Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Normandy and shopping

I apologize for the delay in posting - I was occupied by a rather nasty cold for a few days. I'm all better now, despite my host mother's fears that it was strep throat (it wasn't) and my host sister's conviction that I got sick because I don't eat enough (trust me, I do) and because I walk around the house with bare feet (okay, I do, but it's warm here).

Anyway, the whole group went to Normandy on Saturday, which was great fun. First, we went to Château Gaillard, which was lovely, if quite foggy:

There is apparently a beautiful view of the Seine from this site, but you couldn't see your hand in front of your face, let alone anything more than 20 feet away, so I took a picture of the photo they had posted there instead, to get an idea of what we were supposed to see:

Richard the Lion-hearted built the castle to keep King Philip of France from invading Normandy (Normandy was coveted by England and France for a while, which is why a lot of the architecture looks so very British), which worked for a bit, at least. He built it in a year, which was a ridiculously short amount of time, and would refer to it as his one-year-old daughter. (See, even kings had soft spots.) Look, a real, live moat!

After the fog-fest, it was time to head to Honfleur, on the coast, for lunch. We ate at a lovely restaurant called "Le chat qui pêche" (The fishing cat) and I had crab salad with grapefruit, duck with mashed potato, and bread pudding with caramel, apples, and ice cream. Fat, happy Lisa. Then, we wandered around Honfleur, led by our art history teacher, and saw the typical Normandian (definitely just made that up) architecture - half-timbering, shingled roofs, things like that:

The buildings on the other side of the port:

Purty, purty church steeple:

Purty, purty suspension bridge (reminds me of the one in Boston):

Another church, this time a chapel dedicated to sailors. I love the cute little round roof over the entrance. I also loved the little model boats hanging from the ceiling inside, but unfortunately my camera chose this exact moment to run out of batteries. So here end my photos of Normandy.

After the churches we went to the beach in Deauville, where the crazier among us actually dipped their toes in (I, imagining the heart attack my host mother would have if she found out, did not). I did find some pretty shells, though. And kicked myself for not bringing extra batteries. Although, thanks to Facebook, I can bring you the following photo, where the sunset is heartbreakingly beautiful:

Now, turning to the "shopping" portion of the title, I bring you my recent purchases. First, shoes for 10 Euro (the entire city of Paris has this thing where almost everything is on sale in January and February, and I am taking full advantage of this):

Next, bag and scarf, also for ridiculously cheap:

Finally, my most Parisian purchase to date: skinny jeans!

Apparently I'm turning Parisian from the ground up - next purchase on my list is a thin, wide-necked sweater, and then a beret, and then I shall be indistinguishable from the real Parisians. Until I open my mouth, that is. The shirt in this photo is also new, bought at the same store as the jeans, from a really nice young woman who asked me where I was from, what I was doing in France, etc., and didn't switch into English when she heard my accent. This store is on a street very close to my house where there is an open-air market every day, I think - fruits, veggies, meat, bread, cheese, all being hawked by Frenchmen who call me "Princesse" (I know it's just the thing to do, but I still get flattered by that.) So I plan on returning there to do my food shopping.

All right - full day of classes and sitting on hard chairs tomorrow, so I must be off. Au revoir!

(post edited after Doc's corrections... In my defense, I was sick, and I can't think with a headful of snot)


  1. Yay! It sounds like you're having such an amazing time...but you should leave france on a train to come visit me. I'll be in Paris sometime during my Field Study Trip in March and we should meet up in the city and you can show me around. Maybe I'll try and look "über-Deutsch" (no one really says that...) and we can see if we can fit our new nationalities!

  2. Ah,Normandie... my favorite part of France... We will be at Chateau-Gaillard for a night in April, so it was nice to see your appreciation of the place - hope it won't be foggy by then!
    I believe the port in your photo (as well as the church with the boats, etc.) is actually Honfleur, not Deauville... Sorry, the teacher in me couldn't resist!
    Amuse-toi bien!

  3. ah, well now i know to bring my skinny jeans to paris.

    everything is so CLEAN!