Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cult Cluny Camp!

After our tutorat geographique on Tuesday Alisa told me about a trip to Cluny with the Student Association from our university! We went to see if I could go too or if I was too late! 'Luckily' ( or so I thought!) there was space for me too. I had organised a dinner for Friday so Alisa and I researched and found that I could take a train and a bus to meet up with them in Cluny. Free food and accommodation and a weekend get away right? hummm......read on....

Friday night dinner:
Top: Kate, my random USA Ballett dancer friend whom I met in McDonalds on the net, Claires French friends-Cecil and Alice
Front: Appley, Cara, Rita, Alex, Claire

Yes, that says that it's one degree! When I went to buy my ticket for Cluny it said this and 2 hours later when I went to catch my train....it said the same thing! At 11:54am it was still that cold!

A very very cute Christmas market in Perrache, Lyon. At the market you can buy trinckets (such as wind up toys (no way! I collect those!) or jewelery) or the more popular items like spiced bread, biscuits, hot drinks. I hung out here (or rather froze my bum off here) for 2 hours while I waited for the train. Go figure that there was a 4 hour gap in the train times and I arrived in the middle! As I was walking/ shiv-vi-vi-vi-ering around, chunks of snow were melting and falling off the little roofs!

Scenery on the train! Snow Snow Snow! More then in Lyon and more visible too as it doesn't just melt on the roads!

Being silly on the bus to Cluny! Tourists!

I arrived in Cluny and Alisa was there to meet me. She immediately told me things were not as she thought they would be. She was happy I was there but worried it wouldn't be what I thought it would be either...she was right.

It all very average/normal... until the evening when the student association had their party. It was wild. All the men were bearded. They were wearing cloaks. We had dinner and tried to mingle a little bit but the smoke (Oh la, La France) was so heavy Alisa didn't last long. It was aournd this time the Men did a cult/solidier like formaion or performance in the courtyard in the middle of the party. Alisa and I were freaking out....it was weird.

I escorted her home, went back to the party to chat a bit and improve my French (got hit on by Laurent...a handsome French clut member) and then went off to bed. Weird.

The next day we learned more about the Association and all their weird rules and structures. Like how new members are not allowed to speak to older members (unless they are spoken too) for the first year. We got a tour of Cluny's famous Abbey by the Assoication. It was freezing and to Alisa's horror, I had taken a shower that morning and washed my hair to get the smell of smoke out of it...something you do not do when it is snowing outside...I am still learning. Oh the advantages of being Canadian (Alisa is from Vancouver)! Needless to say I was cold and Alisa told me it was probably my winter coat from California. She proposed we swapped coats...and her's was much warmer. She told me 'Oh Cara, this coat is cold' and kept shivering. I told her we should swap back but she wouldn't have it! I didn't feel like such a whiner/wimp after that.

The famous Abbey.

Alisa and I are back in Lyon, safely in the centre of the city! We are alive! This is truly how we felt. We got off the bus and parted ways from the Association and hugged, and giggled and talked about how crazy a weekend we had just had.

No comments: