Conflans, our Medieval City

Before we left Nashville, my dad said something to the effect of "make sure you enjoy this experience", and we've been trying to do him a good turn, especially this week before classes start.  Many of you know that I'm a not-so-closet Europhile, and the prospect of living here for 10 months has been a bit of a pipe dream come true.  However, in the aftermath of traveling around for a year with two little kids, I was finding it surprisingly hard to generate much excitement.  But the environment mixed with my dad's exhortation has a healing of its own.

So, our third day here, a few people were taking a little hike, and Rachel graciously watched the kids so I could join them.

Albertville itself is a lovely enough town (with gorgeous surroundings), but it is not the classic historic European town.  But they have one of those too, up on the hill, only 25 minutes by foot from our front door. In fact, we can see it from our third story window.  Conflans, the medieval city, about 1/3 of the way up the mountain, dating back to the 14th century.  Five of us set off to see it.  

On the way, I had a revival of my hopes that I can continue my funny sign collection whilst living among the Francophones, when we saw this street sign.

I don't know who this esteemed Docteur is, except that he seems very popular, his patients are very happy, and they have lower-than-average rates of cardiovascular disease.  Up the hill we went to the entrance of Conflans, seen below.  The white cross on a red background is the flag of Savoie, which is our "department", or province.
Some random shots around the windy street and alleyways that are one of the most enjoyable features of European cities for me.  Quite hard to photograph, though.
Here's our crew: The three McCropder singles: Carlan, Alyssa, and Sarah, joined by our guide Jodi, a nurse heading to Togo who has been here for several months already.
One of the two panoramic overlooks had a little grassy square surrounded by a walk covered in grapevines. So this shot is looking straight up.
And this is looking down on our fair city.  I think our building is a bit to the left of this shot, but I wanted to get the chateau in the foreground.
And taking a moment to work on honoring my father's instruction.