Logbook: Week of 4/22

Springtime in France

Abstract : The weather is getting warmer and more people are coming to this region in France to enjoy it. The town of Menton is full of tourists and its beaches are very crowded!

Introduction:

It’s hard for me to believe that I am only in France for another month. I have learned a lot while studying abroad and changed as a person. But there are still so many things to do while I’m here! I hope a month will be enough to see it all!

TRAVEL NEWS

 

Local Time:  3:29 PM         

Time Zone:   Central European Time: UTC +01:00      

Location (Latitude, Longitude):  43.7756° N, 7.5006° E

How far did I travel this week? 9.8 km, or about 15 miles

How far have I traveled on my journey so far? 7987 miles

How did I get around this week?

Castle in Monaco

In the Cote d’Azur region of France, there are buses that run frequently between towns. These buses run very late on holidays and weekends, too. We took one of these buses to explore Monaco, a small principality which is located 30 minutes from Menton. A principality is a small country governed by a prince, or royal family.

What was the most interesting place I visited this week?

The city of Monaco itself is very interesting, especially because it is the second smallest country in the world.  It is about the same size as Central Park. It is famous for its casinos, fancy streets and luxury cars.        

 

Other travel news:

We went to Monaco to take part in a mass led by the Maronite sect of Catholicism. Many Maronites are found in Lebanon and Syria. It was very interesting to take part in this religious event because the priest spoke in Arabic. The cathedral of Monaco was also a beautiful place to visit!   

 

NATURE NEWS

Weather Tally (enter the # of days for each weather type):

Sunny: 5

Cloudy: 1

Partly cloudy: 1

Rainy: 2

Snowy: 0

Windy: 2     

What is the air temperature right now?  57° F

How was the weather this week?

The weather this week has been amazing! During the weekdays, the temperature has been warm with almost no clouds in the sky. We have been relaxing on the beach after classes. During the weekend, there was a little rain.

What animals did I see this week?

saw lots of birds singing, dogs and their owners and some cats around the town. Are you seeing new animals around town now that spring has arrived?

What was the coolest thing I saw in nature this week?

As the weather becomes warmer, the trees and flowers are coming back to life! There are flowers I have never seen before as well as oranges and lemons growing on trees. The entire town is coming alive, with tourists from around the world visiting.

Other Nature News:

Cathedral in Monaco

This week, my friends and I visited the oldest parts of the town of Menton. We walked along the hills behind the city and saw many fancy mansions owned by famous Europeans that used to live here centuries ago. Many of them were French, but others came from the United Kingdom and Russia. Some of them were part of royalty or famous artists and writers, like Vladimir Nabokov. Have you heard of this author? The houses were beautiful, even from outside. I can’t imagine what the rooms inside looked like! We also visited the old cemetery. It was a very peaceful place to spend an evening walking around and reading the tombstones in many different languages.

 

OUR NEWS

What languages are spoken here?  French and Italian

What type of money is used here?  The Euro (1 Euro is $1.30)

How much does a bottle of water cost?  1 Euro

What was the best meal this week?

My friend’s mother came to visit us from Egypt. She cooked a huge banquet of Egyptian food for us! The entire table was covered with dishes like molokhiyya (moe-low-khee-yaa), a green spinach soup, fatta (futt-tah), a combination of rice, yogurt and nuts, mahshi (maH-shee), rice and spices cooked in grape leaves, and others. I think I ate enough for the entire week!

What music did I listen to this week?

A lot of Arabic music but also some Turkish music and Tango.

What activity was the most fun this week?

Relaxing on the beach and doing homework outside in the sun.

What did I read this week? 

I read Cyrano de Bergerac. It is a French story about a man with a big nose that loves his cousin, Roxanne, but cannot be with her. It is a very sad story but interesting to read.

What games or sports did I play this week?

I’ve been running along the beach and along the coast. It’s been fun!

Other news from this week:

Sunday mornings have been very relaxing lately. Some friends and I go to a different church’s mass each Sunday and then share a delicious brunch together. As a Muslim, it has been interesting to see how other people practice their religion. So far, we have been to a Catholic, Maronite and Protestant mass. Brunch has also been a highlight of my weekend! We ate delicious French pastries and bread with cheese, jam and chocolate.

A view of Monaco from the mountains

Monte Carlo: The famous casino that is in Monaco

 

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