Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Riviera Dreamin'

I said on my last post that I've never spent much time in the south of France. Since right now I mostly spend my days being excited about visiting there and moving there soon, I was doing some reminiscing about my past excursions to the sunny south.

In 2007, my high school graduation present was a trip to France with the Porchers. Their daughter Claire was an exchange student we hosted back in 2005. After getting picked up in Paris, we explored the City of Lights and Versailles for a few days, before heading to the coast for about 10. The Porchers were great hosts and tour guides! Besides spending a lot of time floating in the Mediterranean, we explored several new cities.

This is Cannes, where I'll be living! Note the red carpet from the Cannes Film Festival, the delicious gelato we're holding, and the crowded but lovely beach.



Grasse is a city that's known for manufacturing renowned French perfume. We toured a perfume factory here and enjoyed the views and colorful city.


I liked St. Tropez because it was glitzy. We took a boat to get there. The harbor was full of yachts and the streets were full of designer stores.


My only other trip to the Riviera was back in 2010 during my Paris study abroad. After spending about 2 months in Paris, we spent a week touring Normandy and the Loire Valley, and then flew to Nice for our last week.

There's such a huge difference between Nice and Paris. I remember enjoying all of the colorful buildings and laid-back atmosphere. Nice used to be part of Italy, and you can still see the Italian influences in the architecture (and food... I had excellent pasta and gelato here...what more does a girl need?).


There's a castle on a hill overlooking the city where you can get great views.


On a free day in Nice, I went with a few girls on a day trip to Monaco. It's just a short bus ride away. Monte Carlo is probably the most glamorous place I've ever been. We saw the casino, the palace where the royal family still lives, and the cathedral where Grace Kelly is buried. And we ate crepes.




Obviously the perfect way to end a study abroad is to explore Monaco and to lay on the rocky beaches of Nice for a week.

It's been 6 years since I've stepped foot on the Riviera, and I'm so ready to make my triumphant return. I fly into Nice this Friday!

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