Nice is Nice – Nice, France

Woke up and got on the train to Marseilles where we changed to a TGV train to Nice. The train was fast and smooth which was completely the opposite of the train I was on yesterday. That horrible ride made me sure we were going to go right off the tracks! It was a much more restful ride today in comparison.

I looked out the window and saw sailboats gliding through the crystal turquoise water. The houses are beautifully constructed cement villas with terracotta tile type roofs. The trees and read more

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Fine French Food – Nimes, France

This morning Liz Paul and Bill sent me off. At breakfast, Paul was telling his comical story of running from the cops the night before, as drunk Irish men do. After big hugs, I was on a train to Nimes. Nevin is our guide and we are 7.

I really need to take care for the next few days as my feet are battered and my head is stuffy. My bruise from the France metro is not healing very quickly which is a sign for me to slow down. I am going to try and do some yoga and meditation to clear my hea read more

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Suprise visits from old friends – Nimes, France

My last day in Barcelona was a good one not unlike most of the other days I spent there. I drank sangria at a bar called Karma the night before and had a nice early night. When I woke up, I spent the morning looking in shops at the wondrous trinkets you could buy. I didn`t buy them tho as there just isn`t room when you are backpacking.

I sat in the square by the fountain listening to my Utopia CD feeling the droplets of water on my back. I passed by a church and went in for a wander. It read more

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Cold in Crap Filled Cahors – Cahors, France

The train ride from Paris to Cahors was long and uneventful. I could actually feel it getting warmer the more south I travelled. I canĀ“t tell you how nice this was after a few chilly nights in Paris. People think that because I am from Canada I am immune to getting cold but it’s not true. I am not used to the cold nor do I like it JUST because I am from the Great White North. Realize that Canadians are just more prepared for winter. We don’t pretend it’s not coming…we know it will be there every single year without fail.

When it gets cold at home we bundle up in down filled coats and toques, turn up the thermostat, and drink lots of hot drinks (or other warming beverages). When it nippy here in Europe, they don’t have forced air heating and without wall to wall carpeting, the old floors are bare wood or tile. Perhaps the people walking around half dressed in freezing temperatures are just hoping it’s a “cold spell” that will pass. I remember the tradition every fall when mom would bring out the bags of “winter clothes” and I would re-discover my favorite scarf with the mittens on the ends. Maybe that preparedness is one of the pluses of having more pronounced seasons. In any case, I am definitely looking forward to seeing the sun more.

Cahors is a little French town with lots of dogs and um, dog presents. Mel and her poo shoe gave us a chuckle until we saw it outside her hotel room door. Perhaps it would magically clean itself? There is even a dog fountain! We went for a walk around this sleepy town and then visited a market where I bought tomato, brie, avocado and some fruit. Then we did some wine tasting…it was very good but I did not allow myself to buy any.

After the wine tasting I was exhausted so by 830pm I was in bed. I needed a nap and the hotel was very comfortable so I had a hot bath (ahhhhhh…) and then slept like a baby. I woke up a few hours later then tried to watch CNN for about 5 minutes but it was just bad news, like usual. I think watching the news really depresses me putting me in such a negative state of mind.

I took a walk down by the river with Brad and Glen and we found a whole bottle of wine just sitting there. Strange. The water was shimmering like a glass mirror. The peaceful silence did help my mood a bit. The trees and architecture here are relaxing and the unbusy-ness was a good slowdown. It was really nice to visit a small town in France but one night was enough for me as there is not a whole lot to do here except eat, drink and avoid the doggie doo doo. Off to Spain tomorrow.

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Something for free! – Paris, France

Champs Elysees was so elegant and larger than life. I went into a Peugeot store and took a picture of this futuristic bubble-like car. It was entertaining to think that one day the streets may be zooming with these contraptions. And yay! I finally got my sunglasses fixed. I walked into a sunglasses store called Solaris on Champs Elysees to ask if I could get a screw put in as this is my only pair now that I lost my purple ones. The lady fixed them (took about 10 mins) and cleaned them then handed read more

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Looking down from the Tower – Paris, France

I went to a park near Champs Elysees and sat on a bench admiring the green, red and yellow shades of the leaves. There were these two French girls visiting on the next bench who were chattering away excitedly as I wrote in my journal. They asked me to take some Polaroids of them together as they explained to me that this was the last time they would see each other for 3 years! I was honored to be part of such a special memory. They returned the favor for me then skipped off.

I didn’t have read more

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Visit to Versailles – Paris, France

Yesterday I went to Versailles with Micheal and Serena. It was tres grande. I guess it better be considering its one the the largest castles in the world. The Chateau de Versailles has more than 2,000 windows, 700 rooms, 1250 fireplaces, 67 staircases and more than 1,800 acres of park. I especially love that they are getting back many of the original pieces. Apparently, people buy them from auctions for large sums of money and then donate them. The murals on the ceilings and the furniture is mag read more

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Sprinting the Louvre Lap – Paris, France

Kelley, my new Canadian friend and I missed the walking tour so we decided to make our own. First, we stopped at Bastille and then went to Notre Dame. Notre Dame was bigger on the outside than it seemed on the inside but I found later that the Louvre was quite the opposite. In any case, I wasn`t very impressed with this dark and dreary church and ended up leaving after a short time.

We must have walked by 50 pet and flower stores (is this the plant and animal district?)on the way to the L read more

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Funny Funiculars and Little Lifts – Paris, France

Ok, so I am quite glad to be moving south. I didn`t sleep again the night before I left London. I hung out with Katrina and friends then caught the tube for the last time to meet my 7am train to France. The whole ride takes 30 mins to Paris. Its weird to be going again. I really hope its going to get warmer. France doesn’t seem as green but that could be because its mid-Oct.

I arrived in Paris and checked into the hotel but had a few troubles getting up the lift. They are the smallest elev read more

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