It’s only been a month and half, and we’ve already done so much, including a handful of things I’ve never done before:
The first week of October we visited Le Château de Clisson – a castle built in the 13th century that was burned down during the Vendéen Wars in the late 18th century. Out of all the castles I’ve visited – and not just with IES - this one by far outweighed them all, without a shadow of a doubt.
Part two of our weekend trip was a winery not far from the castle. We toured the grapevines (well, actually just vines, as there were barely any grapes growing) and the winery itself – fermentation room, maturation cellar, wine storage hall, and the tasting room. I didn’t really take a liking to any of the three muscadets that we tried, but I very much enjoyed the experience of acting like a snooty sommelier.
After returning to Nantes, my friend Marie and I decided to take advantage of the fête foraine (Nantes’ temporary fair that lasts a month) that was closing the next day, and rode the Ferris wheel that took us up six times and showed us an amazing view of our gorgeous city.
This past Tuesday we spent our gastronomy class learning how to roll croissants and pains au chocolat, as well as how to make baguettes in La Viennoise. What could be better than that??
On Friday I got sprayed by an ELEPHANT. Okay, a wooden one... A bunch of visited Les Machines de L’île, an exhibit that displays mechanical animals that are much larger than life-size, and are inspired by Jules Verne – born in Nantes! – and Leonardo da Vinci. One of the temporary machines they had in August was the mountable and fire-breathing Chinese dragon, but it decided it was too cool for Nantes the week before we arrived in Nantes. However, the elephant (that you can ride, as well) is the best part of the exhibit.
When I came back home that evening, I found my exchange sister teaching my host parents how to make dumplings, which is something I’ve always wanted to learn. We used store-bought wrappers, but just the task of enveloping the pork in the pastry was difficult enough, and it took me several tries to get it right. We made so many for lunch the next day that I would have been satisfied not eating dinner.
I don't think I've loved food as much I do now. Everything - and I mean everything...tastes better here. If you haven't been to France, take any advantage you have to visit this amazing country. You won't regret it.
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<p>Bonjour! I'm Laura Schneider, a junior at the cozy College of Wooster, majoring in vocal performance and minoring in French. Apart from immersing myself in these two fields, I enjoy baking - while occasionally tweaking recipes, riding my bike, reading (especially outside), and playing (and watching) tennis. I lived in Bath, England with my parents my sophomore year of high school, and am so thrilled to be abroad on my own this time! After college, I am hoping to further my studies in performance somewhere in Chicago!</p>