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Bastille Day in Paris!


So I woke up way to early, showered, added a few things from the fridge to the “give-away” pile and then headed to St. Charles station. My pack is mysteriously heavier than on the way over. I can’t figure it out. All I have extra is 1 bottle of wine and 2 tank tops AND I think I actually used a few things… oh well. :( So I napped and did Sudoku puzzles on the way to Paris.

We got a 10 trip metro pass and then headed to our hotel. It’s way out on the east side, but it’s really nice so I’m sure we’ll survive. So after that we headed to the Louvre. We bought the 4 day Paris Museum Pass on the way there for 45 euros. It lets you skip the ticket line at most museums. So we walked right in to the Louvre instead of standing in line! We ended up splitting up which was really good because I have more fun at museums just wandering instead of trying to keep track of where the group is. :) So I spent most of my time in the paintings section. And of course I saw the Mona Lisa, but didn’t wait in line because you could see it on either side of the line!

After the Louvre we headed to the Rue Cler area to eat before we met up with everyone at Chris’ hotel around 9. I stopped at a gelato stand after. :) Then we headed to the Eiffel Tower and it was much to late to stake out a great spot so we ended up waaaaay back, but I think any spot was still a good view. So we used our maps as seats and waited for the show. I must say that fireworks at the Eiffel Tower were better than any Independence Day celebration I have ever seen! They play classical songs during the fireworks. It most certainly beat our cheesy rock montage in the US. After the fireworks we swam through the masses to the metro and headed “home.”

Winery Tour & the Calanques


Best day ever! So after taking a short tour of CMA/CGM (the shipping company) we headed to the winery. First we took a tour of the olive oil process part, then the wine process and then went in for some wine tasting. The white wine was my favorite, red was not so great… Then we went in for lunch. It was really good. Jean-Marc, the winery guy, did a how-to thing which was really funny. Apparently you’re supposed to breathe out of your nose to get the full effect; yeah I’m pretty sure that was Step 3. Anyway, we had a great time! I think my favorite part was when Jean-Marc stood up and said “And now it’s time for the cheeeeeeeese!” lol

When we got back to Marseille,  we left for the Calanques. Yeah, I know hiking doesn’t usually follow a winery tour, but it was super fun! We took the #21 back up to school and it only took about 45 min to get down the trail, and it wasn’t super hot since it was around 5-6pm. What an amazing view! Geeeeez… I’m so glad I got to go. So we went swimming and then sat on the rocks watching some boats and these guys diving off the rocks.

Bull Games in Arles | Day 20


Yay, every day should be a ½ day of class! We get so much more accomplished! After we went on the bus tour to the port we had lunch and then went back to the Citadines before heading to the train station around 3. We got to Arles about 30 min. early. The bull fight or “games” was soooo cool. I loved it! Nicole and I each picked “our guy” and mine didn’t get hurt, so HAAA! lol. Hers kind of got trampled. Anyway, it was tons of fun to watch.

We went to this little restaurant after and it was my favorite meal so far. I got the vegetarian menu which is a 3 course thing, so I got this goat cheese/zucchini/sun-dried tomato thing which I ate with bread and then they eggplant, cheese, tomato dish came and it was just ok, but then the dessert was also awesome! So I had tons of fun today! The ride home was another story. Everybody got earlier trains and we were on the last one, which happened to be 35 min. late, argh! So we ended up walking back from the St. Charles station, through the ghetto part of Marseille, but it was totally fine. And then we get back and Chris told us that he got mugged by the Vieux Port, some kids surrounded him and stole his camera out of the backpack. I guess they took a taxi after that, yikes.

Thai Food & Carousels in Marseilles | Day 19


So this evening we went to this Thai place near the port. The food was good, but the company was a little off. ;) Someone invited like 5 of the North Carolina guys to go and so it was kind of awkward, they made us all feel really old. It’s strange what a huge gap 20 – 25 can be. The food was really great though, it was nice to have something different. The frat boys left right after, so thankfully we didn’t have to hang out with them. ;)

On the way home we stopped at the carousel and Chris made everyone ride, except for Troy who was a big baby and sat on the bench and watched us in our grand maturity. Jennette and I rode on the tea cup one that spins and you can also turn the wheel and make it go faster… we were a little out of control… wow… yeah, I had a hard time sleeping because of that.

The Odd Park in Marseilles | Day 18


We had to be at class 30 min. early this am, but thankfully we got a 2 hour lunch. I could really get used to that! We walked down to the restaurant by the pool (on-campus) and I had an awesome salad. It was huge! So we found this GIGANTIC park just down the Prado this evening! I had a healthy dinner of cheese sticks and Coca-Cola and then we wandered around and sat and watched this poor pigeon who only had 1 leg… he had to navigate by making circles, and then we saw these weird ducks and a peacock and roosters and this one crazed rooster was in the tree… very Monty Python-ish, and I even saw a turtle! Craziness! So there’s also a golf course (Par 3 course), and I want to go, but I don’t think there will be time before we leave.

Olivia Raymer
Things I ♥: travel, food (I'm a pescatarian), the Pacific Northwest, bikes (I ride an orange mixte), beer (IPAs), summer, coffee, lists, and kitties. Travel enthusiast, former product manager, dabbler, and currently helping small businesses with digital strategy at Early Bird Strategy.

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