Friday, May 28, 2010

France: Days 1-3

Bonjour from Caen in the Normandy region of France.  I arrived safe and sound, albeit later than I intended.  Thankfully there were no major hicups in travel!  And I've had virtually no jet lag.

For those of you who do not know, one my my dearest childhood friends, Kelli, is studying abroad in Caen this semester and I've come to visit her during her last days in Caen and then we will tour other areas of France with another girl before heading back to the US.  Kelli writes a simply wonderful blog, and I encourage everyone to read it.

I am SO EXCITED to be in France and one of my biggest goals is to eat as much as I possibly can, particularly at as many patisseries and boulangeries (pastry shops and bread bakeries) as I can find.  After all, I need to "research" for my education :)  And in Europe, one does so much walking (I've got the blisters to prove it) that eating is no problem what so ever!  

Here's a few random pictures from my trip thus far.....   Some food-related, and some just travel ones.

Day 1&2: Charleston to Atlanta to Paris to Caen  
A slightly exhausted me on the train in Paris to Caen

Kelli making soup for dinner on her super sweet induction cooktop!  We're currently eating cheap to save our Euros for later in the trip 

Speaking of eating cheap, did you know that you can get perfectly wonderful chocolate mousse for like the equivalent of $.25?  Mium-Mium (the french equivalent of "um-yum," the spelling of which I may or may not have butchered....)

Old-town Caen at night

Day 3: Caen
A patisserie I passed by! 

My first laminated dough product in France: jalousie 
(croissant dough with almond frangipan inside and pearl sugar outside) 

Sainte Etienne le vieux, a church in Caen that was destroyed around D-Day.  
Actually much of Caen was destroyed during that time.  

A lovely book store

Baguettes with the best stipples I've seen so far.... 
unfortunately we were on our way to dinner when I saw them, so I have yet to try them....  

Traditional Norman Galettes for dinner! Galettes are made with buckwheat flour..... 

Crepe Caennaise:  Crepe with apple filling, apple sorbet,
 and a flambe'd shot of Calvados, a Norman apple brandy 

Day 3: Bus trip to Lion-sur-Mer
Visiting the beach in Lion-sur-Mer

THEY HAVE RHUBARB YOGURT IN FRANCE! Drool.......  

Picnic lunch: heavenly Comte cheese, a baguette, nectarines, nutella, cornishons (spicy pickles), Orangina, and cookies!  Mmmmm! 

Kelli, channeling Sean Connery in "The Last Crusade" and frolicking on the beach with her parapluie. 

Preston, willing to risk his own life and the welfare of the cider he bought for his mother, to protect us girls from the potential perils of the squatty-potty (and not just a squatty-potty, but one that has a motion detector to flood the floor with water once one braves a step inside. 

Photos from Day 4 (today) to come next post!  


p.s. I failed to mention at the beginning of this entry that I am composing this blog at McDonalds (McDo here) because they have the best free internet around! And this is the most chic McDo I've ever seen (and who thought "chic" and "McDo" would ever be used in the same sentence).....    They even sell French Macarons?  Pictures to come next post...... 

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