Archive for the ‘France’ Category

Mediterranean | Day 58-59 | France | Nice

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DAY 58: NICE

We left Arles in the morning and arrived by train to Nice in the afternoon. After we got settled in our rooms, we headed out for the standard walking tour. We took the tram to the main ocean-side part of town where we climbed a bunch of stairs to a see a man-made waterfall and boardwalk overlook. Afterwards we had Nice’s local dish socca, which is a chickpea flatbread.

DAY 59: NICE, EZE, & MONACO

Aline and I ventured out to Eze and Monaco while The Ladies stayed in Nice, as they had already been to Monaco many years before. We took a 15 minute train to Eze Sur Mer, which in the high season is a popular beach, but since we were there in October, it was practically empty. It reminded me a lot of Malibu, except Eze had a pebble beach instead of sand.

Aline and I then took a bus up the hill to Eze Village, which was a small, quaint medieval town. We had lunch in a small cafe which was overrun by American sorority girls, who were from some school in middle America, Kansas or Missouri. The girl sitting behind me had a superior inbred disdain for Texas, you know, in that 21-year-old sort of way.

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Mediterranean | Day 57 | France | Arles

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DAY 56

We arrived in Arles in the evening. Walking tour. Dinner. I had bull stew, an Arles local dish. I didn’t care much for the flavoring, but the meat was quite tender. Returned to hotel; early night.

DAY 57

In the morning I went to see the Roman amphitheater where the town has regular bull fights. In France! Whodathunk. I did not see a bull fight, but appreciated some more Roman architecture. That was 4th Roman theatre I had seen by then and I hadn’t even gotten to Rome yet! I then got lost— I MEAN— walked around town, exploring. I grabbed a halal pita for lunch, then went bike riding with the ladies de le tour.

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Mediterranean | Day 55-56 | France | Carcassonne

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Carcassonne was a big le snooze for me. It’s just a town with a medieval fortress that now only protects the cheesy costume and candy shops inside. It’s the type of place you’d expect your 63-year-old aunt Barbara and uncle Steve to go on vacation, then they’d force you to sit on their sunken plaid couch and watch their vacation photo slideshow on their Kodak slide project while serving you nougat they bought at the fortress shops. Actually, if Barbara and Steve still rocked a slide projector, I might find their house more interesting than the actual Carcassonne fortress. Bring on the nougat, Babs!

Legend has it that Carcasonne was named for Princess Carcas. She and the town had been holed up inside the fortress resisting Charlemagne’s army for five years, and they eventually ran out of food. The villagers brought her what was left, a pig and a sack of wheat, and she fed the pig the wheat and threw him over the walls to try to trick Charlie into thinking they had so much food inside they could waste it as they pleased. Well, he fell for it, because girls rule and boys drool, and he led his army away. Delighted at their retreat, she rang the bells of the city, and one of Charlie’s men yelled, “Carcas sonne!” which means “Carcas rings.” But this legend has now been proven historically inaccurate. Sometimes legends were created to give life to an otherwise boring fortress, so let’s just leave it alone, fact-checking nerds.

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