This has been the craziest week. I finally started classes at Lyon 2 and IEP- Lyon, and I could not be more excited that the first week is over with. The most difficult part was probably getting through the bureaucracy of it all. I never could have imagined that I would have needed a million copies of the same form for every single office I visit (can’t they just use technology like everyone else?). From what I’ve heard, bureaucracy in in general in France is not the most efficient. It’s completely ridiculous that I had to go around looking at bulletin boards trying to find classes for certain types of specializations. However, the week is officially over with, and it gave me the chance to meet new friends and bond with old ones. Most importantly, I am now an official student at Lyon 2 (but will probably need to do the same thing over again at IEP– can’t wait!), and can relax a little bit (j’espère!).
No matter how stressful this week has been, I really love all of my classes, especially the ones at Sciences-Po. It’s really interesting to see what others think of the United States (I think that the subject of the United States and its involvement has come up at least four or five times in each class) and its world-wide involvement, and it’s even more interesting to get perspective on events that I have already learned about.
I decided to end the week in a better way than just thinking about inefficient French bureaucracy, and bought a ticket up to see Dijon. The train ride up was beautiful, and thankfully there was a lot more to do than just mustard tastings. My friend and I went around to most of the major attractions using Le Parcours de la chouette. It’s basically this path that’s specifically designed for tourists to go through and see everything–just follow the owls and the rest is taken care of! On the path, we ran into good ol’ TJ, so naturally we were very excited. My favorite place was probably the Notre Dame of the city, although I didn’t get to really look at it as much as I wanted to. We went inside and sat down with everyone else, wondering just what exactly was going on. I started taking pictures (I had to! Gothic architecture!), and before I knew it, I saw a line of people carrying a casket down one of the sides of the nave. We had accidentally crashed a funeral! Needless to say, we ran out of there as quickly as possible.
The path worked up to that point. However, I’m still not the greatest at directions and wound up off of it several times. Of course, this just meant exploring more of the city and more interesting things (read: shopping). Anyway, after a few hours of getting lost (read: more shopping), it got too cold to actually walk anywhere (the world should not be allowed to get below 0 degrees–that’s just cruel), so my friend and I ended up in a movie theater and celebrated being warm with Chinese food (which was probably one of our best ideas yet!). To those who are scoffing at me eating Chinese food in France, I more than made up for it with this the next day in Beaune:
My friend and I visited Les Halles (the market) of Dijon (after backpacking from our hostel at the outskirts of the city) and decided to take a trip down to Beaune at the spur of the moment, and while we only stayed there for a few hours, it ended up being a great decision. Beaune is famous for being the wine capital of Burgundy, for les Hospices (basically an old Hospital), and having decorated and colorful roofs. Everything there was absolutely beautiful and quaint! I’m not kidding– I felt like I had stepped right into a fairy tale as I walked down the cobblestone streets leading down to old (gothic!!!) cathedrals and wine caves. Moreover, it reminded me of my old obsession with cool doors– I’ll let the pictures explain it!