Hometown: Naperville, IL
This past Thursday was our first class field trip for our Overseas Architectural Studies class. For some of us, it was our first time traveling outside of Barcelona since arriving a month ago - yes, it's been one month already! - so it was a nice change of pace to get out and explore somewhere new. Let me tell you, road-tripping through Spain is SO much more enjoyable than driving down to Champaign-Urbana. Watching the Spanish/French countryside pass our window, with rolling hills and colorful villages pop in and out of view, was breathtaking.
Friday morning we took a tour of the Chateau, which is in excellent condition, along with the surrounding city walls, thanks to the restoration efforts of the French architect, Viollet-le-Duc, in the 19th Century. I've come across his name before in my historic preservation classes back at Illinois, so it was interesting to see his work up close (as well as hear his "voice" on the audio tour we got...). Walking along the ramparts offered stunning views of the surrounding towns and countryside bellow. Even more stunning was seeing the Pyrenees in the distance, peaking out behind a layer of low lying clouds. It was hard not stop and take a moment to absorb the beauty that was around me - that's probably why the audio tour took so long for me to finish! After our tour of the Chateau, we made our way to the Basilique Saint-Nazaire-et-Saint-Celse de Carcassonne. We weren't able to spend much time inside the Basilica since we popped in right before it was going to close for the afternoon, but we were able to admire the differences between the Romanesque and Gothic portions of the church amidst the sound of the choir in the background. I must say, the French countryside has captured my heart, and I know I'll return soon.
We'll upload some of our sketches soon - just have to put the finishing touches on them...So be on the lookout! Until then, bona nit!