Friday, November 20, 2015

French Village Life

Did you know that Fridays are really boring in Israel? For Shabbat, everything closes at around 2 in the afternoon, and all of the buses stop running. You'd think I could use use boring Fridays to get some homework done, but I'm just so annoyed at being cooped up in my room all day that nothing usually gets done. Thankfully, I have 4 day weekends... so there are other days to get things done!

So in the spirit of not having anything to do, and in the spirit of getting to go to France in 9 days... here's some reminiscing about the tiny little French town where I taught English during the 2013-2014 school year.

For the teaching internship, you don't get to choose where they send you. You can list 3 preferences for what regions you're interested in, but then they can send you anywhere within that region. I was lucky to get accepted to my first choice region- Alsace. I was also lucky enough to be assigned to towns that were close enough to the biggest city in the region- Strasbourg- to be able to commute from there. I worked 4 days/week, and it was a 40 minute train ride. I had fun getting lots of reading and blog writing done. I still miss getting to take trains all the time. I'm not a driving person. And buses are terrible. 

I was placed in a high school in Barr (a town with 6,000 people) and a middle school in Heiligenstein (1,000 people). Heiligenstein (yes, a lovely French name, right?) was so small there wasn't a lot to take pictures of, but I enjoyed wandering though little Barr during my breaks. My first impression was that it was the town from Beauty and the Beast. If I had the power, I wouldn't mind transporting these cute buildings over to Germantown. 

Most of these pictures I haven't posted before, so enjoy!

Colorful houses:









The town hall/mairie always had pretty flowers in the square.



I liked the little brook running through town.



The Protestant church was up on a hill overlooking the town. It was the best place to eat picnic lunches.




This was the house I wanted to live in.


Bonjour, madame!


Barr is surrounded by vineyards and the Vosges mountains.






(This last one's actually the neighboring town of Gertwiller... but it's so close to Barr that it's barely cheating)

I doubt you will, but if you ever make it to Barr, stop by this pastry shop. Délicieux.


Last but not least, here's the girl who loved being an English assistant in this little French town in Alsace:


If you haven't overdosed on cute Alsatian architecture yet, here's a glimpse of another cute town (slightly bigger) that was nearby- Obernai. For their Christmas nativity display (yes, those are allowed in public places in France...), they had French Lil' Sebastian!!!! Best thing ever.


Alsace, tu me manques! I wish I could be there for the amazing Christmas markets that are just about to open, but I have to content myself with the great trip I have planned- stops in Lyon, Grenoble, Gap (David's home town), and Provence. That combined with a few days in Jerusalem next week will make for an exciting couple of weeks! 












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