Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 15 - Clermont Ferrand

Woke up to lots of snow this morning! Very very beautiful. Was in love with it until the lunch break, by which point the roads were covered in black ice and the foot paths not much better. Dangerous stuff, but holding my balance thus far.

We have Wednesday afternoons off classes to allow time for study/cultural activities/whatever. This week, after a quick lunch (waffles with banana and nutella) I took the culture option and headed to Clermont Ferrand, the capital of the region and, I believe, home of the Michelin Man (white tyre guy, remember him?)

The bus ride reunited me with the snow. Driving past fields and forests of untouched white was incredible, such amazing views.  One thing that will never seem sane though – going around a roundabout the wrong way. It’s a strange feeling.

Clermont Ferrand is bigger than Vichy, but still a small town by most standards hahaha.

We stopped at a few churches, including Notre Dame (another one, yes) and the city hall, before having some free time to explore either the Christmas market or the shopping centres. It’s been at least two weeks since the opportunity for shopping presented itself so you can guess which one I took (sadly, I came home with nothing). The stores, however, are beautifully decorated for xmas, as was the square outside, with it’s giant Christmas tree and lights that came on as we were leaving. It was very beautiful, especially with the snow.

Just to make things interesting, we lost a student. We were supposed to meet back at 5:30 for the bus, and we did, all but one. We tried calling her, but no contact for half an hour so we had to leave. A few minutes out of town and she finally returned the call, and we returned to pick up a very sheepish young lady.

Returned home to a late dinner of vegemite on toast (we all need some home comforts now and then) before a nice hot shower and hot chocolate to restore circulation to my fingers and toes. The wonderful thing about winter in Europe – it’s a good excuse for a long, hot shower. A rarity at home, and I’m savouring every minute.

P.s. I'm craving Chinese lemon chicken. Not available here. Reckon I could make some?

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