Today was pretty hectic but awesome. I packed loads of stuff it but had really good fun doing it and the possibility of a trip to Angers in the near future made it even more exciting.
In the morning, I went to Coty to use the internet. I think that the security guards may think I’ve set up office in their shopping centre and, to an extent, they’re right. Having sent my dissertation proposal to my new supervisor for it to be rechecked, I then headed back in the Caucriauville direction to go to the bakery, Le Fournil de Montgeon. I’m now known in the bakery as the guy that orders pizza so I’m glad it was Le Club Sandwich day as this gave me the opportunity to order something different and avoid being typecast. Sandwich in hand, I headed up the hill to the lycée arriving just in time for the start of the club.
The club itself was really nice – everyone said something, however small, and I can’t get over how good the general standard of English is at the lycée. Plus, I found out that the school librarian did her year abroad in Southampton so that’ll give us plenty to talk about! I’ve been told to get some marmite (nom!) in the Toussaint holidays so that the students can try it – the comedy potential of this lesson already has me excited. I don’t think the country of haute cuisine is quite ready for what I could only describe as ‘a black, thick liquid, a bit like tar’.
After the club, one of the teachers kindly gave me a lift to the train station to meet up with the prof from the other lycée who I’d planned to spend the afternoon with. The afternoon was absolutely lovely – my prof showed me some truly stunning views over northern France and I got to see some other towns too. We started off in Deauville which is an incredibly rich town, apparently the Cannes of northern France. The types of shops (Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton etc.) and the price tags in the windows certainly proved this! We went to one of France’s most famous casinos which was exciting as I’d never been to a casino before. Photos weren’t allowed inside but it was ridiculously posh and decadent – everything about it was beautiful.
After this, we crossed the bridge near the casino which links Deauville to Trouville. Before you’ve even completely crossed the bridge, the difference is obvious – Trouville is almost a banlieue of Deauville, shabbier in every sense. The architecture is less grand, the shops are more touristy… even the air tasted cheaper! There’s a second casino in Trouville owned by the same company but we got as far as the entrance hall before my prof had proved his point – it was a bit of a dive really. There was graffiti on the outside walls which would’ve been unimaginable in Deauville.
Next up was Honfleur, a former main port from the days before Le Havre. It’s very pretty and very quaint with a beautiful, largely wooden church, the roof of which resembles two upturned boats pushed together. Legend has it that the town didn’t want to wait for stone carvers and so chose wood and there’s no denying the beauty of the end result.
For dinner, we returned to Le Havre and my third casino of the day – not bad considering before today I’d never been in one! Le Havre is ridiculously pretty at night – so many of the buildings are lit and it looks awesome. My prof pointed out that one of the advantages of the city being destroyed in the war and rebuilt is that there’s no continuity of style – the end result of this is that a number of the world’s most famous architects have contributed a building or two to the city.
Dinner in the casino was amazing, definitely the best food I’ve had in France so far. It was also pretty cheap - 20€ for a three course meal with a free cocktail in the casino afterwards. After dinner, we played a few games in the casino. My prof managed to well and truly beat the house at roulette – such a good night!
The day was non-stop but when I eventually got home I was on such a high. Next Friday has a lot to live up to!