Sunday, December 1, 2013

Everyday in Alsace

Since I just wrote a post about the kinds of things that I do everyday in Strasbourg, I also wanted to write one about some of the things I’ve seen in the Alsace region.

A while ago, before my Italy trip, one of the English teachers at the high school invited me over to her house for lunch. After lunch, she and her husband took me on a little sightseeing tour, which was so nice!

The first place we went to was Mont St. Odile. It’s an abbey that’s on top of a mountain and overlooks the whole area. St. Odile is the patron saint of Alsace. Here’s the abbey, and a statue of her.

The views were very beautiful. I’m just such a fan of trees.

After that, we went to the little town of Obernai, which is known for being cute and picturesque. I mean, it looked like I guess it lived up to expectations.

A few weeks later, I was invited to go on a field trip with the high schoolers. We went to the town of Sélestat. Sélestat is famous for the Humanist Library, which was the reason for the trip. We saw lots of old books, from as old as the 700s. The reason that I was invited specifically was because this library has the book where the word ‘America’ was printed for the first time. The author of the book was the first person to suggest America as the name for the continent, and it took almost another century for it to stick. They call this book “America’s birth certificate,” which I can now say I’ve seen.

We also went to the two main churches in Sélestat. One is built in the Romanesque style, and one in the Gothic style. The history teacher used them as examples to talk about the different architecture styles. That’s cool that French kids can just go to the next town over to see the difference between Romanesque and Gothic churches. I only had powerpoints.

Here’s the Romanesque church:

And here’s the Gothic church.

I’ve also taken some time to walk around Barr a little more.

Hearts on the window shutters! Cute.

I only recently found the town hall- very pretty architecture.

Barr is surrounded by vineyards.

This little church sits on the hill overlooking the town. I sit up here sometimes when I have a break at work.

The main square has some pretty fall decorations.

I was surprised to also CHRISTMAS decorations start popping up. Those are definitely ornaments on that very fall-looking tree.

One of the benefits of getting to live somewhere, as opposed to just visiting somewhere, is getting to see some of these smaller, out of the way towns. I love a good cute small town.

And since this is about my everyday life in Alsace...I’ll do a little update on my job. I think that the last time I talked about it on here, I’d only taught one lesson. Well, now I’ve taught a lot more than that! I go to 12 different classes every week. In most of them recently, I’ve been teaching about Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims. They were really amused by concepts such as Black Friday shopping and eating corn on the cob "like animals do" (they don't eat corn like that in Europe).

On another note, all of the students think America is cool. So that’s fun. The other day they told me that American accents are way cooler than British accents. It’s entertaining that I’m considered exotic over here. I would say every day, at least 3 students are wearing American flag shirts. America is in in France.

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