June 4

Monday, June 4, 2007
Everyone has one noise they can’t stand. Kendra cannot stand the sound of Styrofoam crunching (egg cartons and those little popcorn packaging things) and other people can’t deal with nails on chalkboards. I can’t deal with clocks ticking or beeping. I go nutty. And it isn’t just because I don’t like the ticking – it is actually that my mind goes crazy with the noise! Anyway…in our long hallway of rooms the youngest girl (Eva) has 3 ticking clocks that, well, tick – non-stop!! I actually had to wear earplugs to bed last night because of it! Here I am in the middle of the country and I have to wear earplugs. How ironic is that?! It was a great sleep other than that, though!!
I got a ride with Mme Prissette (who, when we called her last night had no idea that I was coming…) to the collage Jean Zay which is on the outskirts of Rouen. Not really chatty and nothing organized for me to do at the school, which ended up being fine. Then I don’t feel guilty by having planned my own thing!
I spent a good couple of hours on the internet booking plane tickets and finding a hostel. I think the place that I found will be good quality (for a hostel) but I have a feeling it is a ways out of the centre of Venice. Maybe that will be a good thing, who knows!! They have a shuttle that runs regularly to the centre though, and even including 2 round trips per day (which I doubt I’ll do), it was a LOT cheaper than anything I could find that would be closer. So…we shall see!!!
There is a “Metro” in Rouen and I decided I would just follow the tracks down town instead of paying the 1.4 Euros to get a ride…it took me a lot longer than anticipated because I got lost on the other side of the river in no-man’s land! But it was still a nice walk. I had 9 hours to kill, so it wasn’t like my extra walking time prevented me from seeing anything I wanted to!
Finding the tourist info centre was another challenge…there are soo many churches in Rouen that I couldn’t figure out which one was the Cathedral so that I could get to the info centre! When you are so close to the churches they all look big and cathedral-like…so when I asked people and they said it was in front of the Cathedral it didn’t help at all!! I finally did find it though and got my standard map of the city! By the time I’m done here I’ll be able to make a book of all the maps of all the cities in France! Every city has a tourist info place, though, so it is nice and reliable that way!
Once I got orientated I found a sandwich place and ate my baguette sitting on the steps of the Cathedral – waiting for it to open at 2pm…Along with every other tourist in the city! It was pretty funny, actually. Once the doors reopened at two everyone that had been sitting around the square poured into the Cathedral! It was really quite spectacular inside, though, I was impressed. I think my favourite part were all the stone guys (I’m guessing they were saints…??) that were lining the one wall inside. Yep, kinda liked them!!
From there I walked down the Rue de la Grand Horloge and around all over the place…I saw everything to do with Joan of Arc. I walked along her street, went into her church, saw her museum, and her tower (where she was imprisoned before being burned). So that was all kind of cool!! I walked through a park and around the outside of the museums…pretty much all I needed to see of the museums, I figured!!
What else??? I bought something for 1 Euro at this awesome bakery – but what I bought ended up being like English Pudding…so I gave it to this homeless guy that was sitting on the side of the road wanting change. The look on his face was pretty amazing. Made me happy!! A lot happier than I would have been if I decided to eat it myself!
The only really other exciting thing is that I stopped at the supermarket on the way back to the school (I took the “metro” this time…) and bought a package of razors – and now my legs are beautiful again! It was getting sketchy there for a while!!
Night
-Allison

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