Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stephanie's Europe Journal Day 9

Day 9


"Dude! We were just in a castle! Like a legitimate castle where 700 years ago soldiers were marching around protecting people. It looked exactly like it should. Stone and sturdy. Our tourguide was pretty cool :) Small and French. She was funny. The castle was built around the 13th century. The French ppl over-took the heretics and built it onto the existing Roman wall. You can still see it in places. The French tried to level it out by digging under it. Inside was a door where the defenders could get out easily and attack, but the entry, an "elbow" entry, was harder for the enemy to come through quickly. Smaller stones on the old Roman pieces btw.

So, about the little village around the outside. It was originally built against the castle, but the king feared his son would take over the kingdom so he called all the people into the castle and made them swear allegiance, which they did. But when the son came, the people betrayed the king and helped the son. Unfortunately the attack failed, and the king had the houses burned to the ground. He allowed the ppl to rebuild, but not against the castle, down a ways.

After that story we went to see the basilica, which is inside the walls too. Part of it was rounded and Roman, and part of it was angular and gothic. It was stone and beautiful :) The closer you get to the front, to God and the alter, the lighter and bigger and more colorful it is, just like when you personally get closer to God.

I just never realize that I never finished journaling about sight-seeing with Rosa! We saw the most beautiful churches. The first church took my breath away. I felt God. It was so beautiful. Stone, with arching dome ceilings and criss-crossing bubbles... It's too hard to explain. It was simple, yet captivating; gray, yet cheerful. The stone blocks were so neat. ?I can't describe it right, and the saddest part is that the church was in session and I couldn't take pictures. Another church we went to had a model that blind could touch and know what it looked like. The rained while we were sight-seeing. The rain in Spain! And as we ran for cover, the huge church bells started ringing! It was like something out of a movie.

Okay,French castle. Now there are a bunch of shops. In there too. We got 20 minutes of free time to shop. I got Sooey {my sister, Sarah} a scarf and some earrings. I REALLY wish I hadn't been so rushed though. 1) I'm not sure if I made good purchasing decisions and 2) I want to get stuff for Momma! I see so much I want to get her, but I don't and... I'm so afraid I'll end up with nothing or it'll suck and she'll think I didn't care or think of her. I'm only going to buy stuff for other people now. I don't need anything; this trip itself is a present!

After the castle, we had an "adventure lunch." Sabine gave us 35 euros per group of 5 people and let us loose in a horribly busy marketplace/festival. IMO, a stupid place to shove us and tell us to figure out lunch in French and meet back somewhere in only 45 minutes. BUT, whatever.

My group was me, Haley, Jackie, Michael and Alicia. Being thrown into a situation like that made my stomach quite unhappy for a bit, but it was okay. We walked up and down the street, even though we'd already seen a good sandwich shop because Michael was being picky. He kept wanting to stop at slow, sketchy, expensive places and was very inflexible.

With 25 minutes left, we 4 overruled him and went back to the Picnic Cafe. Sorry, but we didn't want to select an expensive random dish and hope for the best. He ended up walking off and saying he'd just use his own money. We girls, with 12 minutes to go, finally got to order. We got 2 "toaste poulet"s because we recognized "poulet" as chicken. And we each got a smooth.

Although we had to eat on the run, the sandwiches were AMAZING. round bread toasted to perfection with just the right amount of fillings: warm chicken, cream chees, lettuce, tomatoe and a little bit of some sauce. It was SO delicious! Honestly one of if not the best things we've eaten yet. I wish I'd gotten a whole sandwich. I'm gonna have to try to recreate it back home.

Today I missed Aaron [a cute French guy in a car waved and it made me think of his warning: "Don't get into a car with a hot French guy. He'll kidnap you and turn you into a crack whore."] and then Sam [because he remembered for me that that senario is from "Taken"] and Jordan because I dreamed something a little like "Tattered Flesh" {his book}.

Something else that happened two days ago: City Quest. Assigned groups, a map, and some questions. I had me, Alexis, Jonathan, Matt, Lacie, Haley, Ryan and New York/Bryan. Sabine said sometimes determining a clear winner is difficult, so each group could/should write a poem to be judged too.

Well, City Quest was not my thing right away. Maps, directions, and Matt {the Ken of the Barbies} as a leader. Ugh. No. So, I wasn't that much help, except that I knew the language question [Besides Spanish, what other language is mostly spoken in Spain? Catalan.].

We had a limited amount of time [not enough, of course], so as we started to get close, Haley asked if I would write the poem. I said I'd try. Honestly I sort of assumed they'd ask me to, but under pressure? With about 15 minutes? It was sure to suck. But I tried, and got something cranked out. I handed it in with our incomplete quest answers and forgot about it.

Today they told us the winner: Jessica's group! :) Yay! They had Dena go up and read the poem. It wasn't that great, but her group was the only one to complete the quest questions. After Dena read it, Sabine said, "There was one other group that did not finish the quest, but had a really wonderful poem, Myself and all the leaders really enjoyed it. The team of Matt, Alexis, Lacie, Ryan, Bryan, Jonathan and Stephanie?"

O_O OMG! My body tingled with that tight, hot energy of happy tension. I went up because Sabine asked if someone from that team would please come read it, and no one else moved. So I did :) After, Cindy whispered "Did you write it?" I just nodded.

Then I tried to get the poem back from Sabine, but she wanted to keep it. And Cindy asked if she could sent it in to People to People! I was like, "Sure...but can I copy it into my notebook first?" Sabine said she'd make a copy at the hotel :) So Yeah. Wow :) It really wasn't great. It was quick and shallow and not personal or deep at all. But oh well :)


We've been on the bus for 3 hours, but it feels like 6. I am cramped and bored and there is a frigid gust of air blowing on my head. Traffic is terrible.

I'm starting to get nervous about going home. I have so much to say that I won't know where to begin, and for some reason I'm having trouble being excited today. It's like peoples' bad attitudes are catching. I need something do, like write, but I don't wanna use up room...


Okay, hey. We went and saw another castle! It was cool, and I took pictures, but we didn't learn anything about it -_- So I'm gonna Google it later. After that we had some free time in, like, the castle courtyard or something. There are tons of streets and alleys and shops and performers. Mimes and traveling performers and musicians... It was one of the coolest parts of this trip actually 'cause it was just me and Alicia and I felt like I could BREATHE and walk and STOPE and actually look and enjoy stuff. Freedom is great.

To be honest, I really think I'd rather have come with my family. Well, I dunno. We do get to do things I probably wouldn't with just my family. But we're always late, people don't take this seriously, the leaders don't know what's going on... I kinda feel like I'd have more fun with my family. But this has been a good experience so far as getting out of my comfort zone and living. I just really hope I can put a good face on this so that Momma and Daddy won't be upset or disappointed. I've gotta muster up some excitement for my arrival back home.

So, tomorrow I think I'm gonna do some sink laundry. I need socks and undies XD

Most people are at the pool. Alicia and I are in her room, listening to my iPod on her teddy bear. He has speakers in his feet."


No comments:

Post a Comment