France

carefree, relaxing french riviera

Posted on Updated on

So Day 72 of our European adventure and we have spent the last 3 days in sunny Cannes, in the French Riviera. Here we rubbed shoulders with the rich, walked the red carpet and soaked up the sun! Southern France is amazing!! We recall being advised that the French can be a little on the unfriendly side, which may have been true in certain parts of Paris but down south, there is no unfriendliness anywhere. The place has a great feel to it – we love it here.

Opportunity to walk the red carpet in Cannes
Opportunity to walk the red carpet in Cannes
Monaco
Monaco

Yesterday on a day trip to Monaco, we visited the palace and watched the changing of the guards. We visited the Cathedral where Princess Grace Kelly was laid to rest. The Aquarium and the Casino – this place simply blows us away. The people in this part of the world really are living the high life! Seeing the boats docked at the pier, these people here are in a league of their own yet never did we feel out of place or uncomfortable or unwelcome. One private boat even had a helicopter on board! As we walked along the main shopping stretch, we walked passed the Chanel store which had been closed for clearly someone important because there was a black car out front and there were black suited men standing outside. So we felt like we fit in when we got to walk the red carpet in our sneakers 🙂

Today we sailed over to St Marguerite island to visit the Royal Fort which was once a royal prison. We stood in the prison cell of the Man in the Iron Mask and looked out to sea; blue water, blue sky, gorgeous horizon. But standing in there, it reminded us of the movie and what that poor man must’ve gone through.

In the short time, we have grown fond of the French Riviera, but its back to Paris before we continue our journey to Germany.

Advertisements

paris on the cheap

Posted on Updated on

An uncle with an unused apartment in Paris is extremely convenient! We set up base for two weeks to explore parts of France there. Accommodation prices in Paris were astronomical so for us to be able to save that much money, we were able to make our money go a little further!

Here we are in France in September and it is still hot. This heat wave that has hit Europe was giving us an extra long experience of summer. We spent our days in Paris walking the streets, exploring the touristy things as expected but also experiencing it as if we were a local. We caught the metro from the apartment, we shopped at the local supermarket to pick up breakfast, lunch and dinner, we tried using some high school French that we knew… not that J’ai douze ans (translation: I’m 12 years old) would EVER come in handy.

Does this need a caption?
Does this need a caption?

As with any other person’s holiday to France, we also visited Versailles to be wide-eyed at the Palace and its gardens. One word to describe it: “magnifique”. We spent most of our time in the gardens, exploring and wandering and if there is ONE tip that we can offer, it is this: Be prepared to pay 5 Euros for orange juice in a tiny plastic cup.

Versailles Gardens
Versailles Gardens

We also got a taste  of the Loire Valley by catching a train to Tours. All the tours to the chateaus were fully booked so we resorted to having a taxi driver for the day to take us around for 80 Euros. He took us to Chateau de Chenonceau, apparently the most impressive. Impressive it was but now we want to see the others. Its now been slapped onto our to-do for future.

Chateau Chenonceau
Chateau de Chenonceau