Monday, 27 June 2005

update, again

Stuff has happened. Ian was the harbinger, dropping by Rennes a couple of weeks ago for endless parties with his former housemates, a group comprising, it seems, half of the ag campus. There was a basketball tournament at Chanteloup, featuring as players Liz, Veronique, Yann, and myself among others. We reached the final undefeated but lost in close circumstances, although to be honest it was all about the paella afterwards, along with the alcohol-soaked cherries and boisterous drunken singing.

Mick and Chris arrived Tuesday the week after, and we pushed off around Brittany for a few days. A day at Mont-St-Michel, an afternoon at Vitre, and trips to the markets at St Therese and Les Lices all featured. Then last Saturday we hit Nantes to meet Fabu, although I didn't wind up actually seeing any of Nantes. We went for a walk on the beach (the same as last year's team seminar) before crepes at Le Croisic, and then the next day dodged the heat by heading to the microclimate of Finistere and the Pointe du Raz, the latter being a highlight.

Following Nantes, on Monday we caught a train via Bordeaux to Toulouse, where we stayed with Valerie and Juan. On Tuesday we went out to Carcassonne and saw the town and the castle just outside, which was a bit touristy (10 euros to get into the keep) but still impressive. On getting back to Toulouse, Juan took us around the fete de la musique, which was enormous - if someone told me there were a hundred thousand people on the streets and fifteen thousand in the place du capitole, it wouldn't surprise me. On Wednesday we toured around Toulouse, through the musee des agustins and past a couple of churches including the very architecturally weird cathedrale. On Thursday we headed to Albi, another small town to the east with a cathedral notable for the number, colour, and 3-D elements of its wall art, and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum, which was pretty cool, although Chris didn't dig it so much.

You'd think that was enough, but on Friday I did the big Z from Toulouse to Bordeaux to Paris to Rennes for a party/photo night from Liz' farewell weekend. Having been asked to bring a plate or something to drink, I took both, rustling up some Gado Gado (sans chili - french folk don't go there, usually) and toting along a bottle of Famous Grouse. Good party, Sophie having taken care of making a DVD and Audrey of assembling a photo CD, and notable for Veronique making it along. After drinking all the scotch I could find (not, of course, alone), and learning some fairly surprising news (will elaborate when I'm sure I'm not jumping the gun, but its not news for you, Chris), I crashed at Avenir before heading home the next day.

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