Mont Saint Michel, Halloween and Germany

Okay, so the title is kinda self explanatory but I can’t just leave it at that.

The last weekend of October (Saturday 27th – Sunday 28th) I went on the Ulysse trip to Mont Saint Michel and Etretat. It was a great weekend, even with the lousy weather. The trip there wasn’t too bad although we were caught in a traffic jam for nearly two hours due to a car crash that had occurred. I didn’t actually see the damage but according to everyone else it was horrible. And the newspaper report from the following Monday said that one person had died and there were others who had been hospitalised but I can’t remember the number. But after that most unfortunate incident we made good time to Normandy with a couple of stops on the way.

As we were travelling it began to snow quite heavily and I’m pretty sure I felt the coach slide across the road a couple of times but we were fine and made the trip in relative safety. I don’t have any pictures of the snow unfortunately as I was reading/sleeping and couldn’t get a clear shot out of the window of the coach. I can’t really remember how long the journey was for but I was grateful for the two breaks as it gave us a chance to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. The first stop was at a little service station and the second was at “Le Pont de Normandie”(to the right is a really bad picture of it). Even at this point the weather was bitter and you could feel the ice in the air, but that didn’t stop me from going on this trip in just a jumper, one day I will regret that.

It didn’t take us much longer to get to Mont St Michel from there but most of us were reluctant to leave the warmth of the coach. The weather had picked up a bit but has the abbey is on the sea front there was a Bangor-esque wind raging about the place and it took away any warmth that might have been from the somewhat sunny day (barely a cloud in the sky!). As you can tell, the wind wasn’t something that I have over-exaggerated about, it was rather difficult to take photos of people without their hair doing weird and wonderful things  like mine did in the above picture. We had to rush our visit to the abbey as we had over-run so much due to the traffic jam earlier on in the day and the driver could only drive us for so long. Whilst we there I managed to get a hot dog! I was so happy to be able to eat something other than pasta, and it really made me miss home and Bangor where I normally have sausages quite often.

Unfortuantely, the good weather didn’t hold out for the second day and we were left in Etretat in a downpour ! Luckily, the rain didn’t start properly until the mid afternoon but I spent a good couple of hours in it with just my jumper to keep me dry! I think if anything that proves that I should be more careful about when I should refuse to wear my coat and take it with me to places. The beach at Etretat was beautiful but I don’t understand why people would have wanted to go into the sea at the temperature it was, it wasn’t as if we were in the Mediterranean! The picture makes the day look rather warm and lovely but I can honestly say it was anything but! However, lunch was really nice. Jenny, Katharina and myself decided to go exploring around the top of the cliff with the church and when he walked back down the hill we decided to look for something to eat and at one of the restaurants we saw Giovanna and one of her friends (whose name I have forgotten unfortunately =/). We decided to share 3 pizzas between us and asked for tap water to drink and it came to less then €10 each which is a bargain for France!

The weekend was great and I even managed to get some good footage as I wandered around and make a decent video, although I think my skills need to be improved upon but that’s what this year is for right? If you want to watch the video you can see it here >>>>>

The Monday after (the following day) we held our halloween party and I think it was a success! We didn’t have too many rowdy people and we didn’t get overly drunk but everyone had fun and we even spoke in French! Which is always lovely, normally our group of friends just speak in English as it is the common language amongst us (we are English and Irish, so it makes more sense). The Bangorians (Amy, Alice, Sasha and myself) decided that we would dress as dancers from Moulin Rouge which meant, yes you’ve guessed it, corsets and fluffy tutu skirts. Even though we all had the same idea, each of us looked different and managed to make it our own.

Amy went for the normal pin-up girl look with a little hat and her regal blue and gold costume (I thought she looked fantastic), Alice decided to give herself the look of being a doll, with stitch marks across her mouth that flowed out and spiralled on her cheeks (I don’t know how she managed it as I tried to draw a spider web on me the day afterwards and that failed miserably! So much envy for her talents!), Sasha used her normal look of smoky eyes but had a spider web drawn over one eye (courtesy of Alice) to give her a more halloween feel. I think it worked perfectly and it made her seem somewhat like a witch in a corset. I tried to make myself somewhat gothic whilst at the same time regal, not sure how well I did as I was a complete miss-mash of styles but I think the orange worked perfectly 😉

At the end of the week I decided to visit Ryan in Germany and I bought tickets for a coach journey as it was cheaper but unfortunately it took 9 hours. I don’t know if any of you know, but 9 hours on a coach is not a fun experience! We had an half an hour stop somewhere in Germany which was good as my legs had started to cramp something rotten but we weren’t allowed to get back on the coach until the half an hour had finished so there were a group of really tired travellers milling around in front of the service station hoping that we would be able to get on the coach asap. I arrived in Frankfurt half an hour late, so I feel sorry for Ryan who must have been stood in the cold for a really long time before I got there.

I was only there for a few days but it was nice just to spend time with him and see where he lives and what he does with his life in Mainz. We didn’t really do much, but on Saturday we went to a concert by Caravan Palace (A French elctro-swing group) with his Swiss friend Kat Ya. It was really fun and it’s made me want to go to a lot more concerts in the future. Sunday was spent lounging around and doing very little but we went out for Tapas and it was gorgeous! I’d forgotten how much I loved Spanish food and I am definitely going to want to hit up La Tasca whilst I’m home for Christmas. On Monday, I accompanied Ryan to university (no I didn’t go to lectures). It was alright but I spent around 4 hours just online, talking to people and feeling awkward for using computers that I felt like I shouldn’t have been using.

My journey home was uneventful as I was taking a coach at 6 in the morning! So I slept for the majority of the time back which meant that I didn’t have to feel as bored as I had on the way there. But now I kind of miss Germany, I didn’t understand what was going on but everything was so much cheaper there! I’m hoping that I will get to see Ryan again in a few weeks but who knows.

Lauren x

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