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& the fun begins! July 27, 2012

Posted by silviavaca in Travel Log.
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Warning: the following will be bursts of stories, facts, and random thoughts. It will likely not be coherent and definitely won’t flow nicely, but props if you manage to follow along. Also, it spans 4 days or so (I think?) Yay time zones!

These last couple of days have been hectic. I boarded the plane in Atlanta for a direct flight to Frankfurt on Sunday, May 13th. After a fun 10 hr flight and time zone changes, I arrived at 6am local time. The Frankfurt airport is much less busy than the ATL one and (thankfully) most signs were translated into English. Since we had to wait for the bus to Metz, we sat at a McDonalds and chatted. The highlight was jumping into a ballpit with Conrad! (I’m sure Maria would love to provide you with picture evidence). As for the bus ride, let’s just say it was very flexible. The driver’s English knowledge was “3 driver, 10 minute,” so after being switched out of 2 different buses and having my luggage left on the curb, the third driver appeared and I was finally on my way to Metz.

Metz is beautiful…. but currently freezing. I was told it would be a little chilly at the beginning; today’s high is 57 degrees Fahrenheit (yikes!). This has made it incredibly obvious to everyone that we are American, since we all wear massive hoodies and jackets while the Europeans are ever fashionable. We went into downtown Metz yesterday to explore and I could spot fellow GTLers from a solid 2 blocks away. This meant that the French recognized us immediately and glared/rolled their eyes accordingly.

Aside from the miserable weather, exploring was awesome. Metz has a massive cathedral that is absolutely beautiful (again, pictures later!) The architecture is simply stunning and all the windows are skillfully decorated with stained glass. There is also a castle in downtown Metz which we saw on a mini-train tour of the city. The streets are all narrow and covered in brick and lined with small stores ranging from Sephora, to bars, and Asian restaurants. As expected, everything is super expensive here… everything except wine, which you can buy cheaper than water. Moreover, the whole city shuts down after 7pm, with the exception of the bars. So, since we were stuck downtown until the buses picked us up at 10pm and it was frigid outside, we went into the nearest bar and attempted to blend in. At the bar, a glass of Chardonnay was 2.5 euros, while a glass of water was 3.5 and 3 sips of coffee was 2 euros. Our first adventure was interesting and exhausting, so we fell asleep almost as soon as we got to our dorms.

Today (Wednesday) was the first day of class! I have the pleasure of waking up for 8am Statics almost every day. On the plus side, I’m up early, so I can get my work done during the day. I’ll head off to lunch at 11:30am in the Crous Cafeteria. The cafeteria here is surprisingly good. The portions are huge (seriously) and the food is pretty tasty, definitely better than the dining halls at Tech! Our lunch is covered on days we have class, and dinner is up to us, but we can eat at Crous for 3 euros, which is a really nice deal.

I’m missing a ton of stuff, but this post is long already, so I’ll talk about that later.

Au Revoir!

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