Sunday, October 14, 2012

Field Trippin' Revisited

I'm discovering that one of the hardest things about maintaining a regular blog is that I often have more stories and photos than time to compile them. As a result, I find myself getting around to putting up some things over a week after they happened--at least that's how it is in this case. Sadly, this leads to distinctly less-appealing stories--something like eating a baguette the day after you buy it: all you do is crack your teeth on its crusty sides and wish that you'd finished it off the day before. So I'm going to do my best to revive these stale-bread stories with some lovely pictures and pinch of lively wit! (Would you expect anything less...?!)

Adventures in Aix
To make up for a surplus of fun the previous week, I had intended to spend the entire morning and afternoon in Aix (pronounced like the letter "x") hitting the books and catching up on missed school assignments. Unfortunately, we are somewhat dependent on the internet and it just so happened to not be working at the Aix chapel. But, not to worry--Poppins to the rescue! I was fortunate enough to happen upon a local who told me we could access the internet at the office of tourism--we simply had to figure out how to get there! So, a few bus passes and quick "please-don't-let-us-get-lost" prayers later, we found ourselves holding school in the middle of the city! This of course necessitated a little post-study exploration...and being at the tourism office was a great place to figure out what Aix-en-Provence had to offer! Apparently, it's quite famous for its fountains. Take a look at the following for proof:
Pretty impressive, eh? Well, this beautiful creature was located squarely (roundly?) in the middle of a busy roundabout, but we nonetheless wanted to get closer to inspect it thoroughly! Oddly, the instant we stepped near it after risking life and limb to cross the street, it shut off and left us with a mere trickle as opposed to its previous splendor...
And would you believe that it immediately turned back on again as soon as we dodged another stream of cars to regain the main pedestrian path?! Unbelievable...But, not to be deterred, we pulled out our recently acquired tourist map to locate the next fountain in our brief tour! However...the other "fountains" ranged from 1-foot water gurgles to moss-covered rocks with slight trickles. failed us... But at least I got one of my signature narrow street pics at the end! The bells in the Spanish-looking tower were even ringing at the time. If only pictures had sound attached to those crazy moving pictures you sometimes see... ;)

At Home in Geneva
For those of you who don't yet know it, I'm absolutely obsessed with Switzerland. The instant we drive across the border between France and my home-away-from-home, I can honestly feel the difference--it's almost like I get a sort of life force from being there! So, spending a day running around one of my favorite Swiss cities was a definite treat! (Not to mention the fact that one of my best friends, Nathalie Tschumi, came with!) The academic portion of our field trip involved locating as many coats of arms as possible (related to a lesson from that day) and alerting each other slug-bug style. Geneva has more coats of arms throughout the city than the U.S. has flags on the fourth of July, I quickly decided to abolish the game to avoid having bruises all over my upper arms... And the boys just amused themselves by playing chess instead!

We then headed over to the lake to enjoy the incomparable Jet d'Eau. It's actually just a spurt of water that constantly shoots 450 feet into the air, but somehow, it's still extremely cool--especially since you can walk all the way down its jetty and get absolutely drenched in the process... Yup--it was an awesome day for all of us! (And check out that blue sky! Must have been because Switzerland is another name for paradise...)


  1. Dear Donna,

    I totally understand the difference in feeling between France and Switzerland. I felt it every time I crossed the border. Oh how I love them both - but especially Geneve!!! And was that Parc de Bastillons? I'm assuming so because that would be a fantastic place for a few history lessons :) That place really was my home away from home. Can't tell you how many hours I spent in there - with great success might I add - and not just in beating random strangers at chess either ;)

    1. That is indeed the Parc Bastion! I love that place. We had a little lesson on the Protestant Reformation as well--right there on scene! It was awesome. :)

  2. I only made it to Aix a few times. The mission office was there when I served my mission.