Lyon and Christmas parties

Last weekend I went to Lyon for the Fête des Lumières. The whole of Lyon is filled with light displays, installations and people (something like 3 million per day)! I went with one of the other assistants Naomi and stayed with my old university friend Nick who is there for a post doc. The weather was cold but we had a great time.

During the week I went to a language speed dating night where you get to speak to people in different languages and on Thursday I made Pikelets for an international night. On the weekend I went to a Christmas dinner at one of the English teacher’s houses which was lovely. The meal included the typical 5 courses (aperitif – nibbles and champagne, main, cheese, dessert and coffee). Afterwards the assistants had a Christmas party with lots of party games and festive attire. Sunday afternoon/evening was spent at the pub watching the ASM v Munster rugby game as all the tickets had sold out for the stadium. ASM won, yay!

This week I haven’t had many classes due to teachers kids being sick, students on internships and teachers who hadn’t finished covering the material for the term so I have had plenty of time to rest up before heading away on a two week break this weekend. On Saturday I head to Paris before going to the UK on Monday and then for New Years I am going to Belgium with another assistant Ruth. Before then I have another two Christmas lunches and another few catch ups with the other assistants.

I won’t have time to write again until after Christmas so Merry Christmas!

Amanda xx


That time I climbed a volcano (well kind of)

Following on from my last edition I have not done any more international travel but have been trying to get out and about and see the local area and other places around France.

After a night of drinking wine, Dom (one of the other assistants) and I decided to climb a volcano the next day. After a late start we set off in the direction of the Puy-de-Dome. The walk started very steep and we were a little concerned we had made a bad decision but the trail flattened out and we started to enjoy the walk. Along the route we wandered through a sleepy village, witnessed a cow who had just given birth, ate a pastry from a local boulangerie and enjoyed the scenery. We cheated a little on the last part of the climb as it was getting late and as we are going into winter it is getting dark early in the evening now. The view from the top was spectacular and we stopped for a snack before descending. At this point it was starting to get dark so we hitched a ride with some German tourists.

The next weekend I decided another adventure was needed and decided on visiting the other assistants in Vichy for the weekend. Vichy is a stunningly beautiful resort town with many Art Nouveau buildings and people driving fancy cars or simply walking the streets looking chic.

Before heading to Vichy I had a night out in Clermont Ferrand looking at all the Christmas lights and tree, riding the ferris wheel and sipping mulled wine at the Christmas market. Other highlights from the past two include eating some sushi, visiting Parc Montjuzet (great view of CF), eating Morrocan, a couple of parties with new French friends and other assistants and eating crepes more than a few times.

School has also been going well and I am getting to know all the students a bit better and I have done lessons on a range of topics from The Hobbit to Nicki Minaj. There are only three weeks left of term before we finish for the end of year holidays and I am off to the UK and Belgium.

This weekend I am going to Lyon for the lights festival and to stay with my honours buddy Nick.

Until next time,

Amanda xx