Friday, January 27, 2006


Cara has left Lyon
Cara is in Sestriere, Italy near Turin.
Cara's new mob no: 334 8170652 (add country code 39)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Things to ponder....

So yesterday I bought yet another phone card and called Simone in Italy. She did not sound busy this time and gave me Shaggy's number and her friend Cristina’s number who apparently wants to rent her living room. I called Shaggy immediately and ask if I found my own accommodation did I have a job. He said yes. I called Cristina...not home. I tried again last night. She sounds very nice and he English is pretty good! We spoke about me coming to stay and I now have accommodation in Turin! She lives 5 minutes from the Irish Igloo and wrote me the following email this morning:

‘Hello Cara,
I live in Sestriere, 5 minutes by walk from IGLOO, my house it's not so big, there is one room with a little kitchen and a bathroom. I have a twin bed, no pets, no children. Don't worry if you finish to work so late, sometimes I work late too. When I get up in the morning you can sleep, don't worry.
About the price it's ok € 300,00 for the month of february,if you arrive 27 th January the price it's the same.
I hope to see you soon.
Regards Cristina’

This price is really cheap for the Olympic period! People are asking crazy amounts of money out there! I think the phrase "I have a twin bed" is slightly interesting as it almost implies that we will be buking down together, however I have written for clairification and remember folks English is not her first language. What if that’s what she means? No...she couldn't could she? How do I feel about that? Can you rent half of your bed? What about a quarter or an eighth? Lol… interestingly rediclous! Hehe... I'd like to make some rediclous (and sassy) comment to go with this rediclous "I've slept around in my time"...or how about "I've shared a lot of beds in my time'....'but never been offered to rent half of someone elses! but I won't make that comment!

I left a message for Shaggy last night saying I have accommodation. I called at midday today but there was no answer. Will try again tonight. I am unsure about the pay and the hours. When I spoke to him before I got the impression that the work was 6 nights a week but only 14 hours. That’s 2.33333 hours a night? Before the Olympics I don’t think I will be working that much and would like to see some of Italy on my free days or weekends or whatever. I do not want to be working 3 hours every night or sorry 2.3 hours every night preventing me from traveling. If I am not working very much I will need to find more work while I am there as an English tutor, babysitter etc…maybe even a second job in a café or something (although as with all seasonal work no one wants you full on until the bus period and then both places would want me at once)!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Roll Up! Roll Up! Cara's latest:

Okay, so that title suggests more excitment then is possible but it worked right!

Cara's current activities:
-I am!
-Jogging almost everyday even though it is SOOOO cold! However, it does take the sting off showers! lol...a good side to everything!
-Trying to soak up more of Lyon before I leave.
-Looking for accmodation in Itay but to be honest don't quite know what to do. Called Simone and asked her to help but I an worried as she seems very busy with work.
-Preparing to leave Lyon...=(
-Schuelded our going away party for Jan 14th at the Smoking Dog (English pub almost next door to our house) and a going away dinner with special people for Jan 13th!
- Appley, a fellow Melbournian has contacted our landlord and will be taking over our apartment at the end of January.
-Yesterday, Appley came by with a possible house mate to show her our place. I think it put things in perspective for Ben and I. Afterwards we went shopping for some souvenirs and started putting things in boxes to send home....scary! We are calling everything books as it is cheaper.
-I put up a sign today and randomly talked to 2 new American students who are interested in buying my stuff- phone, sim card, lap top, bike, cultural pass for tickets in Lyon.
-Cara is going to Andy's tonight for a 'fondue experiemnt' and has to leave now before she is late!

Other news hot off the presses:
-Emily Standsfield Smith is coming to Europe and will arrive in London on March 23rd!
-Rhiannon is seriously looking at coming to Thailand!
-Kristel is also seriously looking at coming to Thailand (assuming her Nursing clinicals are not on at the same time....everyone cross your fingers....and toes)! Jump on the bandwagon anyone who is reading this and NOT currently considering soming to Thailand! It's cheap and close to Australia!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Just finished my Art Contemp exam!

Hey y'all (there is that deeply hidden bit of American coming out)!

