Sunday, January 30, 2011

A blue sky makes everything so much better.

First of all, I’d like to say welcome to my family and friends, who I have directed here as a place to catch up with me while I’m away. Hi all! And an especially big hi to my brother, Alain, and his big bustling family over in Caboolture, Australia.

When I first considered creating a blog, I thought it had to have a theme, a direction, set and concrete! I quickly saw that wasn’t so when I wrote my first post as a way to just get into blogging!! One of the themes I contemplated was a travel diary for while I’m here in Nancy… But February seemed very far away back in October, when I was itching to get started!!

My blog is still only a baby, I definitely haven’t gotten into the swing of things and I’m not sure of the direction I want it to take yet, if any. For now, though, I’m going to write about my adventures in Nancy and the surrounding areas. I plan to spend my weekends in different cities / countries while I’m here in the (sort of) centre of Europe and Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, etc. are only a train journey away.* And I’d love to be able to remember all my travels in later years by rereading this blog.

So there you have it! Kittycatch Butterfly will be, for the next two months anyway, a travel diary and a testament to how I survive life in France, where they speak French, not English. I hope you all like it! (:

My first evening in Nancy went something like this:
  • Arrive in Nancy, tired and cranky, after a full day’s travelling. Lug my bag to the wrong side of the train station from where the tram stops. Lug it all the way to the other side.

  • Arrive at apartment complex, collect key from safe and head up to my apartment… Eh… 509, 510, 511… Where’s my apartment??

  • Realise apartment’s on the other side of the building, down one elevator, up another… Can’t get the door open. Argh!!!

  • Finally am let into apartment by my nice neighbour. Thank you!

  • Wow, 20 m2 is smaller than I thought!

Arriving on my first evening was daunting. I knew the apartment / studio / room would be small, but I was shocked at just how small. For instance, check out my “kitchen”.


I’ve since moved in properly, unpacked all my things and made a little “nice space” for my books, guide, photo album and stuff. And I realise – yep, it’s small and the bath is half my size, but I really only need half of this space anyway! There’s a whole press that’s holding only my backpack! I came here with one suitcase and everything fits. It’s kinda perfect.


Yesterday, Saturday, I timed how long it would take for me to get the tram to the New Town and walk from there to the lab, which is at the end of the Old Town**, so I wouldn’t be late for my first day tomorrow. Then I got lunch in one of the many cute cafés this place holds. After lunch, a trip to the Tourist Office, where I got advice about trams and bikes from a super sweet lady! And then a look at the Cathedral, which is A-MAZ-ING!! I didn’t take any photos though, because yesterday just wasn’t a photo day.

Then, the best part, I took a trip to la marché. Oh là là! I mean wow!! A market open five days a week so close to my route home from work. SQUEE! Oh, this is so exciting, to get all my fresh produce from such a place. This is something I’m really going to enjoy while I’m here! I made a dinner of mushroom cream gnocchi yesterday evening, supplemented with some goods bought from la supermaché down the road from my apartment. No photos again, but there will surely be food porn up later in the month! Oh wait, here, I took this today:

Port Salut
I heart Port Salut.

So… I’ve written enough already and haven’t even talked about my Sunday, didn’t really plan for that. I know from experience that when people write long long posts or travel news, I tend not to read… But this is my first weekend here, so I’ll allow myself this ramble and hope that my friends, family and readers are also as forgiving! I took lots of photos today, Sunday, glad to have my photo obsession back! It was a lovely sunny day today, which just made everything so nice. The temperature was still between –6 and 0 oC, but I was wrapped up well, so didn’t mind the cold too much.


Porte de la Craffe 2Porte de la Craffe 4

The gate through which I will walk to work every day!!

Nancyville 9

My new lab.

Nancyville 15Place Stanislas 3
Place Stanislas 4

Nancyville 25Nancyville 35

Nancyville 16Nancyville 32

Place Stanislas 13Place Stanislas 15 

Nancyville 37


EDIT: Oh là là! How could I have gotten it so wrong. Le marché and le supermarché are, of course, masculine in the French language and I fail at French. Kisses!

*Oh, how I love a good train journey!!

**About half an hour.


andrea said...

make the most of your time abroad!

Fiona said...

Oh, jeez! Comments always make me so happy! Thanks Andrea. Your blog looks lovely, I'm looking forward to reading. (:

Brooke Premo said...

Oh, wow! It's so pretty. How lucky that you get to live and work there!

Just Thinking said...

That all looks and sounds so awesome. Yay you Fiona, what a great opportunity. I am insanely jealous. But not of the mushroom gnocchi. You're in France where they have real food! Why eat tinea? :D

Fiona said...

Thanks for the comments guys! But what's tinea? Tinned food?? Not tinned, all made from market treasures. It was so tasty!

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