Sunday, November 27, 2011


So this weekend, I went to Germany. I feel so weird typing that, almost-- like going to Germany is hardly a big deal. But it kind of felt that way when the car ride was only three hours long and required no customs whatsoever. We went for an awesome open market in a city called Freiburg. The market is this huge thing where artisans opens booths included handmade things like food, candles, toys, soaps, wooden carvings, etc...

We left from Cuvat around noon, and passed through the border into Switzerland the same way you pass through a pay toll in the US, except there wasn't a fee. We drove through Switzerland for a while which I must say was one of the prettiest car rides I've ever taken, (I LOVE Swiss houses) and then we passed through the German border (again, easiest thing ever). Fun fact: there is no speed limit on German highways meaning you can go as fast as you want. So we got to Freiburg, fairly quickly after that.

We first went to the hotel and checked out our room. My host dad speaks German so it was like my first day in France all over again -- me standing there understanding nothing :P After we went up the room which was decorated so nicely I took a picture:

 Although believe it or not- the bathrooms are in a different room down the hallway. First hotel I've ever been in where the bathroom wasn't right there in the room. Yay cultural differences! :D
After we walked down to the place where the market was passing by buildings like this:
 And the prettiest McDonald's I've ever seen:
We finally got there, and it was really crowded. It was so strange hearing German everywhere, and seeing it everywhere. I even saw my last name BECK on multiple stores and it made me happy. We squeezed through the crowds and I got to see real hand crafted wooden statues and smell amazing sausages and even tried some BREZEL which was by far the most amazing pretzel I've ever eaten. I also had warm fruit juice which was delicious and got to keep the cup. I finally got around to buying a coat, and bought some presents for my parents. After, we walked around a bit, returned to the hotel to relax and watch some German TV, and then went back out for dinner. It took us ages to find a restaurant as all the others were literally full. We almost went to McDonalds, until we found one that had open tables. It was really pretty, and loud, and they kept playing old American songs, and I almost felt like I was back in America, especially when they handed me a HUGE glass of water. I had gotten so used to the small glasses in France, I was almost overjoyed to not finish my water in one gulp, haha. After that we went back to the hotel and slept.
The next day was pretty short, we woke up, and went downstairs to a huge brunch. There was sausage, ham, eggs, mushrooms, yoghurt, cereal, brezel, bread, everything. After we returned to the market, bought some gingerbread cookies for Christmas, and then headed back to the car to go home.

I can't really describe such a cool place this was, and how great it was just being there, so here are some pictures:

(^ This photo is dedicated to Mark Stewart)
Other than that- things are going well. I love my school, my host family, my house, my city, and Christmas vacation is just two weeks away!!

I'll update again soon~

À bientôt!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


SO BIG NEWS: I changed host families and regions. To put it simply, I was having problems with the host family and adapting well (one of the reasons I didn't update my blog very often) so I requested to change host families. Because there weren't any families available in the region (it's really difficult to find host families any time of the year) they asked if I knew anyone who would host me. I am now with my friend Maud, at her amazing house in Cuvat, France near Annecy in Rhone Alps. Picture below: 

It's right by Switzerland! AND THE SWISS ALPS. There are mountains everywhere around me: on the bus ride to school, outside my window, right in the back yard! It's so beautiful here! And the reason I put the title as it is, is because I feel like I'm in the Sound of Music. I know I'm not in Austria, but I'm in the Swiss Alps all the same, so SHHH don't ruin my moment :P

So just for an update, I'll tell you about my long weekend:

Thursday: It was my last day of school in Angers. It was kind of sad, but I was meeting up with a bunch of other AFSers that night so it was easy to not think about it. Straight away after school I went to the gare to look for Holly (NZ). Funny story though, I couldn't find her, and my phone was dead. I paced around the gare for like an hour, and even tried the pay phone, although it doesn't take cash and you need a card. I had to go back to meet Eszter at lycee and we both were freaking out worrying about Holly because both of our phones were dead. Finally, we ran into France Telecom and bought a charger. I then used an outlet in the store to check my phone: Holly was with Gabe the whole time. I felt really relieved. We went and met them at the gare and then met up with Elizabeth and Erin who took a train for the night. We hung around for a while until Gabe and Eszter left (a very sad moment saying goodbye to Eszter) and then after went shopping with Elizabeth Erin and Holly. After Elizabeth and Erin took the train back to Saumur and Holly and I went back home to watch a movie.

Friday: Holly and I met up with Benji and Gabe at the Foire (a carnival/fair) where we went on a few rides and ate festival foods and basically goofed around. Here are some pictures :

 It was so safe.

Saturday: Holly and I returned to the Foire where we met Gabe again and went on some more rides. Funny fact: the word for cotton candy in french is barbe a papa, which means father's beard. Haha. Anyways, Holly went back to Laval that night, and I packed.

Sunday: I woke up early in the morning, lugged my suitcases to the train station and off I went! I met up with the volunteer of Rhone Alps AFS in Blois where she was visiting friends with her family and her AFS student Natalia from Colombia. We hung around in town and then left by car for her house near Lyon. It was a fun trip: except the car battery died twice, the first time at 20h and the second time at midnight. :P It wasn't too cold, and it was funny pushing the car along the French roads at night. We ended up getting a lift from their friends because the car was so dead. We got to the house around 1 am and went straight to bed.

Monday: I hung around the house and went for a walk with the volunteer through the mountains. It was so beautiful, I didn't get any pictures though because it was too dark for my camera by then :( I ate a lovely dinner and then went to bed early because I knew it would be a long day Tuesday.

Tuesday: I woke up and repacked my backpack and ate lunch. My train left from Lyon at 4 so we left her town around 14h to get there on time. We only drove through Lyon, but it was so beautiful, I'll definitely have to visit it again. We went into the gare, and the music was so dramatic.
I was so glad the volunteer stayed with until the train actually left though because it got changed TWICE. Haha. But I finally got to Annecy after the most beautiful train ride ever. I'll upload videos of it after I publish this. I finally saw Maud and it was such a cool moment. After we went back to the house ate dinner and I got ready for school.

TODAY: We took the bus to school, and i got to see the mountains by sunrise and it was beautiful. There was even frost on the ground and that made me happy-- I missed the cold! We got to the lycee which is so beautiful. It's completely modern architecture and open with windows on the roof. The teachers and classmates seem really nice, and that's always a good thing! Then I got back home ate lunch with Maud's grandparents and Quentin her brother. Then we went for a walk, pictures below:

Well, I must now go do homework!

À bientôt!