Week in Photographs: 2/7/14

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This week has been an absolutely crazy one! I've been so busy, mostly with school and playing catch-up from being sick all last week, that I didn't have time to sit down and plan out my blog posts, which means things got a little quiet over here. Last Saturday a bunch of people and I went to the botanical garden (which you'll get to see on Monday!), wandered down the main road and ended up at the fine art museum here in Angers. Along the way we ran into these Shetland Ponies, who were the sweetest things. They were very friendly and happy and my heart just melted when the one in this photograph let me pet him.

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This sculpture is outside of the museum, which was an amazing experience in itself. I didn't take any photographs inside because I wasn't sure about the policies about that here in France, but I spent time with books nearly perfectly preserved from the time Alexander the Great was alive, with paintings three times as tall as I was depicting biblical scenes, in two rooms full of modern art, with archeological finds from the very first years Angers existed.

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On Wednesday there was a mandatory scavenger hunt for all of the study abroad students I came with, as well as some of the French students at our university, so we spent three hours running around Angers doing crazy tasks. We had to get shopkeepers to sing to us, wash dishes, serve bread at a boulangerie, do jumping jacks at a tram stop, walk a stranger's dog and more. It was insane but really fun. It was also a good way to get to know the city a little more.

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We also went to a wine tasting at a vineyard about half an hour outside of the city, where we got a tour (see the photograph above and below), a lot of history from the woman who ran it, and learned that her wines are also sold in Austin! These photographs required minimal editing, which still blows my mind because how is this real life?!

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This was our spread when we got inside for the wine tasting. We sampled three wines and had the option of buying bottles of what we tasted, which I took advantage of. I bought a bottle of Les Caillardières, which is probably the only white wine I've ever liked that I can remember. I'm saving this bottle for when I get back to Austin, so I can pretend like I'm in France again when I'm sorely missing this country.

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This is the Les Caillardières, which, in my very limited knowledge of wine and how to talk about it, was very bright and smooth. I mostly got a green apple taste from it, but other people in my group said they tasted honey as well.

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This was the second white wine we tasted, which was much heavier and richer on the tongue. It also had a bit of pepper in it, which gave it some spice.

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And lastly, the only red we tasted. I liked it, but it didn't wow me like the first wine did. Although, honestly, I could've looked at that color forever and been perfectly happy. Isn't it gorgeous?

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In the vineyard was this gate which had magical lighting. My friend Victor took this photograph of me and two of our friends here, Jasmine and Bridget. It's crazy to think that I've been in Angers for a month and this is only the third photograph I have of me being in France? I need to rectify the situation immediately.

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We picked up our wines, if we had bought any, in the gift shop where they had this wall. The three jars up top are the different types of soil in the vineyard, which effects the final taste of the wine. The eight shelves are the eight different types of wine they make, and if I could afford it I would probably buy one of each so I could sample the entire vineyard, honestly.

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They also had this bucket of rosé wine, which made me almost wish I'd bought at least one of those bottles as I have fallen quite in love with a cup of a good rosé.

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For dinner, after returning to Angers from the vineyard, five of the girls and I went out for dinner and we ended up at a Cambodian restaurant. I had the duck curry, which was beyond delicious. Of course, being in France, the curry wasn't a spicy one but it had all of the depth of flavor I would expect of any curry in Austin. The duck was perfectly cooked, the vegetables were amazing, and I was very pleased with the plating of this dish, but also with all of the dishes my friends ordered.