The adventure begins.
13.09.2011 65 °F
So much has happened since I wrote last that it's hard to remember where I left off, so I'll start with Saturday. Saturday I went on a pretty cool wine tour of the Burgundy region. Unfortunately, it was more a vines tour sans the wine, but was nonetheless fun and exciting. It was an absolutely beautiful day with nothing but blue skies from start to finish, which made for phenomenal pictures all day. I also realized that 85 degrees, it was the hottest weather I had felt in a full 12 months thanks to Denver fall/winter/spring and summer in Vail. Not a bad way to live. I have attached a few pictures below as well as a link to the full gallery I posted on Facebook to the pictures from the wine tour. It's pretty unbelievable how much wine and vineyards there are here... It was almost as though I had traded a skyline full of mountains for a skyline full of vineyards as far as the eye could see at times. Pretty awesome. I got to see my first two castles here in France, which was AWESOME!! It absolutely blows my mind, still, to think about those. How long they've been around, how long they will probably still be here because of the protection and acknowledgement of their historic significance, how much they've probably seen, from wars to plagues and famine, to drought, harsh winters, etc, the architects that designed them, the fact that they were probably built by HAND over a thousand years ago, the wars they've fought and seen, so on and so on. It just blows my mind. So so cool, and they're everywhere over here! It's awesome. On the tour we also got to visit the Hotel Dieu in Beaune, which you may not know by name, but I'm sure you've seen pictures do to its famous rooftop tiles, and I took a 360 shot from inside the courtyard as well because I thought it was just too cool. We were then given a couple of hours to explore Beaune after visting Hotel Dieu, which is a very cool, cute, small town about 30 mins by train from Dijon. It's definitely on my list of places to day explore and also to take my girlfriend for a day when she comes here to visit in a couple of months.
Sunday was mainly just a lazy day. I didn't realize how much is actually closed around here on Sundays until I tried to find things to do here. I've heard from many that the French have a great appreciation and respect for the family and self time and long lunches and relaxing and so on, so everything was closed on Sunday. The one highlight on Sunday was the 9/11 service held for the handful of Americans who live in the city. The ironic part of it was that 9/11 is also the anniversary of the liberation of Dijon during World War II, so it was really more of a celebration than remembrance for us, full of a full band, soldiers, the mayor of Dijon, and so on. Pretty cool, and we got to see the inside of the town hall here, absolutely gorgeous as you would expect, and we got to be interviewed by a news reporter for TV as American students on our reaction to 9/11 then now. Cool fact related to that also, I have now been in all forms of news media: print, online, radio, and TV. Weird, but cool. No one I know personally can say the same. There are pictures of that as well in my gallery, Daily Life in Dijon, France, link is below.
Yesterday was another adventure, although stressful at times. It was a combination of more exploring, which led to more pictures of Cathedrals since they're everywhere and super photogenic and a new 360. I haven't fully explored it yet, but from the campus tour, the ESC gym is tiny. It makes me respect, appreciate, and miss the Ritchie Center SO much. I'll be looking forward to coming home to that, both for fitness and job's sake. As a result, I looked up a bunch of "home gym" body weight exercises and made a long list before going to work. I worked out for about two hours since it's been almost 10 days since the gym at home, doing everything from dips with a chair and my bed, to pull ups on the back of the door, to push ups, sit ups, and a variety of other things. It's going to be interesting for sure, but another kid I met from Germany wants to explore the gym too since he works out a lot at home, so maybe next week I'll give that a go with him. Monday was also a bunch of running around trying to figure out my bank situation. Long story short and many hours of walking later, I've been to the bank five times in the last two days, and I finally have money here. Just in time before my last meal was eaten too. Also yesterday, my girlfriend bought a ticket to come visit for a week over Thanksgiving break in the States. I am too excited and can't wait to have her over here. This has been a bit of a roller coaster ride and an adventure to say the least, but she and I are taking it step by step and week by week, and I couldn't be happier with that right now. I'll have to work out the timing while my family is here part of that week also, but I'm sure we'll find a way.
That brings things up to the present for now! Tomorrow morning I am leaving with the four kids from Kentucky and we're all going to go explore Rome for a few days before coming back on Saturday since "class" starts on Monday evening I think. I can't even begin to express my excitement to spend the next few days in Rome. Five years of Latin in high school and having just finished up 3 years of classes for my Italian minor, I am going to explode. Literally. My Osprey backpack I bought way back in April for 14ers is turning into an amazing travel pack also, and I couldn't be more satisfied with that also. I probably won't update again until I get back from Rome, full of pictures of every Roman place and artifact I studied about through high school, or at least as many as I can find while we're there! I'm hoping to get a 360 from inside the Colosseum also...so stay tuned for that!
Until next time, au revoir, arrivederci, et merci beaucoup for reading!
Daily Life in Dijon (ever growing, so bookmark it!): http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2394979315874.2138738.1292672395&l=e693c79b73&type=1
Burgundy Wine Tour: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2405930389644.2139035.1292672395&l=b843accb82&type=1
(these look better if opened on an iPhone, by the way)
Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne: http://t.co/lCij9eq
My flat in Dijon: http://360.io/Q2hnRe
Chateu Vougeot: http://360.io/PXeLpv
Hotel Dieu: http://360.io/aQWhxd
And the highlights!
I am taking my girlfriend here first thing for a date night out, and I can't wait.