Bonjour America, I hope all is well. This week / weekend went surprisingly fast. I can’t believe that tomorrow is already the first of March! Days just sort of blend together now that I have a set routine. On Wednesday I only had one class, and my friend Fez doesn’t have any, so we met at the Phoenix at 1 pm and explored Caen. It is such a historic city and so beautiful. We are learning about it in my history class, so it is cool to see some of the things we talk about. Here is a brief history of Caen.
William the Conqueror (Guillaume le Conquérant), was the Duke of Normandy and the first Norman King of England from 1066 until 1087. Before his conquest of England, he was known as William the Bastard because of the illegitimacy of his birth. To press his claim to the English crown, William invaded England in 1066, leading an army to victory over the English forces of King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror’s castle is here in Caen today.
Additionally a lot of the city was destroyed and then rebuilt during the Battle of Normandy- it is cool to see the contrasting older and modern-day architectures.
On Saturday I went on a 50 km (31 mile) bike ride with my host dad, Pierre, to the sea! We biked for about 3 hours and it was really fun and enjoyable and relaxing, and also nice to see more of Caen and its surrounding cities, including monuments such as a war cemetery, tank, and a castle. I came home and after I went to dinner with my family at their daughter Florence’s house. It was nice to meet some of their extended family and to speak some French. They are so awesome for including me in their daily lives !
The Phoenix- set at the heart of the université, the Phoenix was built after WWII as a symbol of survival, and strength. 85 percent of Caen was destroyed, but the city and its people were still able to conquer and overcome, just like the phoenix bird. (If you’re thinking JK Rowling, don’t worry, so am I)
William the Conqueror’s castle- built in 1066
Le château de Guillaume le Conqérant
Eglise St. Pierre
Le centre ville de Caen
Taking a field trip to Abbaye aux Dames
Dana, Teysa (from Indonesia) and Mira (from Korea)
Abbaye aux Dames– built and donated by William and his wife in order to receive the Pope’s approval for their marriage (they were cousins)