Our travels continued to southern France. The lit up, vibrant, bustling city of Paris was still imprinted on our minds. We were used to seeing large cities, but an ambiance of old culture mixed with new culture gave Paris a quality unlike any other. The next city had a tough act to follow. Our destination was Nice in Southern France, but stops were made along the way. We stopped in Lyon, Chambery and Marseille. It took about 8 hours to reach Marseille. We were unable to go straight to any destination. This would have involved planning, which would go completely against our no planning theme for the trip.
We did our best at seeing as much as possible. When you have the chance to travel, make every minute count. This involves taking in everything you possibly can while traveling. Who knows when you will be back or if you will be back? The world is a big place and there is a lot to see. Marseille was a beautiful city filled with rocky beaches, old architecture, and interesting people. These were our knee jerk reactions considering we were only in the city for a couple hours. From what we did see, it was a worthwhile stop.
We eventually arrived in Nice with high expectations for the breathtaking French Riviera. We were ready to hit the beaches and enjoy some of the locally made vineyard wines. We did this while laying on the beaching and enjoying the views. The next six hours passed pretty quickly. We tried our luck at the town’s nightlife. We were excited to explore every inch of the city and there were plenty of great people to meet. One in particular, that was not difficult to meet. He was actually staying in the same room. When staying at hostels, it’s the luck of the draw when it comes to space and roommates. Well this time, we were bunked with another roommate with the three of us. He did not speak very much English. He was an Italian man looking for work in southern France as a chef. Without using words we could tell he was a nice guy and we invited him to come out with us for the night. He agreed quickly and a new friendship was born. Plenty of words were exchanged without much meaning being passed between us, but sometimes words are unnecessary. He could tell we were having fun and we could tell he was enjoying the company. We all still keep in touch, but Google translate plays a major role in exchanging messages.
The next day we were ready to see more of the city. It provided a very laid back atmosphere, which is common among beach cities everywhere. We wanted to enjoy another day by the beach meeting new people and try my luck speaking French. It was still a work in progress. We traveled to the very tiptop of the city and looked below with wonderment. It was one of the most beautiful views I have ever experienced. The blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea crashing slowly against the white beaches right in front of the spectacular French Riviera. It was a city made to take in the relaxing atmosphere. We needed this stop along the way in order regroup and prepare for the end of our trip. Our next stop would be Barcelona, Spain. I would love to visit France again, but it was time to move on. Spain provided us with plenty left to see.
-Mike Minnock (Senior, Integrated Marketing of Communication)