Post image for Les Alpes

Les Alpes

by Lauren | Celiac Teen on June 11, 2012

I’ve tried to start this post about eight different ways. Each time, the vastness of these past four months overwhelms me, leaving me with just a few misplaced sentences. Stories peak up with each idea, as each day held so many stories. I guess that’s what happens when you change your environment in such an extreme way: you’re left with buckets of stories, but nowhere to start. So, let me start small.

A year ago, it became clear that I would have a handful of free months. Months without school, between high-school courses and University commencing. After contemplating a massive road-trip across North America and other random momentary ideas, I decided upon France. Each month, another detail would become clearer. Language school. Four months. The Alps. Annecy. An apartment. My visa.

Then, tout à coup, I was there: living by myself in a small French city, and I couldn’t have been happier.

It went by in the blink of an eye. The most ridiculous, incredible, memory-packed, joyous blink of an eye I’ve experienced. Each day had moments that now burst out in flashes. Sometimes it’s the urge à parler en français. Perhaps it’s talking to a friend and searching for that one memory that will satisfy their curiosity about my time away. That one memory doesn’t exist. One leads to another which leads to a person which leads to second-hand stories about their adventures, which leads to something else we did. It’s a tumble. An intricate web of moments; it’s life.

I made this photo in my last few weeks. The morning haze, en route to school as the sun prepared for a beautiful warm day. Slowly, those cobblestone-lined roads and clear canals became familiar. In sputtering rain, covered in slick frost, with the sun beating down and under the stars. Home, away from home.

That market. Dear me, I fell for it. I loved seeing familiar faces, finding the seasons change through all of the produce, and watching the streets turn into my favourite place to shop, week after week.

One day, I walked with a friend through some of the little towns nearby. We passed by this little ferme, and those generously in bloom flowers. My stay in the Alps was filled with flowers. I lived in a ville fleurie, and each month brought out more buds and blooms.

Living by the water. Well, a huge lake. A new thing for this prairie-mountain girl. I loved it. Especially since the lake was surrounded by mountains. The Alps, even.

There is so much history. Yet, it’s unmistakably alive. There is newness and ideas and change, of course, amid buildings that have stood for centuries. Sometimes, moments seemed timeless. With these ancient buildings, il y a certaines choses that could have happened during époques differentes. That’s the beauty of exploring a place so far from home; sometimes you find little windows into history, and into possibility, through tradition.


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn June 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Wonderful images Lauren, I feel like I’m there with you.

marlou June 12, 2012 at 1:27 pm

you make me miss Annecy, Lauren. this was such a nice post to read :)

Flavia June 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Lovely post, Lauren. I am so happy that you had a wonderful time in France. I spent my childhood summers in Italy and loved every bit of it. Traveling abroad gives us a new perspective on culture and people. How wonderful that you recognized an opportunity and flew with it. May more lovely adventures be waiting for you in the near future. xoxo

Alaine June 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

I love this post. Your pictures are wonderful. This makes me really want to go to France. I would love to hear more about how you traveled/ate out with Celiac in France.

Joanne June 21, 2012 at 5:45 pm

How do you adapt being GF in France: no baguette, croissant, pain au chocolat.
My son (15) has only been diagnosed this week and is off on a school trip to France in September. As well as the normal adjustments to be made at home, he is feeling very sad that going to France and not eating “normal” and this is going to deprive him of many experiences… the crepes, the picnic with the baguette, the burger at Hippo…
Any advice.

Sandy June 22, 2012 at 7:00 am

What a lovely place, Lauren. I would love to hear more stories about your time in France. Amazing pictures as well.

Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy June 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

what gorgeous photos! thanks for sharing!

Aimee @ Simple Bites June 24, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Lovely. Thanks for letting us get a glimpse for your time abroad.

Jules July 4, 2012 at 11:53 am

Hello Lauren! Wonderful photos you’ve taken, I was captivated! Thank you.
Inspiring to see a young celiac making herself heard! Keep up the great work.

kellypea August 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm

I wish I would have been successful in getting my two older boys to do something like this. It’s wonderful that you have had such a good time of it. Your photos are always perfect as is your telling of your experiences. I’m truly jealous :)

Ava September 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hi Lauren. This post is so inspiring! The pictures are so exciting to look at and are convincing even more that a gap year is inevitably the way to go!

Mark October 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

Lucky you. As I have never had the chance to travel to France, I can only imagine the amazing scenery and food you had. I would have tried to eat every meal from that market. I cannot find a good one in suburbia. Excellent photography too.

cathie cameron October 31, 2012 at 1:52 pm

saw you did peirogi’s finally I hope it works, hard for family to enjoy without them on Christmas eve. Where did you get your peirogi cutter mine is dull and have been looking everywhere for one.
Thanks…and what beautiful pictures

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