Wanderings and Ponderings

My Study Abroad Adventures in England & France


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Rendre-visite en France

Bonjour, France

Bonjour, France!!

Over Easter break, my friend Kelsey invited me to go see her in the town of Antibes, in the French Riviera. She managed to show me an incredible amount in just 3 days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First sights

First sights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First sights

First sights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from balcony

View from balcony

 

The night I arrived, we had a calm night in, cooking breakfast at Kelsey’s apartment while she introduced me to her flatmates. The apartment, an off-campus apartment owned by the SKEMA program she’s participating in, is stunning. Plus the view of the living room is of the ocean (complete with balcony).

 

 

View from balcony

View from balcony

Bakery

Bakery

Cochon (marzipan covered coffee chocolate) & tarte aux fraises

Cochon (marzipan covered coffee chocolate) & tarte aux fraises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey took me to the bakery that she and her flatmates all frequent, and let me order the baguette and desserts. Getting to use my French made me much happier than I expected and I gleefully acted like a little kid after the event :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Train ride to Italy

Train ride to Italy

The next day we got up around 7 and took a train to…Italy! That was a VERY cool surprise. I’d never been to Italy before, and to just be able to take a train there the same way I would take a train to London was beyond cool.

 

 

 

Ventimiglia, Italy

Ventimiglia, Italy

 

The town of Ventimiglia/Ventimille (Italian/French) was truly gorgeous. We spent the morning walking around the local market, and I’d made it to every “market” photo I’d seen in my life. There was booth after booth of brightly coloured, fresh fruits and vegetables. For lunch we grabbed a sandwich and supplemented with fruits from the market.

 

 

 

 

 

Market

Market

Market

Market

Market

Market

Market

Market

The other section of the market was entirely filled with material goods, like purses, scarves, etc. I bought several scarves for €2 each – really, you can’t beat that! We also got to see a bunch of guys running from the cops with their goods. Kelsey says they either got caught without their permit to sell, or the cops caught them with fake goods. Before heading back, we grabbed some gelato (a necessity in Italy, right?).

 

 

 

Market

Market

Guys running from police

Guys sneaking away from police w/ illegal goods

Monaco

Monaco

We decided to stop off at Monaco (a principality of France – that’s how they have the prince/princess etc.) before going back to Antibes. That was really an incredible experience. I think my cousin Anne describes it best by saying “it oozes wealth.” Really, EVERYONE is walking around all fancy-schmancy in Italian leather shoes and designer suits and dresses. The only shops you see are the most high-end ones – Rolex, Chanel, Burberry, etc. It’s like a different world, for sure.

Monaco

Monaco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monaco Palace

Monaco Palace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monaco

Monaco

The architecture of the city was *beautiful* and we also walked around a park for quite a while getting some really lovely views of the sea. I still can’t get over just how blue it was. I could have looked at it all day. After the park, we walked to the Monaco casino and the Monaco Grand Prix. It was a fantastic day!

 

 

 

 

 

Monaco

Monaco

Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix

Casino Monte Carlo

Casino Monte Carlo

Millefeuille

Millefeuille

 

That night, we went to dinner at a local Antibes restaurant for a traditional French dinner. Going out to eat in France is more of a big deal, and they expect you to take at least a couple hours. So it was really fun to get to do that! Kelsey ordered a mille feuille which looked like quite the incredible dessert. Afterwards we went to a little bar called the Hop. It had a great, warm atmosphere and wasn’t overly loud so we were able to talk. I got a (nonalcoholic) margarita which was absolutely incredible.

 

 

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Antibes Market

Antibes Market

 

 

The next day we explored French markets! We began in Antibes, where we grabbed a small variety of foods for breakfast and ate it looking over the ocean. Then we headed to Nice, where we explored the food market, flea market, and the town in general. I grabbed a couple blood oranges, saving one to take to my mom. We also got a kilo of strawberries for only 3 euro! We hung out on the beach for a while, eating strawberries and relaxing. Kelsey tanned and I childishly played in the water collecting rocks. We headed back early that night so we could get up early the next day, and made supper in Kelsey’s apartment.

 

 

Market breakfast

Market breakfast

View of the ocean as we ate breakfast

View of the ocean as we ate breakfast

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Nice beach

Nice beach

IMG_8256The next day, the members of the SKEMA program and I took a boat to l’Ile Sainte-Marguerite, an island just off the coast of Cannes. There, we visited a museum, the prison where the “Man in the Iron Mask” was held, and hiked around. The island itself was absolutely beautiful, but we decided to leave once it started raining. Afterwards, we walked around Cannes – neither Kelsey nor I had ever been. It was quite a picturesque city and I enjoyed wandering up and down the city streets. Before we left, I popped in the chocolate shop “Lac” and picked out some macarons to take to my mom the next day. When we got back, we decided to have sushi delivered of supper (I’d never had it before). It turned into a 3 hour affair that ended in us walking to the shop to retrieve the sushi. But, the the food was delicious!

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The next day, we both got up and left early – Kelsey for an exam, and myself for the airport. Overall, it was a wonderful trip!

Kelsey managed to show me what seems like the entire Riviera in 3 days – it was an immense amount of fun, and cool to visit such a beautiful place.

 

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