It is now les vacances de La Toussaint. High schoolers and BTS students have two weeks of vacation, thus I’ve just had one week of vacation and have started on my next. University students only have one week of vacation. La Toussaint is celebrated on the first of November and in English is known as All Saint’s Day. In France (and much of Europe as I understand), it’s customary to go to the cemetery and put flowers on the graves of your loved ones. Some people even make a day out of it and picnic in the cemetery. Just as All Saint’s Day isn’t widely celebrated in the states, Halloween is not widely celebrated in France. Apparently, it was fairly popular a few years ago, but not so much anymore. When I was in Nantes, I don’t remember seeing any Halloween decorations. This year, however, I have seen a few. The chocolate shop on the corner has mini pumpkins in the window and black and orange candies. A few restaurants and cafés have spider webs on their ceilings. I saw a shop display like this in Arles. Eiffel Tower with a skull. How much more French Halloween can you get? I also spotted a REAL pumpkin (as in, not a potimaron) in the supermarket in Sommières. Of all places! A little medieval village.
What have I been up to? On one of the first days of vacation, I went to Grau-de-roi with a few people. It’s a little beach town and I imagine much more animated in the summer since at this time of year, the water is a little too chilly for swimming. It was alright, but rather touristy. Then again, I’m also the kind of person who would take a day on a lake or a river over a day on the beach. The highlights for me were climbing on a spiderweb/ ship mast thing in the playground and seeing rescue pilots train.
I won’t write everything I’ve done over break in this one post, but a friend from Nantes, Marine, came to visit me for the first week of vacation. It was so great to see her again. I felt important being able to help a French person discover the Languedoc-Roussillon (and part of Provence) region of France. More about the adventures of Marine and Lauren in southern France to come!