This last weekend was fantastic! Friday my students were terrible in the sense that they had just come back from vacation and forgot everything they had learned before their 10 days of freedom. Blah. So I taught for four hours, basically pulling teeth to get them to talk, then took a nice 3-hour nap in the afternoon/evening and kinda chilled for the rest of the night.
Saturday I hopped on the Motobecane in the early morning and found an old rail trail really near my town that went past a lot of rundown train stations, which will be the subject of some of my photographs in the future. My friend Emma came in from Brest around noon, and we went to the market and then proceeded to make some of the best guacamole I have ever had for lunch. We walked around town a bit and took pictures, and went to a café to hang out with Josep, my roommate from Catalonia. That evening we played poker and 21 and drank wine and were crazy.
Sunday was fantastic. Like, one of the most enjoyable days I've had in France, or ever. Emma and I got up 'round 10 so we could go to this island that is just off of the coast called the Ile de Batz. We almost missed the train (this is a popular theme in my travels, by the way...) and had to sprint the last few blocks to the station, buy the ticket on the automatic machine (while hopping and saying, "C'mon c'mon!!!") and then sprint to the train. It was close, but I like living on the edge.
The train took us to Roscoff, a quaint little tourist town not far from here. We walked around a bit there, and then took a boat to the island. The Ile de Batz itself is gorgeous, with a lighthouse and a garden and the ruins of an 11th century church. While looking at the ruins of the church, which are just nestled into the side of this hill, this HUGE horse on a leash came up to try and get food from us. It was a Clydesdale, just hanging out with no owner in sight. We didn't give it any food, but I took some pictures.
Then we had a picnic on this little point overlooking the ocean which at one time housed cannons that they used to fire at invading boats in the channel between the island and Roscoff, in like the 1800s. Picnic included avocado and tomato sandwiches, clementines, a bottle of cider and some chocolate cookies that we picked up at a boulangerie. It was sweet.
After this we walked to the lighthouse, which wasn't too spectacular once you got close to it, but it was fun to see the rest of the little island. We took the boat back to Roscoff, had a coffee because the wind coming off the ocean was getting cold. The bar we were in closed, so we went to one near the station called "Le Sailor" and played billiards and split a beer, just to pass the hour we had before our bus left somewhere inside. As it turns out, neither Emma nor I can play pool with any skill whatsoever, so the game lasted just under an hour.
We had to leave, and in France you use public toilettes whenever you can find them because they are few and far between. There was some dude by the urinal who was, I thought, talking on his cell phone, so I went into the stall and started, you know, doing my thing. As I was peeing the guy went ballistic and started trying to open the door, kicking it very hard and yelling something I didn't understand. I had thankfully locked the door. The bar lady came over and told him to get the hell out of there and leave us alone. I don't think he was just drunk, and wasn't talking on his cell phone but rather to himself. It was intense, but we just left and he didn't bother us on our way out the door, though he did give me a pretty intense evil eye. I would hate to have to push over a drunk guy with my pinky finger in front of all of his friends and such...
We got back to my house to get Emma's stuff, and on the way back to the station we saw/almost stepped on a hedgehog!! It was just chilling in the middle of the sidewalk. Those things are cool, and I wasn't aware that they were native to this area. I'll be keeping my eye out for more, mostly so I don't step on/ride over them.