On Location French – 25 Mar 2013

130325-roseBonjour tout le monde, it’s Rose here. I’m not long back from a few weeks’ holidays from school for les vacances d’hiver, the winter holidays. It feels like I’m always on holiday!

In the same theme as my last article, I decided to put my two weeks off school to good use and travel around the south of France, and cross the French/Spanish border to spend a few days in Barcelona. My first stop was Bordeaux, in the Aquitaine region. Here I tried some canelé pastries, a regional speciality. We also had the chance to sample some wine, Bordeaux being known as the best wine-making region in France. Being on a bit of a budget, on a fait du lèche-vitrine, we went window shopping, as Rue Sainte Catherine in Bordeaux is the longest shopping street in Europe, and quite a sight! From Bordeaux we took an overnight bus to Barcelona, the Catalonian capital. This was a bit of a shock to the system at first, after trying to reply to people in French in restaurants etc! I had a great time in Barcelona sightseeing around the Sagrada Familia church, the Picasso museum and a trip to Gaudi’s Parc Guell. We also found some fleamarkets and vintage shops and went to a mini music festival on Saturday night with some British bands. I then hopped back over the border to France for a few days in Toulouse. I was much more confident about my language abilities once I was back on French soil! I was able to meet up with fellow Radio Lingua blogger Scott and go for some cassoulet together. This is the regional dish of Toulouse, a sort of casserole filled with duck, pork and kidney beans. Maybe more suited to a cold winter’s night instead of a mild March day but it was nice to try. It was interesting to see other regions in France with different customs and traditions from Brittany. In Toulouse especially I picked up on the very different accent to that here in Brittany!

In contrast to the sunny south, we stepped off the train in St Brieuc to flurries of snow. Overnight it got much worse, meaning my first two days back after the holidays were written off as jours de neige – snow days, yes, in March! Luckily it was mostly la neige mouillée – slushy snow, with only a little bit of verglas – ice. Once I was back at school, my pupils happily told me stories about how they made des bonhommes de neige, snowmen, during their time off. Personally I preferred to stay at home in the warmth! I hope you enjoyed reading about my holidays, and à la prochaine!

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