Sunday, December 19, 2010

Days 31 & 32 and the day when we nearly lost the bus

Gotta love Fridays. Fridays mean weekends, and no classes, and excursions and friends. And to finish off Friday, we played Taboo. In French. And I loved it hahaha.

Today we had an early start for an excursion around our region – Auvergne. It was such a beautiful day – lots of snow on the mountains and the sun shining for most of the day.

We started off in the most beautiful, TINY little village called Orcival, where we saw another cathedral (care to guess the name? That’s right, Notre Dame) and stopped at a little café for hot drinks to warm us up. It was a really small group – just 10 of us for the day.

(this is part of the little Nativity, or creche, in the church. Of the few I've seen, it seems to be tradition to recreate sights from the town and incorporate the stable and baby Jesus into it somehow, but they're very beautiful).

After Orcival we got back on the bus to head to an even smaller town called Les Arnats, for lunch at a restaurant called Auberge de l’âne – literally the inn of the ass (donkey!) and it was decorated with postcards and pictures and figurines of donkeys everywhere! But it was an excellent lunch – salad followed by Truffade (a local speciality, potatoes fried with a LOT of cheese) and for dessert crème anglais and meringue (floating islands!). It was delicious.

Our next stop was Les Mystères de Farges, four little ‘grottos’ which have been around for over 1000 years, used to ripen the cheese of the region – St Nectaire. It was a very strange experience, with projections and light shows showing history that I’m not entirely sure was linked. Then again, my French isn’t THAT good.

This is when the day got fun. We left to get on the bus only to find it was stuck and sliding in the ice. Another reason snow is not so safe. After watching the bus (we had, at this time, abandoned the driver) slide towards the edge of a hill, we decided to head back inside until help could be found. Toes were freezing, but eventually the bus was pulled to safety, and we returned home.

A quick dinner with Margaux at my place, before making dessert for tomorrow. Hand whipping cream, in a small saucepan, with a fork, was not my favourite part of the weekend thus far. I miss having decent kitchen utensils.

Miss you all.

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