Voyage au Centre de la Terre by Jules Verne (and Crossing Something Off My Bucket List)

julesverne

“As long as the heart beats, as long as body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life.”

Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
Published 1864 by Pierre Jules Hetzel
Classics/French/Adventure
Format: paperback; 338 pages
Also By This Author: Around the World in Eighty Days, From the Earth to the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

The intrepid Professor Liedenbrock embarks upon the strangest expedition of the nineteenth century: a journey down an extinct Icelandic volcano to the Earth’s very core. In his quest to penetrate the planet’s primordial secrets, the geologist–together with his quaking nephew Axel and their devoted guide, Hans–discovers an astonishing subterranean menagerie of prehistoric proportions. Verne’s imaginative tale is at once the ultimate science fiction adventure and a reflection on the perfectibility of human understanding and the psychology of the questor.

Thoughts:

You may be wondering why I used the original French title of Journey to the Center of the Earth in the blog title…that’s because I read this book in French! If you’ve been to my blog before, you may be familiar with my list of 25 things to do for my 25th year. #3 on that list was to “read an entire book in French.” So I can now cross that off!

It wasn’t easy–the French language has a special past tense that is only used in books or in storytelling, which makes it really hard to learn because you’ll hardly ever have the need to use it in a conversation. To be honest, I did not understand everything that goes on in this book, but I picked Jules Verne to read because 1) French Classics are easier to understand than English classics because the French language has barely changed over the centuries, 2) Classic novels have more grammatically correct dialogue between characters as opposed to modern novels, and 3) Jules Verne writes suspenseful and captivating adventure novels that are easy to follow and visualize.

On to the book! The only other Verne novel I’ve read before Journey to the Center of the Earth was Around the World in Eighty Days, which I really enjoyed. Verne’s characters are so particular and unique and the adventures they go on are always full of suspense and those “this is our last hope” type of scenes so that you’ll never be bored while reading one of his novels. Professor Lidenbrock is ever persistent and hopeful during this life-threatening journey while his nephew, Axel, often exclaims that all hope is lost and the group is sure to perish.

As always, true to Verne’s captivating writing style, there is a twist at the end of Journey to the Center of the Earth that anyone who has previously read Verne will be expecting to discover :)

Read This Book If…:

…you love an adventure!
…you’re into science fiction books, especially those written by the fathers of sci-fi.
…you crave a book that will make you both laugh out loud and turn the pages in suspense.
…you’re looking for a new unforgettable adventure to experience.

“Was I to believe him in earnest in his intention to penetrate to the center of this massive globe? Had I been listening to the mad speculations of a lunatic, or to the scientific conclusions of a lofty genius? Where did truth stop? Where did error begin?”

Final Musings:

If you’ve never read a novel by Jules Verne, I would suggest Journey to the Center of the Earth as a good starting point, although I preferred Around the World in Eighty Days (really though, any Verne book is a good book to read). Full of quirky characters, daring adventures, and spectacular imagery, Journey to the Center of the Earth is definitely a classic that deserves its masterpiece label.

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25 Things Update!

25thyearEarlier this year I posted a list of 25 things I wanted to do in the year before my 26th birthday. I feel like I’m a little behind, and there are already a few entries on the list that I know I won’t be able to cross off this year, but that’s ok. The whole point of this list was to give me some fun goals for the year and I’m already very pleased with the fun things I’ve been able to do so far.

Over the past several months I have been able to cross off some things from my list that I never got around to posting about! I feel bad about that because I could have easily made individual posts for these things and shared with you more pictures. But sometimes a shorter update is better :)

Here are four things I crossed off earlier this year that I never got around to posting about!

#12 Swim in the Mediterranean

Before we left France we took a day trip down to St. Cyr, which is about an hour east of Marseille. The water was so clear and blue, I can totally see why so many people like to vacation in the south of France. The beach was really crowded, there were even people waiting for other people to get up so they could take their spots. The weather was beautiful and although we had to drive three hours there and back, it was such a lovely day. I would have really regretted living in France for two and a half years and never getting to see the Mediterranean.

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#14 Join a club

Several months ago my blogging friend Regina @ The Sunflower Pages mentioned that she wanted to start an online book club focusing on Young Adult books and I immediately jumped on board! I love reading books with other people, and the fact that it’s an online club was even better for me since I was living abroad at the time. Now that I’m back in the States it’s still nice chatting with people from all over the place.

bookclub

So far we’ve read Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (LOVED IT), If I Stay by Gayle Forman (just in time for the movie),  We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, and A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall. Right now we’re reading Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard.

#20 Attend a masked ball or period-era ball or maybe just a really elaborately themed party

In June we had to say goodbye to our Grenoble community, and it was even more bittersweet than I thought it would be because they threw us a Disney costume party! It was so well done between the decorations, the food, the games, and of course the costumes :)

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Matt and I as Peter Pan and Wendy :)

Disney Party

Winnie the Pooh and Mickey & Minnie Mouse cakes!

