Sunday, October 5, 2008

The French Recap

Where to begin....
It all began with the 9 hour flight from Seattle to Paris where we all decided that we should have taken our 9-week French class a little more seriusly.

We landed in Paris, got through customs, and all that fun stuff, and jumped in the taxi to get to our apartment. Little did we know that we would be risking our life and safety by riding in a car through Paris. I don't think French cars have rear-view mirrors on them, or at least they don't use them. And, motorcyclist don't have to drive in a lane. Plus, apparently, a pedestrian walking in a crosswalk does not have the right-of-way.

45-minutes later after driving all over Paris we arrived at our apartment in the 6th Arr. on the Rue des Baux Arts (adjacent to the famed Ecole des Beaux Arts). It wasn't until we got to the apartment that we realized the we were located on the 5th floor (6th floor "French" as the rental company put it) of a walk up building. We carried our luggage (I carried Kelly's and mine) up 6 floors of steep, winding stairs. I will admit, though, that the view was amazing from the apartment. We could see Notre Dame, the Pantheon, and Paris spreading out.

Renting an apartment in Paris was the best decision. We were able to save money by cooking at home and eating out only at lunch. At the end of our week in Paris, we took all that saved money and ate at a nice French resturant near the Jardin Luxemburg. The aparment also had a washer and dryer so we didn't have to wear the same dirty clothes day after day. Unfortunately, the appliances weren't grounded so you got a serious electrical shock everytime to tried to touch your clothes in the washer.

Here's a travel tip: water + ungrounded appliances = painful shock.

We visited all of the typical Parisian sights: the Louvre, the Eifel Tower, Arc de Triumph, the patisseries, and McDo (French for McDonald's).

After Paris we spent 4 days in Nice, which isn't as nice as you would think. Nice was good, but I wouldn't spend 4 days there. We rented another apartment in Nice on the Rue Giofreddo near Old Town Nice. From Nice we visited Monaco, Antibes, and explored Nice itself. There really isn't too much to see in Nice so you kind of have to make daytrips from there. The really sad thing about Nice, is all of the cruise ship tourists who flock there. Most of the big cruise ships dock at Nice or near it on the Mediterrean Sea so there was an influx of puffy white tennis shoe tourists to get in the way.

Kelly ended up getting so bad food poisoning in Nice late Saturday night and Sunday morning. In case you're wondering, nothing is open on Sunday in Nice and everything closes at 9:00pm on Saturday.

Another, travel tip: don't get sick on the weekend in Nice.

Besides a few train blunders, a few bad bus rides, getting stranded on the side of coastal highway between Monaco and Nice, the trip was amazing and I want to travel some more.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I can still here the sounds coming from the "Dub-la-Vay-Cay" in Nice as I type...! Poor Kelly.