In the Country & at the Concert

I don’t have too much to write about this time. But this weekend I did visit another town or two and tonight I went to my second orchestra concert. Not sure it’s all that exciting, but I figured I’d let it out – I took some photos at least.

On Saturday, after attending a middle school open-house where I watched a group of French 14 year olds recreate American civil rights scenes (think: Rosa Parks on the bus, MLK’s big speech),petit castle we went on a little trip to the country. First stop was Gevrey-Chambertin. It was about 20 minutes or so from Dijon and it was a much smaller, quieter place. It really only exists to produce wine, so the layout was wide and open and everywhere you looked there were grape vines. Something of note was the fact that these vines were much lower to the ground than I’m used to seeing at home. They rose only to about waist high, if that. I also saw a little castle which was pretty neat. img_3924.jpgAnd an old church, boy do I love old churches. In this tiny little place the roads were only big enough for one car and they wound around in such confusing paths. It was a tranquil short stop before we went to visit some friends of the family who had just bought a nice old house. As we started for the countryside, I noticed some pretty sights. In France, calzac oil is used for cooking (I guess as opposed to olive and vegetable oils). And so, because it is now full-swing springtime, I looked out the window to see field upon field of these bright yellow calzac flowers. It’s really something else. Unfortunately, we were driving past these, therefore I could not take a nice picture. Sorry ’bout it. I’ve got some nice ones in my brain camera, though.

After another 20 minutes or so of driving, we started getting into less and less populated areas with fewer main roads. Finally, we arrived in Civry-en-Montagne, a tiny little farm village in the middle of the countryside. There were grassy hills and mountains as far as you could see. What’s more, in this town, sheep outnumbered people 1,300 to 56 (or so I was told, but I was inclined to believe it given the amount of sheep I could see with my own eyes). The friends were English, but we spoke mostly French. They had bought a beautiful old house with lots of land. The views from their garden were just amazing. I couldn’t imagine living somewhere so serene. We spent the afternoon there and I just about melted in the sun. Have I mentioned before how unseasonably warm it has been in Dijon? I’m practically experiencing the same weather I left behind at home!

IMG_3964Skipping ahead some, tonight I attended my second orchestra concert in France (and anywhere). The special thing about tonight was that Martine and Bernard, the parents of the family I’m staying with, were both playing! After three weeks of hearing just the flute and trombone parts of the music, it was nice to hear it all together. The concert was held at the Auditorium de Dijon, a wholly beautiful building and concert hall. I guess an American architect created the hall, and he sure did a good job because the acoustics were great. The main star for the concert was this amazing pianist. She played so fast and forte, it was incomprehensible. Even though I witnessed it with my own eyes not 50 feet away from the keys, I still cannot believe that someone can play like that. And watching my “french parents” play made me feel kind of like a proud kid in a way, ha.

I guess that’s all for now, folks. Catch ya later!

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