Disney Party

My friend Laure (Minnie) who drove down from Lyon to see me, and my American friends Joy and Lisa who planned the party :)

Disney Party

My wonderful friend Dalene who was one of my closest friends in Grenoble. I miss her so much!

#21 FIND A NEW JOB

This was one of the biggest things on my list, and in my October Highlights post I shared with you that I had an interview in the beginning of November. Well…I GOT THE JOB! I started last Wednesday so this week is my first full week. So far, I love it! It’s a very small office (there are 4 of us), but that makes everything so much more personal. The job itself is low-stress and relaxed, which is a nice change of pace. I’m very excited for this new direction I’m taking, and I’m also looking forward to my husband finding a job so we can find a place to live & finally be able to settle down and unpack our wedding gifts (they’ve been in their original boxes in my parents’ basement for nearly 3 YEARS because we moved to France right after getting married).

Thank you to everyone who prayed for me, encouraged me, and gave me interview advice! I am so so thankful :)

25 Things: Ever After’s Château de Hautefort

25thyearThis week I crossed off a very big thing that has been on my current bucket list, 25 Things for My 25th Year: visit the main filming location for one of my favorite films, Ever After: A Cinderella Story. But first, some background info about my experience with this film’s shooting locations.

I visited this region of France, the Périgord, once 4 years ago, but it wasn’t until I was in the city of Sarlat that I realized where I was. Sarlat is a gorgeous city, by the way, and it’s where they filmed the “town” scenes of Ever After. During that same trip I also toured the ruins of Château de Commarque, which, I found out the other night, was also a filming location for this movie! (Click here for the picture proof) So, technically I have now visited 3 of the filming locations for one of my all-time favorite films :) On to Château de Hautefort!

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Château de Hautefort, the perfect setting for fairy tales!

In the Cinderella film Ever After, Château de Hautefort serves as the home of the King and Queen of France and their rebelliously romantic son, Prince Henry. In real life, Château de Hautefort is considered the jewel of the Périgord, a region in the southwest of France.

When we visited the castle it was undergoing renovations on one of its towers. It’s rare to visit a castle when it’s not being renovated, but nevertheless it was still a very beautiful castle to see in real life! The park itself is exquisite. I felt like I was in my own fairytale as I walked around the gardens and the courtyards that I easily recognized from one of my most-watched movies. My husband can attest–I was fangirling!

And now for the pictures! (There are tons!)

The Courtyards

Château de Hautefort Courtyard

This exterior courtyard is where I fangirled the most. It’s where Danielle and Henry have their first banter, where the Prince becomes enraptured by her. Even though there was the restoration of one of the towers going on while we were there, it was still a beautiful visit.

Ever After

This interior courtyard is breathtaking. I would love to eat my lunch out here, overlooking the quaint city of Hautefort. Or spend an afternoon out here lounging with a book. It. Is. Beautiful.

Hautefort Courtyard

This is also the scene where they shot the masked ball, although I didn’t recognize that at first. In the movie there are hundreds of props and people and it looked completely different, but just as lovely in its own way.

Ever AfterGrand Staircase

Château de Hautefort Staircase

This is the staircase the Grimm brothers are seen going up in the beginning of Ever After. It’s a simple yet elegant staircase that invited guests would have used when visiting the castle.

Ever After

Fireplace Room

Château de Hautefort Fireplace Room

This room, I discovered after rewatching the movie last night, was used in several scenes:
♥ The Grimm brothers meeting with the Grande Dame takes place here (you can recognize the marble bust by the window).
Ever After♥ This room is also used as the throne room, both for when Henry and his parents have the disagreement about the arranged marriage and for Rodmilla and Marguerite’s “trial” at the end of the movie. The room looks very different due to all the added wall coverings, but the flooring is the same.

Ever After

Some historical facts:
♥ The Fireplace Room was formally a great hall which was formally a medieval dungeon!
♥ The fireplaces themselves are not original as they were destroyed in a devastating fire in 1968 (which happened to be the second of two great fires in the castle’s history)

Lady’s Apartment

Château de Hautefort Lady's Bedroom

The curtains! The sofa! THE DESK!

My favorite room of the castle (at least of the ones that are open to public viewing) was the Lady’s Bedroom. If this were my bedroom, I would never leave it except to walk in the gardens or to take a bath in my beautiful conjoined bathroom:

Château de Hautefort Bath Château de Hautefort Vanity

Dining Room

Château de Hautefort Dining Room

I enjoyed touring the dining room especially because it was not ruined in the 1968 fire. The artwork on the walls is from the 17th century.

Château de Hautefort Dining Room Painting

Guest Room

Château de Hautefort Guest Bedroom

Another enchanting room, this is the bedroom my husband would love to call his own. I love the canopy bed and the bookshelves and the desk, and pretty much everything about this room. There was also a lovely fireplace I was unable to photograph.

Guest BedroomUnderground Passages

Ever After

 

I recognized this passageway as soon as I entered it. There wasn’t much to see down there except for the old kitchen that you could only get a glimpse of from the doorway.

