Saturday, May 16, 2009

So much to write about!!!! it's only been a couple of days since my last update, but I already feel swamped by how much I have to write about. I'm not even sure where to start, so I'll do my best to cover what I've been up to and throw in some random thoughts about the trip along the way.

First, I've finally developed a routine for my life on weekdays. School has turned out to be quite enjoyable, which is a nice change from back home. GTL is definitely a good break from school back home in Atlanta. I really like the small campus feel it has. I have a short 5 minute walk to class that goes along a field the whole way! It beats North Avenue quite easily. However, there is a prison across the street from the dorms, but it's not very scary. I'm kind of expecting/hoping for some escapee to sprint across the field in front of it with a bunch of guards and dogs chasing after him. Maybe that's a random thought to have, but it would be a pretty cool sight to have as I walk to class. I'll be sure to let you guys know if that happens! I also like the small number of students that are here. It makes everything feel more personal. I think this will be a great break from my life over the past 5 semesters at Tech.

Anyways, classes are going well. I'm trying to avoid buying books! I checked out a textbook from the library, and I also have friends who are sharing theirs with me. Thank you to Scott and Taylor for that! Besides, I do not want to be carrying books all around Europe on the weekends! I'll just do my best to finish everything during the week. I'm enjoying my teachers, and I like my schedule. I've got a good balance of going to class, taking small breaks, getting lunch, and going to the grocery store. I think I'm going to average going there almost everyday. Baguettes are so much better fresh! My French speaking is slowly getting better. I'm so glad I chose to take the French class. It's going to add so much to my experience abroad. I can't wait to show off my French to Anna when she gets here and my family as well. I'm definitely starting to adapt to the European life style and way of life. I'm feeling more and more like a local when I go into Metz.

I started my get "getting back into shape" program this morning with a jog into town. You all will have to keep me accountable and make sure I keep up with it. I'm hoping to run every weekday and maybe once over the weekends depending on my travels. I still haven't played soccer yet! I know that's unbelievable, but I'm sure that will change quite soon.

So, that's all the boring stuff about my student life. Now on to the exciting stuff!

I went to Metz for the first time last night. I was really impressed with the city. There's so much history to it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised though because that's pretty much what all of Europe is like. I'm always awestruck at how much history surrounds me as I work through cities here. Anyways, we took a brief tour through the city and around the cathedral, but the real fun started when I grabbed a box of pasts to go and walked through the city with Jeff, a graduate student, and Katia, the director of the program. It was definitely a great way to get introduced to the city of Metz. Jeff's goes to grad school at GTL and Katia was born in France, so they both had a lot to share with me! I'm so lucky to have had the chance to tour around the city with them. It's hard not to just desribe everything I did perfect detail. There are so many wonderful buildings, bridges, gardens, parks, etc. Anything you would expect in a typical European city. Luckily, I took a few pictures to share all that stuff through!

The city is gorgeous at night! All the churches light up and look incredible. There's a river that flows right through the city and restaurants and building alongs it's edge are beautifuly relfected up and down it. It truly is a great place to relax after a day of classes. I'm so excited to be able to call it my summer home. I'm beginning to feel more and more like a local when I walk around it!

I finished the night off by hanging out in a pub with some fellow students. We all sat back and enjoyed each others' company while exchanging our adventure stories to see who had the best experience of the day. It's been a lot of fun getting to meet new people here. I've made lots of new friends already. The students on the trip are great. But yeah, that pretty much sums up yesterday! Just think I still have a lot to talk about for what I did today.

Today, I finally got my French phone working! My phone number is: 0643405656. You'll have to add a few country codes to the front if you're trying to call me from the U.S. All incoming calls are free though! Feel free to give me a ring. Just make sure you know what time it is here when you're calling ;)

I decided to go into Metz again tonight because there was still a lot I wanted to see, and I wanted to share some of the things I saw with my friends! Scott, Patrick, and I spent almost 7 hours touring through the city. We saw EVERYTHING and had a fun time along the way. The highlight of the tour was definitely going into the Basilique Saint-Vincent. From the front, it's just your average, decorative European building, the kind where you look at it and think "that's cool." However, my investigative skills kicked in, and I decided to go into a small open door next to the entrance. Like it's name describes, it was more than just a pretty front; it turned out to be a huge cathedral, the second largest in Metz actually. We were confronted by an elderly gentleman when we walked in. I was worried he was going to tell us to get out, but instead he started speaking to us and soon after we were invited inside where we were introduced to his wife who spoke great English and was more than happy to talk to us about the lovely cathedral. We ended up looking around and chatting with her for at least 30 minutes! It was a truly wonderful experience. They even opened up the front doors for us to walk out of :D I think they were really impressed with us, especially considering the reputation Americans traditionally have. We were so proud of ourselves and our new discovery. I'm sure we'll be sharing that story with our friends tomorrow.

We saw a ton more things around Metz as well. Another highlight was the Porte de Allemands, "Gate of the Germans." It's an old medieval German gateway into the city that crosses over the!

Obviously, we were quite exhausted after our many adventures through the city, but we paid a price for spending so much time walking around. We missed the bus back. We decided to grab a bite to eat and walk back as opposed to waiting for the later routes to come through. It wasn't a bad walk back though. We made it from the train station to La Fayette in only 30 minutes. Oh, the train station! It's amazing. I never expected it to be so sophisticated. I was really worried about having to go in there all summer and make reservations, but now I think I'll be fine. It was almost like a small airport. I can't wait to see the other stations around Europe!

But that about does it. I'm exhaused not only from all my city exploring but from all this blogging. Until next time... au revoir!

1 comment:

  1. I love Trier. Be sure to get fish and sit out overlooking the Mosel river!