Today we did many things–beaucoup de chose. Instead of going to school with our host families, we explored Angers. We first went to a 45 million dollar building called Le Quai, which loosely translates to “waterfront.” It’s a modern building, despite being built in 2007. Le Quai houses concerts, art exhibitions, plays, comedy acts, dance performances, and even circuses. Right now, there’s this giant inflatable cube thing with bouncy cords in it that goes up at night. I totally want to go in it at some point.
We received a tour of Le Quai’s stages, inside and out. Pictured above is the greenroom of sorts which the public never usually gets to see (!). We also got to go underneath the biggest stage, into the belly of the beast, so to speak. We first explored the true underbelly, where there wasn’t much but supports for the stage above. After that, we moved on to the opera pit, which is also where the mechanic schematics for the stage lived. Mechanics? What do you mean? Why would a stage need crazy machines? Well, part of the audience, from about row 6 to row 1, can be moved underneath and replaced with more stage, for artists who wish to interact with the crowd. The stage can be totally transformed–the guide told us there had even been A POOL onstage at one point. A POOL!
After Le Quai, we grabbed a snack at a little boulangerie (bakery). I had a kougin-amman, a roll pastry made of croissant dough and covered in sticky caramel. It’s seriously delicious. Our stomachs satisfied, we headed to the other side of the river to visit the big cathedral in the center of town.
Unfortunately, I only got to see a bit of the cathedral because I had to go to Orange, the local phone plan provider. I needed to get a French SIM card and data plan for my phone, which should have been relatively simple. It was not. I went to Orange with one of the teachers, only to be told she needed her passport for identification. So we went all the way back to the group, where luckily one of the other teachers had her passport. Then we went alllll the way back to Orange, where we finally purchased a plan. Ugh. Then we only had ten minutes for lunch!
But it’s all sorted out now, and we went to the Chateau d’Angers after anyway. The Chateau was magnificent, and our hard work walking all around it was rewarded with granitas (think slushy) and ice cream.
We also visited the gallery where the work of sculptor David d’Angers is. It was pretty cool but the building was crazy hot.
Overall, a successful day in Angers.
See you in the next post,