A co-worker from my school and I had been talking all year about taking a trip to Eze, a small town not too far from Nice. As time goes, it flew by, and before we knew it I only had a couple more weeks of school! We planned to do it that week, but then rescheduled for the Thursday of my last week of school. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute! We didn’t have a ton of time, since I was having a good-bye dinner for all my friends at my apartment that evening (and it was scheduled to rain in mid-afternoon), but we left early afternoon and spent a good few hours seeing a few things in the town.
Eze is a really small medieval village on top of a mountain- it’s called a perched village since it’s up so high. If you take the train you have to walk up the mountain to get there, but if you take the bus or drive you can go right up to the city. Luckily, we drove, so no mountain climbing for me!
Wow, it’s been longer than I had planned since I last posted. Sorry!! You’d think being unemployed and all I’d be posting up a storm, but sadly, that doesn’t seem to have been the case. Here’s what I’ve been up to lately:
- job applying (temp places for the summer and teaching jobs for the fall)
- taking trips to Ankeny to first see my very pregnant sister, and then my new baby niece!!
- cleaning my room and bathroom at home from top to bottom, and donating tons of stuff
- sorting, organizing, and backing up the millions of photos I took this year
- enjoying living 25 miles from my boyfriend instead of 5000
- eating delicious meals at my grandparents’
- catching up with friends that I haven’t seen for nearly eight months
- playing my dad in backgammon, and mostly losing
- trying to catch our five baby kittens that live under the front steps
- feeding our four bucket calves (and chasing them when moving them to a different field…)
- hanging out with my cousins that both live right up the road
- eating delicious food like colby jack cheese, peanut butter, Kraft mac n cheese, my mom’s lemon chicken, my grandma’s spaghetti, Jamaican seasoned pork patties, Mexican food (particularly Chipotle and Diamond Dave’s), and homegrown asparagus
Tags: Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, Chokola, City Hall, France, fresques, Hotel de Ville, La Fresque des Lyonnais, La Place des Terreaux, Lyon, opera, Parc de la Tete d'Or, Passage Thiaffait, Roman ruins, theatre, Theatres Romains de Fourviere, traboule
I went skiing twice this year, once in mid-March and once at the beginning of April. That’s right, skiing in April in the south of France! And thus is the magic of mountains. The first time, I went to a ski resort called Valberg, and the second, to one called Isola 2000. Here’s a handy-dandy map I created to show you people where I was:
The one near Peone is Valberg, and the one that’s 34 miles away is Isola.
That’s right, I went back to Mont Boron! I hadn’t gone up the hill with beautiful views overlooking Nice since back in October. I guess like with my two visits to Villefranche, it needed revisited before I left! I considered putting the pictures from the day in with my Haut-de-Cagnes post, but I decided two short-and-sweet ones would be nice after my massive post about Toulouse 🙂
One warm and sunny day Sam (Notice a pattern? He’s a good friend, haha) and I decided to go up to Mont Boron, since I had never seen the fortress up there. Honestly it’s not much to look at, but the views of the city below are AMAZING. I miiight have amped up the color a little too much on some of these pictures, but they’re just so pretty!
The day after I got back from Toulouse, I had a day off of school! We had Monday off for Easter, which was a nice surprise; I didn’t know when I scheduled my trip to Agen or I probably would’ve stayed another day. Oh well! My good friend Sam and I went to Haut-de-Cagnes, a small town in the mountains north of a town called Cagnes-sur-mer. There’s a big castle there and the day we went, there was a flower exposition there, with lots of flowers and visitors and even some musicians playing! It was fun to see the castle and all the beautiful flowers were just a plus.
View from the top.
The last weekend of March, I took a trip to southwestern France to visit a friend of my high school French teacher. The main reason was to observe her using TPRS in the classroom (mentioned briefly here) and to talk to her about it, but also to see a different part of France, and one that’s NOT a big city! This country girl has been hurting for some wide-open spaces.
Port-Sainte-Marie, where the teacher lives, is marked in red. It’s really near Agen and between Toulouse and Bordeaux.
Categories: Teaching, Travels
Tags: castle, Church of the Jacobins, France, Henri IV, La Place du Capitole, Nerac, Palmier des Jacobins, Pont Neuf, Port de l'Embouchure, Port-Sainte-Marie, Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling, Toulouse, TPRS
It seems that things have come full circle; back in October I went to Villefranche with some of my friends, but we didn’t do much other than sit on the beach and get gelato. Well one of the teachers at my school told me about a few cool things there, so I decided to check it out! I actually went the same week that I went to Parc Phoenix; I had a particularly light class load that week and the weather was great, so I took advantage of it! Plus my handy little list has been keeping me motivated.
The first place I went was the Citadel, which is a 16th century fortress that’s open to visitors. Honestly I was kind of confused by it–I wasn’t sure if I was missing something, since it was mostly open and outside–but there were a few small museums and such, so I guess that was it. I was kinda underwhelmed, but it was cool to see the old stone walls, the green grass, and the abundant flowers.
Remember this challenge post? Well a few weeks ago, I got started knocking a few more items off my “must-see-before-I-leave” list. One of the items on my cool new super-touristy bag was something called Parc Phoenix, which I had never heard of and had no idea what it was. I did some Googling and learned that it’s a park/nature preserve/zoo on the west side of Nice, and that it only costs 2€ to get in! Sold. A couple weeks ago we actually had warm sunny weather (it’s been unusually cold and rainy this spring… well when I say cold I mean like 55 degrees. I’m spoiled, I know) so I decided to take advantage and go there on Tuesday when I didn’t have school. Even though I went alone (it’s really hard to do stuff during the day since we all have different teaching schedules), I’m so glad I did! The weather was beautiful and it was great to be surrounded by nature, since I’ve been in cities basically since I arrived here in September.
There was a lot of green grass and trees, pretty flowers, cacti, animals in pens, and free-range animals. There was also a big greenhouse, a reptile/spider/fish building, a big pond, and fountains that played in time with music once an hour. So without further ado… some photos!
Okay, I know Versailles isn’t technically in Paris, but we went during our Paris trip, so I say it counts. First of all, a tip for you: if you go to Versailles, DON’T go during the coldest part of the year. Inside the palace was fine, but we basically only toured the grounds right around it because it was SO cold, and there’s a lot more to see than that! We spent all of our time outside (which totaled probably 30 minutes) bundled up like this:
Happy, but freezing cold.
Although I’ve been outside the Louvre many times, I’ve never actually gone inside! It’s SO huge it’s daunting to think about going inside to see everything. However, Nick and I decided to go on our second day in Paris and got there in the morning right as it opened, so we didn’t have to wait in line, and could devote as much time as we wanted (until we got way hungry for lunch!).
We saw a lot of the museum, and all of the famous stuff in there; I’d say we spent about 3 1/2 hours in it? I was happy with how much we saw in the time we were inside. I didn’t take a ton of pictures, just of the most famous stuff, and they don’t really need much explaining! This post will be mainly photos; you’re welcome, people who don’t like to read 🙂
You all remember what the Louvre looks like, right? I mean, we’ve all seen the DaVinci Code.
This was the day before, when there were a ton of people waiting in line. No thank you.