During my sabbatical, I travelled to many places in 6 weeks. They included:
- Brussels and Bruges in Belgium
- Tuscany in Italy
- Morocco (French speaking, of course)
After Belgium, I went directly Riorges to the Ecole des Trois Ponts. There I immersed myself in french language during class and at mealtime. Hardly any English was spoken in 7 days. The food was delicious and the french classes were challenging but fun. (and yes, my french improved).
Then it was on to……..Paris….. twice? Yes. Once, to do the “20 km de Paris” race and back again to stay in an apartment I had rented on the left bank.
Being in Paris in October was an entirely different trip. First, the weather was getting colder. Secondly, it was the month of strikes! The French love to strike and during my stay, they were protesting against President Sarkozy and his impending government cuts. As I exited the Mouffetard area near my apartment, I suddenly encountered protesters. I felt perfectly safe and was amazed that in the end, there were 60000 to 330000 protesters out that day. The protests just added to my list of new discoveries in Paris.
I also finally visited the bookstore, Shakespeare and Co., which was named after the original one that opened in 1919. I was able to attend an interesting book talk one evening where chairs were crammed inside and even flowed outside of this small shop.