Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chalon-sur-Saône

Today with my friends, we went to Chalon-sur-Saône, the largest city of the Saône-et-Loire department.  (In France, department is one of the three levels of government, and there are 101 in total.  The other two are region and commune, and department ranks between them.)  The city is famous for being the birthplace for photography and internal combustion engine thanks to a French man named Nicéphore Niépce.  (I actually didn't know that until I came home and did some research.)

There, I had the most amazing lunch I've had so far in my adventure:

Pizza with escargots and cuisses de grenouilles désossées

(*Cough* That my dear non-French readers, means snails and boneless frog legs.)  Yes, two unknown foods combined with one of my favorite foods of all time.  (You can probably guess which one out of the three is my favorite.)  The instant I saw that pizza on the menu, my eyes lit up and I was more than determined to try it!

video

Surprisingly, it tasted really good (thanks to the cheese and butter)!  The texture of each were interesting... the escargots was chewy while the cuisses de grenouilles désossées was muscular... I must admit that the escargots tasted like clams but with more guts and the cuisses de grenouilles désossées tasted like codfish.  Don't ask me why.  Now I am happy to say that I've tried them!

Bon appétit!!

Pizza Bourguignonne... a must try.

After the DELICIOUS lunch, my friends and I went to the Eglise (Church) Saint Pierre and the Cathédrale Saint-Vincent.

Eglise Saint Pierre is a church that took 5 years to build back in 1698, and it after became a parish church in 1802.  The exterior is Italian and interior is Baroque style, and this church is known for its important statues inside (such as Virgin of the Apocalypse, Doctors of the Church, etc.) 

The eglise sits beside the mairie (town hall) of Chalon-sur-Saône
 
Like many other buildings in France, it's impressive to think that this church has been standing here for over 300 years
 
Venite Adoremus means in Latin, "O come let us adore him (Christ)"
Many symbolic statues inside
Next, Cathédrale Saint-Vincent is a Romanesque and Gothic style cathedral and unlike the Eglise, the cathedral took a good length of 6 centuries of construction to become what it is now.  Historians believed that it was first built in 1090, and till 1562, elements like the choir, transept, pillars etc. were added.  The construction halted in 1562 because there was the Huguenots who devastatingly destroyed a chunk of the cathedral and removed some statues.  (The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France; basically put into simple words, people who criticized the Catholic church.)  And unfortunately again it was further destroyed by the French Revolution which caused the church to be used as a fodder warehouse.  (Just imagine how that was like!)  So the following nineteenth and twentieth century were primarily years of reconstruction.

The front of the cathédrale
 
The organ designed with floral shapes
 
The view from the entrance

At the end of the day, we went bowling and overall, I had a great time for the entire day!



Anyways, if your eyes popped out from the mass of facts or had trouble trying to absorb all that information I explained above, maybe you're just about to say, "Sari, you're such a geek."  Well yes, I suppose so.  I love history and just learning in general after all!  Through the two months I've been living here in France so far, I'm joyfully learning so many new things and I finally realized how great it would be for the others to know about it too.  I guess that was my main purpose of writing a blog from the first place, but I never thought of it very seriously until now.

I think I finally recognized one of the important treasures that exchange can bring out.  Exchange is not an opportunity of opening doors just for the exchange student.  It also opens doors for the people who surrounds the exchange student by observing the student's growth, learning from the student's knowledge and understanding the student's experiences.  For example, my existence at my cultural-diversity-lacking lycée is enriching the French students' perspective of our world since I share to them stories about Canada and the differences and similarities I recognize here compared to Canada. 

Therefore, I sincerely hope this blog is also opening doors for you as well.

Bonne nuit!
Sari


ps: Right now, it is le vacance de le Toussaint; a two week holiday so I have no lycée until the second week of November!  "Toussaint" means 'feast of all saints' and it is a commemoration for those who died.  This is celebrated throughout France on November 1st, so generally all stores are closed that day.

2 comments:

  1. Loving your blogs Sari.

    Check out Edward Butler - British inventor whose claim to fame as far as the Brits are concerned was the invention of the internal combustion engine and the invention of the modern day car (a 3 wheeler). He was my great uncle! Probably every nation has the same claim to fame!

    Jane

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    1. Thank you so much for reading my blog!

      Wow, I just did some research and how impressive! More so, it's amazing that he was your great uncle! Yes, I agree with you that every nation has their own successes to show to the world. I guess it becomes even better when those successes spread to other nations for world prosperity!

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