Quelle journée! With jet lag still lagging, a 7:30 am wake up call was tough, but with a couple of cups of coffee my brain seemed to get through it. After a few hours of meeting a lot of people at the local university (with a couple of interviews thrown in there) the coffee’s affect seemed to ware off… what better way to get some energy than with a bit of shopping therapy? Leave it to France; pants that are actually long enough, black et chic. Parfait.
I couldn’t say no to the October sun’s luring rays so I grabbed a patch of green by the canal (the long stretch of water behind the castle, home of the swans). I was breathing in the fresh air, allowing the warm sun to beat down on my face, and my spirit to soak up every second, when a shadow came across my face.
Alas, the same guy who asked me for a cigarette just beforehand, staring down at me, as if he had never seen someone lay on grass. He helped himself to the luscious grass, as he should! Though, a few meters further would have been nice….it wasn’t that warm feeling you get when you are about to make a friend. It was more a slight fear and confusion as to why he was asking my age, family background and if I was traveling alone within the first 20 seconds of sitting down. After politely looking at his family photos and refusing (four times) his offer to ”profit of my time here and go to the bar with him” I excused myself and wandered away, making sure he wasn’t following. I was in the clear. I’m sure he’s nice, but it was a bit too close for me!
I made it to the castle where it was also sunny. Sunny, and surprisingly calm. It was around 6pm, however, so maybe everyone had headed home after a full day out in the sun. I lost myself in thought again when not too long after a man on a bicycle approached….who this time? As he got closer I was able to read the sign ‘Security’ on his t-shirt…. he saw me from the cameras Inside and realized I had no idea the Castle’s grounds were closed. He graciously walked me to the exit and told me to come back tomorrow to get a free entrance since I have yet to see the Inside.
I got home just in time to join Damien for a bike ride up the mountain (legs burning + breathtaking view = worth it!!!) before meeting some fellow Couchsurfers downtown. We went to the given bar but could not find the group so we decided to pop into the new Spanish bar across the street for some Desperados (tequila flavoured beer that, unfortunately, does not exist in Canada) and live music. Moments after walking in, a woman grabbed my hand and had me dancing, ignoring the fact that I was like a giraffe on skates. Turned out to be a great time!
This morning when I woke up I thought, ”Great, I am going to meet some people and see a university today!” I guess it was more than just that…. With an open mind and spirit anything is possible and all the great moments that are out there will come to you naturally. I can only imagine what tomorrow will bring!