Our first week at CLÉ French language school in Tours is almost over! We calculated that today we probably experienced 10 hours of French immersion (6 hours of class + 2 hours at dinner + 2 hours with other students). I’ve learned a ton of vocabulary, but of course can’t quite fashion all the words together to make a logical sentence every time. By dinner time, my ability to express a thought in a complete sentence was fading!
A day in Tours at language school starts about 8 am at breakfast. After using my back teeth to jackhammer through toasted pain for breakfast, we scurry off to school (about a 12 minute walk). Class takes place in the morning – two 1.5 hour sessions cushioned in the middle by a short but sweet café pause. On Tuesday and Thursday, everyone returns to the school for afternoon workshops, amounting to 6 hours of class on those days. Atelier caught me by surprise – this vacation includes more hours of schooling than I realized!
This week, our afternoons have included lunch en restaurant, sandwiches on the terrace, a jog along the Loire, a beer or two in Place Plumereau, a visit to the Cathedral St. Gatiens, and strolls in the old ville.
We are staying with Marc and Armelle near the center of Tours. Dinner each evening is ‘al fresco’ in full view of their blooming rose garden. Armelle prepares dinner for 7:30, and so far we have feasted on the French versions of grilled sausage, chicken pasta with mozzarella, eggs and sausage, white asparagus, roasted fish, lots of salad, fresh fruit, and a gateaux a citron. A bottle of rosé always shows up at the table, too!
Tomorrow, to celebrate a successful first week of class, we plan to visit Chateau de Langeais. This weekend we’ll also participate in our own “Tour de France” by hopefully biking to Chateau du Villandry. Bon week-end!