The Park

Château de Hautefort

Directly in front of the entrance to the castle lies an extensive park. Dogs are allowed in the park and gardens, which was fortunate for us since we visited the castle on our trip home from vacation and Solo was with us. Matt and I took turns visiting the castle’s interior and then we were able to stroll through the castle grounds together.

The Gardens

Château de Hautefort Gardens

The gardens are arguably the most beautiful part about Château de Hautefort. My pictures do not do them justice, but you can see for yourself how intricate everything is. 

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Several scenes from Ever After were shot in these gardens, including:
♥ The conversation in the early evening between the King, Queen, and Prince Henry when they come to a compromise on the marriage was shot beneath this covered walkway. While I was there I even quoted the Queen’s line: “Choose wisely, Henry. Divorce is only something they do in England;” ;)

Château de Hautefort Gardens♥ Rodmilla and Marguerite have tea with the Queen in the back gardens, which would be the absolute best place to have tea. It smelled like roses everywhere.

Château de Hautefort Gardens♥ Prince Henry finds out about Danielle’s “engagement” in these side gardens:

Château de Hautefort Gardens

Ok, so that was A LOT of pictures to post, but who doesn’t like looking at pictures of pretty castles? ;) Hope you enjoyed this post, whether you’re an Ever After fan or not!

25 Things: A Regency Themed Movie Marathon

25thyearLast month, as a way to celebrate my 25th birthday, I made a bucket list of things I want to accomplish or experience before I turn 26. I call it my list of “25 Things For My 25th Year,” and recently I was able to cross off the first completed activity!

PandP#9: Have a Movie Marathon
This was probably the easiest thing on my list to cross off, but it was also one of the things I have been most wanting to do for a while. A couple of Saturdays ago, three of my friends and I got together for a light afternoon luncheon followed by a nonstop viewing of all 6 episodes of the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice. It was lovely, mainly because it was so nice to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I love watching any Jane Austen adaptation on my own, but it’s much more enjoyable to watch it with friends who are fellow Janeites :)

For our lunch we had typical afternoon tea types of dishes: cucumber sandwiches, tuna salad and toast, quiche, a vegetable platter, scones (red berry and chocolate chip), and sugar cookies.

Lunch

Even though it was a beautiful spring afternoon, it was nice staying inside, snacking on tea and scones while laughing over Mr. Collins’s ridiculous manners and swooning over the quaint English countryside.

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No, Mr. Collins…

I wouldn’t mind having another movie marathon later this year! Maybe something more action related, like Star Wars or Harry Potter :) Have you had a movie marathon with friends? I’d love to hear about it!

 

25 Things For My 25th Year

25thyearI meant to have this post up weeks ago since my birthday was in early March, but better late than never!

Last year I noticed several of my blogging friends had bucket lists of things they wanted to accomplish before they turned 26, 30, etc. I just turned 25 last month and there are so many things I’d like to do this year and making a bucket list would be a fun way to cross things off and share fun experiences with my friends as well. Some of the things on this list are things I’ve been wanting to do for years. Other things that I’ve included are there to help me challenge myself and confront my fears (such as #6 and #23). Since I turn 26 next March, I have about 11 months from today to accomplish these 25 things! Think I can do it?

My list of 25 Things to do for my 25th Year:

  1. Run a 10K
  2. Knit or crochet an afghan
  3. Read an entire book in French – which means I’ll also be able to cross off “Learn the French passé simple”
  4. Write a novella
  5. Make a website for someone else – any takers?
  6. Ski on the red slopes – Since ski season is just about over, I have some time to prepare myself ;)
  7. Visit the Ever After filming locations in the Dordogne region of France

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    Château de Hautefort

  8. Visit a new continent
  9. Hold a movie marathon – BBC’s Pride and Prejudice or Star Wars Episodes I-VI? Hmm…
  10. Visit the UK and Ireland – this has been on my bucket list for years and years
  11. Restore an old piece of furniture
  12. Swim in the Mediterranean
  13. Re-attemptmacarons

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    So they look like this

  14. Join a club
  15. Make all of the pins on my Pinterest craft board – I would have loved to do this with my To Be Read book list but let’s be realistic here…
  16. See an opera and/or play
  17. Volunteer somewhere
  18. Finish my Codeacademy courses – so I can #5 make a website for someone else :)
  19. Write thank you notes to all the teachers and professors who helped and encouraged me
  20. Attend a masked ball or period-era ball or maybe just a really elaborately themed party

    Tangled

    THIS! I want to do this so badly!

  21. Find a new job – even though I enjoy being a teacher, it’s not what I want to make a career out of
  22. Do something “dangerous” – meaning something I would usually avoid at all costs
  23. (along those same lines) Donate blood – I have a HUGE syringe phobia
  24. Take a couples course with Matt – cooking, dancing, candle-stick making…something along those lines ;)
  25. Start relearning piano

There you have it! I posted this list as a page up on the menu bar, and each time I cross something off my list I’ll write up a post and link it to the 25 Things page :) I can’t wait to start doing some of these things!! (I say some because there are a few things on this list that I put on there to confront my fears, so I’m more anxious than excited about doing those)