Week Five: a waterfall in Virieu-Le-Grand

This week I went on a HIKE.

Well actually it was a 15 minute 4 km walk on mostly flat ground to a waterfall that was marvelously scenic where we ate baguettes and drank really bad 2 euro wine, but it sounds a lot more intense if I say I hiked. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The location of this feat of rigorous activity was Virieu-le-Grand, a tiny and completely empty village about an hour out of Lyon. Think Genovia from the Princess Diaries inhabited only by Louie the cat. I ended up a good ways behind everyone else in my group because there was just so much to photograph that I kept stopping every two seconds, and I think after my fourth photoshoot with a strategically placed windowsill, everyone got tired of me and moved on.

Other highlights of the week include:

  • The Discovery Of Cheese That Is Not French– The looks I get when I tell someone I hate French cheese range from shock to confusion to panic at not knowing how to respond to straight up fury accompanied by hand gestures and someone saying “but zees ees eemposseeble!” In fact, I am beginning to think that the French take such pride in their cheese that they’ve legitimately banned other cheeses: it took me two weeks to find feta under 10 euro and it’s taken me until now to find some other kind of good cheese. I had to yell at a street vendor in Italian for like five minutes before I could get 1/500 of a kilo of Pecorino, and it still cost me more than an entire quiche and 6 apples.
  • My Second Sporting Event In One Month- Considering the closest I ever went to sports was my high school tennis team (which was actually 90% eating bagels, 9% dynamic warmups jumping jacks, and 1% tennis), this is arguably more out of character for me than getting up at 6am to go on a hike. But rest assured, I left the arena with about the same knowledge (read: absolutely nothing) about ice hockey that I went into it with. I did however learn that beer purchased in the arena will cost you more than non-French cheese, the bathrooms at these things are on par with the facilities at Foxfield, and according to the French in attendance, “the full American sporting experience” includes sitting in the stands holding a donut in one hand, a beer in the other, and singing along to Lady GaGa songs. Never again. At least, never again until I am roped into going to something like a rugby game because I don’t want to miss out and FOMO is real and anyone who says it isn’t is lying.
  • A Real-Life Edition Of The Biggest Loser Starring My Bank Account- I have to remember that I came back to Europe to travel and see as much of it as I can, and that money spent on travel and experience is a lot better spent than me just buying more shoes. So this past week, I booked 6 flights, 4 trains, and 1 bus. My love for travel is all fun and games until I have to make decisions like “do I want to go to Prague or do I want to eat in the month of October?” (Prague, obviously. I can survive on rationed Pecorino and nutella for a long time.)

PHOTO DIARY:

*note: for all 5 of you who read my blog, know me in real life, and are asking me why I never upload to Facebook, it’s because I prefer having one medium where all my photos can be stored and attributed to me. Not to worry though, sometime soon when I’m procrastinating reading Les Mis I’ll probably upload an album if only to prove that yes, in fact, I have made friends.

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