Côte d’Azur

It has now been about 2 months since I last posted, and I have had so much to write about these past few months!  At least this time my lack of writing isn’t due to cold weather-induced lethargy; it’s actually because it finally got nice out and I was able to do fun things outside, and then it was april break, and then it was my last week of classes in Le Puy, and packing the apartment, etc etc… So to update quickly, in February I went to London, Madrid, and Porto, which I will finish writing about soon (I have a lot of blog posts half finished, it just takes so long to sort through all the pictures!), then in April we took a trip to Belgium and Amsterdam with a stop in Paris for Igor’s GRE in English Lit test (lots to say about that trip, too!).  After April break, we had a week and a half in Le Puy before we set off for our month-long voyage throughout France.  In the end, I will actually really miss Le Puy, despite the difficult winter months.  It was during the last 2 months of our stay that we really got to know some wonderful people and had the chance to get to know the region a bit more (there are a bunch of castles near Le Puy, who knew?!) and go out to concerts and events.  Our students also wrote us really sweet goodbye messages, and there are at least a few students that I will try to keep in touch with.  I know my blog makes it seem like I was on vacation all the time, but the teaching part was obviously a big part of our life in France.  I’ll definitely talk more about that later.

Igor and I have been traveling for 10 days now and here is the itinerary: Le Puy – Grenoble – Nice – Nimes – Tours – Nantes – Dinan – Saint Malo/Mont St Michel – Reims – Strasbourg/Colmar – Le Puy – Boston!  The whole trip will take a month, and we just got to Tours last night.  Here’s a post about our first real vacation destination this trip, the Côte d’Azur:

We spent 5 nights in Nice, and it was such a wonderful place to start our vacation! (Not including Grenoble, because that was more like a homecoming than a vacation.  We saw both our host families, Marie-Eve, and Vince!)  Seeing the Mediterranean was amazing, and the warm weather was refreshing and definitely needed.  It was a huge change of scenery, especially going from the Alps to the sea in the same day!  The buildings were warm yellows and pinks, the food fresh and local (and so completely different from Auvergne food), and the sea was actually azure.  We didn’t spend the whole time relaxing on the beach, though, because there are so many other places to see on the coast!  We took short trips to Monaco (twice, because we had to see it lit up at night!), Eze Village, Villefranche-sur-Mer, and Antibes.  Every place we went had stunning views and almost constant sunshine.  The weathermen predicted that it was going to rain our whole time there, and we only got one morning of light showers!  We got to try some local specialties (pissaladière, socca, octopus salad, crazy awesome ice cream in every flavor imaginable, even absinthe), swim in the sea, go to the market, see exotic gardens… Also everywhere we went it smelled like honeysuckle or roses.  It was awesome.

watching the waves in Nice

the port near the Prince’s Palace in Monaco

I had fun taking lots of pictures of bees in Monaco

There were lots of sexy cars in front of the Grand Casino in Monte Carlo. Mazeratis, Lamorghinis, etc… Mercedes was the least impressive of them. Crazy.

There were a few beautiful old cars, too!

in the gardens behind the casino

Fennochio’s in Nice had the best and craziest ice cream ever! Weirdest flavors: tomato basil, beer, thyme, vanilla pepper rose, poppy (and many other flowers). My favorites: cactus, honey pine nut. Avocado wasn’t too bad, either.

When we got back to Nice after visiting Monaco we found out that Francois Hollande had won the presidential election! The communist party decided to put a flag in this statue’s hand in celebration. Shortly after I took this picture, someone hung a life-sized puppet of Sarkozy between the statue’s legs… awkward…

chillin at the beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer

at the exotic garden in Eze Village

the view from Eze Village

the market in Nice’s old town

flower market!

there were even kumquat trees!

Monte Carlo Grand Casino at night

the gardens

I wonder how many places in the world you can see a lit-up forest of palm trees?

our view during lunch in Antibes

So our trip got off to a pretty amazing start.  Next post, Nîmes and then Tours and the Loire Valley Châteaux!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s