I just finished my Histoire l'Art Contemporaine exam! 1 down, 2 to go! I chose the topic 'L'évolution de l'architecture française de 1815 à 1900'(the evolution of French architecture during 1815 à 1900) and proceeded to spill out all kinds of random names and dates of French painters, scultpers, architects from the Romantic (David, Winckleman, Flaxman, Canova, Baltard), Neo-Classic (David d'Anges, François Rude, Préault, Barye, Hittorff), Industial (Hector Horeau) and at the end Art Nouveau (Horta, Guimard). I would have liked to do something about Impressionisme, Neo-Impressionisme, Post-Impressionisme, Expressionisme et Symbolisme because those are my favourite movements but the other topic was a bit too broad (as I am sure you will agree) for my liking: 'La place du réalisme dans les différents courants de la peinture française au XIXe siècle' (The place of realisme in the different movements in French painting in the 19th century).

So yeah, going to look for accmodation in Sestriere and then go home, collapse and study Art Plastique (Fine Arts) as tomorrow I am meeting with my friend Bekki (England) to revise. I am sitting the exam next week sometime as it is schuduled for the 19th but that was too late as I am going to Turin right? Right! Bye for now!

Not such good news!

Received a letter from Shaggy today:

Hi Cara
I am afraid I have been unable to find accommodation for you at the moment, and until I can there is no job available as all my other accommodation is full up.
I am sorry for the lateness of me letting you know, but I have been looking everywhere for you and another girl.

However, I will call my family friend in Italy tonight and see if she knows anyone...friends, relatives, family friends, friend's relatives, co-workers...anyone (okay not anyone but ya know)! I REALY REALLY REALLY want this job...hope it's good if I get it in the end! 'Never give up! Never surrender!' Keep you posted. Otherwise, if job I will meet up with my friend Lisa (from Melbourne uni) in either Lyon or Italy.

I spent all day studying with Collene and yesterday studied with Appley! Exam tomorrow on Art Contemp at 8am...YUCK!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Hi there! I am back in Lyon once again! The trip home was a nightmare. I caught my train Monday as 8pm, found a nice carriage and started to wind down and go to sleep when the conductor told me that this PART of the train doesn’t go to France! What the? Yes, they separate the train at Salzburg and so if you are not on the first 3 carriages you get to stay in Salzburg. Disaster avoided I moved forward in the train only to find all the seats were reserved. Ridiculous! I think people reserve seats as its only 3 Euros and then if they don't catch the train it doesn’t matter. I eventually found seats where people had not turned up for their reservation, chatted with an Austrian girl who works in Paris and a South African lady on holiday.

We all went to sleep only to be woken every 5 minutes by the conductor putting more people into our cabin. In the end I was very lucky to get off the train in Strasbourg. We were all exhausted and no one heard my alarm go off at 5:30. When the guy sitting next to woke me and told me we were in Strasbourg I panicked and literally threw all my stuff off the train. A minute later it left!

So I went to get the next train to Lyon and found out to my dismay it didn't leave for 6 hours! ARG! A bit of a gap. If you don’t get the 6:04 the next one is 12:08! Ahhhh! So I slept, ate Austrian Christmas cookies, listened to music and wrote New Years resolutions for 6 hours! I caught the midday train and was happy to be on my way until I found that on this train seats were completely reserved as well! I don’t know how the system works but it definitely wasn’t working yesterday. The must have sold at least 300 tickets extra. I suppose I should be grateful as if they had not sold extra tickets I would have been stuck in Strasbourg.

However there were people crammed in everywhere in true Melbourne MET train cancellation style! I had a gentleman in first class offer me his seat as he departed but some woman asked if her sick husband could have it and seeing as I didn’t have a first class ticket and she had that snobby first class look about her I wasn’t about to make an issue about it. At one point they added 3 carriages to the train to accommodate people but it was not nearly enough and I didn’t get a seat. I was in the baggage car for a while hanging out with the ‘youth’ of the train. Someone was playing rap music and it was kinda cool until they all started smoking…arg the French! In the end I laid down curled up in the isle and everyone had to walk over me….gotta love transport in Europe. And to top it all off on the way home the bus broke down so I walked the rest of the way. Some days it’s a battle and you really have to fight for what you want…in my case to get home.

