So time for part 2!
So I left the boys in amsterdam and hopped on a train to Rennes (in the Brittany/Normandy region of france...aka the west coast) to meet 3 girls from my program in Dijon. We chose Rennes not because there is much to do, but it's the best hub city for day trips. We couch surfed there (for those of you who don't know what that is...its a program for people like us who can't afford hotels every night but want to travel...pretty much people offer up their couches, extra beds, or floors to people traveling. I know what you're thinking..and don't worry..it's really safe! People rate you, you get references and validations, and you can go off of what other people say about their experience there. Well this first place we surfed was not the best to say the least. The guys that lived there (there were five) were awesome, fun to talk to, and super hospitable..but their house was dirtier than a frat house! I guess you can't expect much from 5 guys but seriously. Not to mention they were kinda hippy-esque (there's a fresh hippy type that's hard to explain) so they had a very...different..sense of style. It was funny, but also kind of depressing because we were afraid to use the toilet or shower...oh, thats right...4 days of peeing in cafes before we left dinner and no showers at all. ewww
Besides that though, it was great! The first day we went to le Mont St. Michel. It's a fortress/Abby thing on a mountain that turns into an island when the tide was up. It's on the top 10 things not to miss in france, but honestly I wasn't that impressed. It was cool, but eh.
The second day we went to the small city of St. Malo (a suggestion from our guide book) and it was so adorable! It was a cute old city on the coast of the Channel. It was a beautiful day and we spend it having a picnic and hanging out on the beach.
After Rennes we took a lonnng train ride to toulouse via paris. Toulouse is close to spain, very warm and very friendly. We also couch surfed there with an american teacher from PA. She teaches English through the french government. We met some of her friends too and that was a lot of fun. The first day there we explored the city.
The second we went to Lourdes (the site of a catholic miracle) and it was so neat to see all of the Catholics there believing so strongly in the pilgrimage they were making. I even drank some holy water. yumm. (oh by the way, I was with 3 very strong Catholics so I learned a lot!)
We got back to toulouse and it was pouring rain...and it didn't stop! the following day we just hung out with Jamie (our host) and watched a french movie because it was too wet to go outside and do anything...mainly it was just a day for bumming around.
I said good bye to the girls and headed back to Dijon for a few days to recoup before I met Liz in Switzerland...which will have to wait until a later date because I have to go to my Expression Oral class!