Aloha bloggerinos (this is a reference, though I doubt anyone will get it). Not tooo much to report this week.

Marseille

Last Saturday I hauled myself out of bed at an ungodly hour and after far too little sleep to head to Marseille for the day with Sarah and Sevil. Well, it wasn’t our day, as it rained sans cesse . The real pièce de résistance was the fact that my ‘trusty’ leather boots leaked straight away, so I was literally walking in water all day. The other two were wearing canvas shoes and their feet didn’t get wet at all. So unfair! We did our best to make the most of it and got around the Palais Longchamp (with the Musée de Beaux Arts closed for renovations, of course), the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde – a basilica on the hill overlooking the entire city and the Mediterranean (we couldn’t see much), a gallery with a temporary surrealist exhibition (not my cup of tea) and the Vieux Port. There was meant to be a carnival, and the Marseillais did their best to keep it going anyway, with drumming groups dotted around the place under whatever awnings they could find. It was such a shame as it would have been so cool if the weather was decent! Given the circumstances we’d all had enough fairly quickly so headed back to the train station around 4pm to try and move our tickets as we did NOT want to hang around till 8pm which is when our train was leaving. After waiting in a queue for half an hour, coughing up an extra €12 apiece and then waiting another another hour and a half as the train was delayed we eventually left around 6:45. I’m by no means judging Marseille on that sole experience of it, but it’s safe to say it was not a good time.

Indoor Picnic

The following day was a lot more enjoyable with TWO social events! So exhausting. The first was an indoor picnic as the weather wasn’t nice enough to have it outside like we’d hoped (still got nothing on Marseille though). Couscous salad, cheese, baguette (duh), bruschetta, Speculoos (look it up), madeleines, pear tart and apfelstrudel made by a real Austrian fräulein were consumed. Unfortunately, they were not consumed in appropriate moderation given I had to head directly to…

Dinner chez Jamie

It wouldn’t be a blog post without a dinner chez Jamie described in vivid detail! Jamie and Jess had just got back from a week in Morocco so it was time for the usual catchup. From what I understand they ate roughly their weight in bread in Morocco, so were on a bit of a health kick. This called for nuts and crackers as our entree, a warm chicken salad for our main, and ambrosia (and a few cheeky leftover profiteroles) for dessert. Om nom nom as per. I feel like I have written disconcertingly little about this! Maybe I’m just getting good at streamlining…or maybe I’m just tired/have sunstroke. We’ll never know.

Tarte aux pralines

Sarah, Sarah’s friend Beverly and I met up with Juliette, a French girl going to Sarah’s uni next year, to indulge in some lyonnaise cuisine. After getting somewhat lost in the ghetto we eventually made it to Juliette’s house, and she had conveniently made the tart the night before, so it was all ready to go. We did supply the crucial ice cream and Orangina! Confusingly, tarte aux pralines has nothing to do with ‘praline’ as in nuts/chocolate in English. That is apparently pralin. PralinE is uniquely lyonnaise and is essentially candied almonds, not like the normal ones though – more like almond bits covered in pink sugary…stuff. From what I understand, you essentially put them on the tart base, cook it, the sugar melts, and voilà. I went home and brushed my teeth straight away after that.

Big day out!

Today was, in short, a stunner. I started it off with a run (I know. What?! The weather inspired me and I embraced it) along the banks of the Rhône which, while horrible, was great! After a quick shower turnaround I headed back to the river to meet up with Jess and some other friends at the ONLYLYON sign. Only Lyon is the city’s slogan and they have a giant sign (?) which occasionally gets moved around the city. Up until last week it had been wayy out on the outskirts of greater Lyon, at the convention centre, so no-one had had a chance to do the obligatory photo shoot. Today the SELF kids had arranged to take a quasi ‘class photo’ with the sign, as they finish completely after exams this week, so I tagged along. There ended up being three of us DEUF students and it’s lucky we were there, or I don’t know who they thought was going to take the photos! After about two hours of herding/photo taking/picnicking, we migrated from the river to the Parc de la Tête d’Or. If we thought the banks of the Rhône were packed, we had another think coming when we got to the park! Unsurprisingly, every man and his dog had had the same idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many PEOPLE! It looked like something straight out of a Seurat painting. After chilling in the shade and finishing off the remainder of our picnic noms for about an hour Jess and I headed home to attempt some work. I can’t speak for her but mine failed. No surprises there.

It must have been at least 25 degrees which, coming from Wellington, is full on summer for me! Apparently we have decided to skip spring altogether as the weather has been cold right through, with rain on Friday. It changed literally overnight and it looks like it’s going to stay this way! Despite my best SPF50+ efforts I still have *ahem* a nice rosy glow to my cheeks (why always me) so it looks like it’ll be a long three months of slip slop slap and wrap-ing. I thought the sun over here was less harsh, given there is a giant hole in the Ozone layer above NZ, but apparently when you feel the burn, you have the burn. Wah.

Addendums

This upcoming week is the last week of classes. I have one assignment (analysing my archive document – quite interesting but slow going) due this Friday, then it’s all study study study for exams (ha). I’m off to Paris for five days the following week, then I have one exam on the 29th, one on the 6th and one on the 13th of May and I’m all done! So things are definitely going to start getting a lot more interesting. Crazy that the semester’s pretty much over though. It’s gone so quickly! With the SELF kids leaving at the end of this week it’s the beginning of the end :'( On that negative note, that’s it for this week. Bit of a downbuzz but what can you do!

A la prochaine,

Catherine

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