I got home and Ben and his friend Shelly had only arrived a few hours earlier. We chatted, I unpacked and cleaned my room which I left looking like the Tasmanian devil had just whipped through. We ate really good cheese stuffed pasta for tea, Shelly and I watched the movie ‘French Kiss’ which I saw in a completely new light after living here...incredible and then the traveling day from hell was over!

Today I am studying for my Contemporary Art exam on Thursday at 8am! Better get onto that! It is nice to be home and I am trying to absorb as much of Lyon as I can for the remainder of my stay here. Dave arrives on Jan 14th so I am looking forward to seeing some things in Lyon that I have not had the chance to see yet and take a break from studying!

Cara =)

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cara is returning to period is over!

I return to Lyon tonight. My train leaves at 8pm. I get into Strasbourg France at 5:55am and will take another train to Lyon. Bus it home from Lyon Part Dieu station. Anna left about an hour ago for the snow. Her parents headed off acouple of days ago and she decided spontaneously to go too. So I am going to go say goodbye and thank you to her Grandmother, visit her friend Myrium who lives around the corner and then head off to Westbanhoff station later! xoxoxox

New Years Eve in Vienna!

Hi everyone! Had a great New Years! I went into the city and bought a camera (a 5 megapixle minolta) and a train ticket home. I now have some type of Austrian youth train discount card for the year becasue my ticket was slightly cheaper even after buying the card for 20 Euros. Then I headed into the city as there were stages set up everywhere and people milling about and walking the 'New Years path' which was a suggested rourte to see all the stages. I started out at the town hall and got really really excited when the Christmas market in front was open....I love the Christmas market! Only today and yesterday it was a New Years Market! Oh Hooray! For New Years they sell all kinds of figurines and other trinkets that people give to eachother for the New Year. Pigs are probably the biggest symbol og good luck here but ladybugs, fourleaf clovers, red and white toad stools, frogs and other little things go down well too!

After the Market I went to see an Opera at 7pm called Falitermouse. It is a very famous Austrian Opera by Strauss and Anna's grandmother insisted that I go with her ticket. She insisted so much that she said she was going to be at home weather I went or nice of her! The Opera was very pretty and I am glad I went even though I did not understand the German and the subtitles were not so good. Then I took the tram back into the heart of the city to see a bit more of the New Years path. It was crazy! There were people everywhere and you can buy small fireworks on the streets here so there was banging going off everwhere. To add ot the noise, the same stalls that sell trinkets often sell whistles or horns so all in all it is pretty 'alive'! I walked to the main Church (St Stephans) in the centre of the city as the bell go off there at midnight and I wanted to see what was happening. It was very weird actually. When I got there there was a crowd but everyone was pushed back creating a big space in the middle and in that space there was the debrits of thousands of fireworks. People were setting off mainly the banging/popping kind but there were fountains and almost professional looking ones being shot into the air. It was pretty out of control. There were no police here, no barricades and people would cross the space and suddenly a firework would fall into their path. In the morning I had been lamenting over the fact that I was going to meet Anna outside the city later. I had this picture in my head of the count down in front of St Stephans and I kinda wnated to be there for the countdown. After seeing that I no longer wanted to be there let alone for the countdown. So I left quickly and took tram 38 back to Anna in Grinzing. As the tram pulled in I saw her and Myrium waiting for me on the street.

With 20 minutes to midnight we went to a hill just around the corner and met Anna's friend Beatrice and Johansses. We waited drinking Champagne in a snow covered vineyeard. Vienna has no officail firework show put on by the city which surprised me but the fact of the matter is they don't need one becasue from the hill we could see hundreds and thousands of fireworks going off all over the city. It was unbelieveable! Incredible! I am so glad I spent my New Years in a snow covered vineyard looking over all of Vienna, Austria!

P.S. My Nonie called me a little bit before midnight which was SO nice and I felt very loved and thought of!