September 18, 2019
Haven’t posted in a few days. Since Monday my time has not been my own. I spend each morning (four hours) in class studying French via total immersion and the afternoons trying to catch up on paid work. There are also class excursions, dinner, homework, attempts at exercise and the like so the days rush by.
Class is pretty much as I pictured it. W. and I are in an intermediate class with seven other people, all older folks from the US. (By “older” I mean our age or thereabouts, not older than we are). The instructors are French and we work on pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar. When we (the students) talk to each other, we are supposed to speak in French, but this rule is not strictly observed, to say the least. And there is no English-language TV so in the morning we watch the news in French.
The school is called Coeur de France and it is located in the village of Sancerre, which is a pretty hilltop town in the Loire Valley (not far from the Loire itself as it turns out). Sancerre is famous for its wines, but it is also a very nice place with a medieval town center, a charming square, a fine church and all the other attributes of a town that draws tourists. They come to see the town itself but also to take in the panoramic, 360 degree views from the 500-foot high rock-pile on which Sancerre sits.
We have not had much time for touring but this weekend we will probably go to Bourges, the major town in the Berry region and reportedly a place that is full of history and fine arts.
So far, the trip has been great. We have ironed out almost all of the normal travel complaints and we are enjoying the beautiful apartment that we rented right above the school building, a converted wine grower’s mansion.
The US seems very far away right now.
Ici, a picture of Sancerre from the Tour de Fiefs at the top of the town:
By the way, it hasn’t rained in this part of France in 29 days and everything is looking a bit parched…