May 21

Monday, May 21, 2007

I just walked more than a half marathon – actually!! And my feet and legs are pretty much tired…but they don’t “hurt” really – buying those Mirelle shoes I bought at Nordstrom’s was a great thing to do.
I was supposed to go to school today. I got up and was ready to go at 8:30 when we were supposed to leave…but we were late leaving because Victoire was still straightening her hair! I decided to grab an apple for the road (not really having plans, I have discovered it is always good to be prepared) and the mom basically called me fat! I was pretty much stunned and didn’t really say anything…the funny thing is that although I am not a stick, I don’t really consider myself exactly overweight, either – and her daughter is, well….about twice my size. So it was a pretty strange comment. Anyway…I think her worrying about me getting fatter is probably the least of her worries.
At the school, I was abandoned by Victoire as soon as she saw someone she knew. Thankfully I knew where I was going because of the meeting here on Saturday. I went and had my ‘meeting’ with Chantal and she sent me off to the student office thing where they tried to figure out what classes for me to attend. That was all fine and dandy until I got back from the library at ten O’clock to find that the classes that they’d planned for me to attend had been cancelled. So…I left the school.
I went to the train station to get the timetable for the trains going to Avignon and had the thing explained by the ticket guy who thought it was pretty much the funniest event of the day (it’s not like I read train tables on a regular basis!). I thought there may be a chance that my bike store would be open as well, but it wasn’t. And, I am not honestly sure if I am going to rent a bike from there anyway…last night at dinner I met the people who live downstairs and he said that he has a bike that I can borrow…so we shall see!!
I went to the post office to see how many stamps I would need to send mail to Canada, only to find out that the stamps that Mme Lenfant had kindly given to me were useless…I ended up giving them to the homeless guy that was opening the door to the post office in hopes of getting change. He seemed happy enough!!
Before I set out on my marathon I ate a little quiche thing from the bakery that I stumbled upon after leaving the post office. I sat in the same little place that I found yesterday and watched the ducks swim around. It was very pleasant!
So I walked to Fountain de Vaucluse today…It says on the road sign that it is only 6Km from that point leaving Isle sur la Sorgue…so from the school it was at least 8Km and going home it was at least 9Km as I walked back to the house. And then, walking all around the two towns…I figure I did around 25 Km walking today. It would have been nicer had it not been on a secondary highway…but that was really my only option to get there. At least that way I wasn’t worried about there being a lack of people at any time, so that was nice.
I walked for a good 45 minutes enjoying the birds and looking at the houses and farms and such until I saw a huge aqueduct. It is called “L’aqueduc de Galas” and is in perfect condition. I was excited to see that…I didn’t really realize there was any more to see, to be honest. I walked around the aquaduct and was about to turn around to go home when I realized I didn’t see the typical signage that indicated I was where I was trying to go –and they are always so good at indicating the town limits here, so I kept walking.
Not long after I was in the town, and I was really happy I found it!! It was really cute and had lots of interesting things there. I wandered around a bit until I found the tourist office and I got a nice little map, but really the town was small enough that I didn’t need the map. I visited a paper mill first of all and it was very cool – they actually still used the water wheel to generate the power for mashing the stuff that makes the paper. It made me happy to see it happening because I know how to “make paper” (starting off with blended paper scraps!!) and here it was happening on a rather large scale. It was all I could do to resist buying some random poem that had been printed on one of the pieces of paper – they were all sooo cool!!
Then I attempted to walk up to the castle that was in the middle of town…and it took me a good three tries before I actually found the right path – one that I had walked by three times before I actually took it!! It wasn’t a long walk up to the ruins, but I was a happy girl! I happen to absolutely love castles, or in this case, the remains of castles! It was a nice little climb. And I noticed a bunch of trails that continued up onto the cliffs that I would really like to climb up too…but today was not the day because I did not have time and because wearing a skirt is not exactly ideal for hiking (although that black skirt I bought in San Fran is pretty much amazing for everything!!)
After seeing that, I pretty much had run out of time because I needed to be home by about 5:30 and still had to walk there!!! I thought I had pretty much seen everything, but looking on the map now, I’ve noticed that I missed the other hikes and a graveyard…but for a day trip on foot, I think I did pretty well – and it was pretty cool!
Before I started on the road home though I bought a pistachio ice cream cone. My first ice cream since I’ve been here…and it was pretty darn good!!! And…I noticed a kayaking place on the way in and decided that it would be cool to kayak back to Isle sur la Sorgue…but when I stopped in on the road home I found out that they only leave once a day at 2pm…so I had pretty much missed it by 2 hours!! So I walked…but it was still a good thing to do!!
And now I am resting my tired feet!! Walking and running sure do use different parts of my legs…it is weird, actually!! Never really noticed that before…
So tomorrow is Avignon I think. Another day of walking, and touring, but it’ll be good! When the Schigand’s took me there when I was here six years ago, we’d driven from Metz all night long, and we arrived in Avignon at about 6:30 in the morning. Let’s just say we were really the only ones that were alive at that hour!! I may even pay the money and go dancing on the bridge!!! Exciting!!

Later

-Allison

P.S. Because I am always by myself, I am sure getting good at doing those pictures of myself by holding the camera away…kinda funny pictures in the end though!!

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