Monday, December 3, 2007

December 1-3

On Sunday I went to a marché de Noël (Christmas Market) in a town called Montreux. It's only about 20 minutes away by train. I was reading on the train on my way there, so I wasn't paying close enough attention to the announcements. I ended up getting off at at Vevey, the town between Lausanne and Montreux. So, I walked around there for about 30 minutes for the next train to come. The view of the mountains was beautiful from where I was at though, so I wasn't too annoyed.

I met my French conversation partner in Montreux. We walked around with some of her friends for a while, then they left and I stayed longer. I found one Christmas present that I needed to get. I was there more for the ambiance than the shopping though. There were so many neat things to see and buy and eat. They were selling a lot of hot wine, chestnuts, waffles, and cheese. The market consisted of rows of little chalets lined up along the lake. The vendors were mostly selling crafty things and decorations. There were a lot of ornaments and decorations made from wood, ceramics, and glass, as well as several stands selling soaps and candles. For some reason there was an "Ice Age 2" theme, so there were a bunch of statues made from evergreen branches in the form of the characters from the movie. It was pretty cool. There was also an American Indian band from Ecuador. It was really neat music. I considered buying their CD, but it was a little too expensive.
I went back to Montreux on Monday, but for a very different reason. One of my Materials Science classes took an Industry trip. We visited a small company called "Decision." They use composite materials to design boats. The company dynamic was very different from what I experienced at DuPont. This was also the first time I've traveled outside of Lausanne without taking the train. We took a huge double-decker charter bus. I'm not really sure why we took such an enormous vehicle though, because we only had about 24 people. It seemed a bit excessive, but I'm not the one calling the shots. Better too big than too small I guess.

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