Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week 2

So this is probably going to be a long one because we did so much last week, but I'll keep the writing short because I know most people like to see the pictures. But anyway, we started out on Monday with some animal production classes and our usual French lesson. Then on Tuesday we had one of my favorite field trips so far! We went to visit a ewe farm and the Roquefort caves!!! At the farm they taught us how the ewe's are bred, raised, and milked. Then they showed us around the farm and let us see where they perform these tasks. Then at the end of our visit they let us try some of the Roquefort that was produced from their ewe's milk, as well as some local bread, some local wine, and another local cheese. It was all so amazing!
Our professor and the owner of the farm teaching us about the lifecycle of the ewe.

The owner of the farm bringing the ewe's to the field to graze.

Where the ewe's live during the winter.

Where the ewe's get milked.

The local bread that they let us try.

Roquefort cheese

The other local cheese that unfortunately I can't remember the name of. 

After we visited the farm they brought us to see the Roquefort caves. The roquefort caves are where they bring the cheese to develop the mold. The caves have about 95% humidity and 10C temperatures so that is the perfect temperature for the Penicillium roqueforti spores to develop. This was probably my favorite part of the day. It is such a unique way of making cheese. After we toured the caves they let us try 3 different Roquefort cheeses and I loved them all!
The cheese wrapped in foil to prevent further mold development. 

The cheese lined up to grow mold. 

Me and Allison with the final product.

On Wednesday, we had a day full of animal welfare lectures. We also had a lecture on labels for chickens where we learned about the Label Rouge chicken that they have here in France. Then on Thursday, our day was filled with French lessons. We spent the morning in the classroom and for the afternoon they gave us a scavenger hunt to do around Toulouse. So we had to ask people in French questions about the city and things to do in the city. Then on Friday, we had a short lecture in the morning on animal sustainability and then we had our first exam. After that we got on the bus to head to Barcelona for the weekend!

Barcelona was amazing! I learned about the architect Antoni Gaudi in 6th grade and I've been wanting to see his work ever since. So I was extremely excited to see all of the buildings he designed. On Saturday morning a few of us got up early to visit Parc Guell. This park was initially supposed to be a gated community with about 60 houses in it, but Gaudi only built 2 houses and never finished the project, so now it is a public park. After we visited the park, we went to Sagrada Familia which is the Basilica Gaudi started to build. It was amazing! He put so much detail into the whole building. After the Basilica we walked down the main touristy street in Barcelona where we saw Casa Battlo and La Pedrera which are two more buildings that Gaudi built. Then for dinner that night we went out for Tapas!

Lizard statue at Parc Guell.

Antoni Gaudi's house at Parc Guell.

Benches in Parc Guell.

The view from the top of Parc Guell.

The inside of Sagrada Familia.

The outside of Sagrada Familia.

Casa Batllo

La Pedrera.

Us at "Tapa Tapa" the Tapas restaurant.

Our first course of our tapas meal.

Mini chorizo sausages

Crema Catalana.

On Sunday, we woke up early again to go swimming in the Mediterranean. The water was pretty cold, but we still went swimming and it was a lot of fun! After we were done at the beach we went out to lunch. We went to a restaurant called Catalunya, and we all had Paella for the first time! It was amazing!
The Mediterranean Sea

My first Paella!

Natalie and I with our Paella's!

So that was my second week of my life in France. It was so busy, but a lot of fun! I also found out about my host family today so I'll try to get a blog out soon to let you know all about that! Au revoir pour l'instant!

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