (a request met with une expression confondu) followed by une crêpe chocolat-banane, which was incroyable!

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woooo crêpe time!

Le dimanche, je suis allée à Besançon with Chrissy and Simone, via la chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut, à Ronchamp. Après resolving the minor (read: major) issue of opening the frozen gate, tout allait bien! L’église, designed by Le Corbusier, a Swiss-French architect, was on top of a hill, dans les montagnes; en plus, it was absolutely freezing inside! I’ll leave les images to faire the talking…

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devant la chapelle Notre-Dame-du-Haut

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l’intérieur de l’église

Après un pique-nique in the car, we continued on vers Besançon. The ‘park and ride’ (read: ‘park and tram’) was très pratique. We walked along by la fleuve (the Doubs) and climbed beaucoup de steps up to la citadelle for une vue panoramique de la ville. We then found la maison natale de Victor Hugo (entrée gratuite le dimanche) avant de prendre un chocolat viennois in a nearby café! After discovering that l’horloge astronomique was fermée for the whole of janvier, we wandered back through le centre-ville before heading home. C’était une journée merveilleuse, et la ville était tellement jolie!

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la ville (vue de la citadelle)

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la rue où se trouve la maison natale de Victor Hugo

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la maison natale de Victor Hugo

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un chat!

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Grande Rue

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la fleuve

Cette semaine has gone assez rapidement: after quelques lessons y compris Cockney Rhyming Slang (trop drôle – surtout when they thought ‘bacon and eggs’ meant ‘sex’, au lieu de ‘legs’…awkward), a lesson where seulement one élève turned up (usually there are four…) and a pronunciation lesson with Chinese whispers, c’était le temps for my middle of the semaine day off. Said day sans travail was used to go to Bagelstein with Adrienne, Julie et Simone; il y avait a huge choix of bagels, and you could choisir any fillings you liked. I opted for a bagel gratinée avec chicken, lettuce et tomatoes; c’était super! It was un peu comme Starbucks; they write your name sur la feuille, with the fillings you want, and then pass it on to someone to make it! Ensuite, we went to ‘Au Croissant Doré’ pour un chocolat chaud.

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bagel time

The last two days avant le week-end included ‘Racism in Sport’, taking a class of une trentaine d’élèves toute seule and having students subtitle the opening scene of Harry Potter.

Hier, je suis allée à Luxembourg; there was snow partout so I was très heureuse! As I left la gare, it was snowing; people were throwing grit onto la neige and sweeping it off les rues. From Place de la Constitution, you could look across la Vallée de la Pétrusse, which was complètement enneigée.

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beaucoup de neige!

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Vallée de la Pétrusse

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Place de la Constitution

Au centre-ville, there were lots of expensive magasins…if you think la Suisse is expensive, you may need to think again. Case in point: a mango in Luxembourg coûte €9,50 (I maintain the sign looked like €1,50) which led to an “erm, non désolée” and awkwardly exiting the shop. Ensuite, I headed to ‘Chocolate House’ (which being très organisée I had already researched en ligne) to see the hugest selection of chocolat chaud (the type on wooden spoons) on sale, ever; this was certainement a highlight of la journée! It was located en face du Palais Grand-Ducal; the lowest-security palace que j’ai jamais vu.

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il faut que je revienne

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Palais Grand-Ducal…sans guards

Après wandering around a few side streets, I picked up signs for the lift down to the lower town of Grund (grâce à some pre-trip Googling, this helped my time-limited trip énormément!). It’s well worth the detour pour les vues de la haute ville!

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Grund

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Grund

I finished la journée with a trip to la cathédrale Notre-Dame, pour satisfaire my slight obsession with stained glass windows, before heading to la gare (bretzel detour en route) to discover that mon train était en retard, by over 90 minutes…merveilleux!

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cathédrale Notre-Dame

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yellow telephone box!

De toute façon, I had a great day (the mere presence of la neige helped!) and I’m glad I made the trip even if it did mean a return train journey of around sept heures…

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