Le Retour en Provence

11 Jul

Ok, so I’m a little behind with this post, but it’s been a busy and fun past couple of weeks here as I’ve been enjoying summer in New England, and writing a verbose update for my European travel blog is the last thing I want to do. However, I’ve made a commitment to chronicling all my journeys, and it would certainly be unfair to skip over the lovely and enchanting region of Provence, France.

The first time I set foot on French soil was in the city of Nice, on the French Riviera, during a French students’ high school trip in April of 2004. I instantly fell in love with the south of France, and that affection only grew fonder as we explored the ancient towns and villages of Provence. It was an experience that I often thought about after it was over, and I believe I was still saying, “I miss France,” up through last year. It was a trip that I wanted to repeat – so badly that I resisted the common sense to conserve money, and booked a £30 round-trip flight for the end of June.

In fact, the idea to return to Provence had entered my head sometime in February I believe, during a dinner with my fellow USC students studying at Sussex. We were discussing potential travel destinations across Europe, and when I mentioned the south of France, the idea was born that we should travel there as a group, with myself as the experienced tour guide.

Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts and so forth, the “group trip” eventually became a “duo trip,” with myself and Megan the only ones crazy enough to be willing to fly to France for 4 days during the last week of the summer term. This wasn’t a particularly bad turn of events, since I probably would’ve gone mad trying to get the entire group to follow my carefully planned travel itinerary, which was a challenging enough notion with just one travel partner. Rather than setting out a rigid schedule, then, I allowed for us to buy our tickets and so forth on-the-go, and was even convinced by Megan to go couchsurfing instead of using hostels. This turned out to be both a highly frustrating and highly rewarding move.

We flew into Lyon from London Stanstead (the farthest from Sussex). We killed the travel time by playing hangman and by helping Megan memorise the 50 states of America. I reckon she’s much better at naming them now than before my tutelage. Trouble states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Georgia.

The warm Mediterranean air was a welcome change from English weather. We took a bus from the Lyon airport to the city train station, crossing the flat and heavily industrialised Rhone Valley (we even passed by a “Toys ‘R Us” at one point). We didn’t have any time to do sightseeing in Lyon, but instead headed straight for our TGV to Avignon.

The train passed into the picturesque Provençal countryside, although taking photos of it from a high-speed train was a bit of a challenge. I was particularly excited about the blooming lavender fields, but the best I could manage was a picture of a clear, green background with a large purple blur in the foreground.

We got to the city in the evening, and decided to do a little preliminary sightseeing before the sun went down. We stood on a bridge over the Rhone for a good view of the Pont d’Avignon and the Palais des Papes. It was familiar sight – one that I’d seen 3 years earlier – but I was excited about exploring the city more, since last time we only stopped for that one photo opportunity.

The setting sun cast a surreally beautiful glow on the city’s ancient monuments, which can’t really be seen in the pictures:

While standing on that busy bridge over the Rhone, Megan received a call on her cell phone from our couchsurfing host, Sonia, who had just got off work and was going to give us directions for a place to meet up. I spoke to Sonia since her English isn’t perfect, and thus began the chaos. First of all, it was difficult to hear what she was saying over the sound of all the cars passing over the bridge; secondly, I’m not sure I could understand everything that she was saying anyway; but she did tell us to meet her at the University, which we proceeded to look for on a map.

Finding the map a bit hard to navigate by, I asked for directions – from a man with a heavy southern (French) accent. I even had to ask him to repeat himself after he said “Avignon”, because I wasn’t expecting to hear it pronounced the local way (“Avigniang”?). I made what sense I could of his directions, and followed the general route but quickly got lost. Consulting a map didn’t help, because it showed that we were close to the University, but it was in the wrong direction.

All the while, Sonia continued calling, and I was generally at a loss as to how to explain where we’d wound up. To compound all the frustration, we kept catching glimpses of an absolutely breathtaking sunset, which was just tempting us to take pictures – but we couldn’t capture the moment because we were ridiculously lost. I ended up asking a woman walking with her son for directions; she was very nice, and only interrupted me to hail down her husband, who confirmed the directions. The whole family helped us out.

We still had a bit of trouble finding the right place to meet Sonia, but that’s simply the fault of Avignon’s maze-like Medieval street layout. We headed in the right general direction and eventually got picked up by our host, who was terribly kind throughout the whole ordeal, even though we’d just wasted a good portion of her evening. I noticed that she also had a bit of that “warm” southern accent, with its distinct rhythm and nasal vowels. When I asked her about it, she seemed proud to have that accent.

Sonia drove us to her apartment 3 miles out of Avignon, which she shared with an Italian student (her name escapes me at the moment, although Megan probably remembers…), as well as two cats (whose names also escape me, although I do recall that one was quite friendly and the other was scared of us). The two girls were very nice. At one point, Sonia discovered a small scorpion in her room and we used a vacuum to suck it up. Quite exciting.

In the morning, I had a minor panic attack after I partially flooded Sonia’s bathroom while taking a shower; the bottom of the shower was very shallow and for some reason it wasn’t draining fast enough, which I didn’t realise until I stepped out. I told Sonia’s Italian roommate about the “petit problème” and she was very nice about it, and offered me a towel, which I used to wipe the floor (although the mats were still soaking wet :)). I felt a little guilty about that, although we did finish doing their dishes in the morning.

All in all, my first couchsurfing experience was a positive one (despite the troubles meeting). My only regret is that we didn’t get a photo of our hosts for memory’s sake.

After leaving Sonia’s apartment, we attempted to take the bus back into the old city, but since it was Sunday, the buses weren’t running very frequently. So we walked the 3 miles to Avignon, stopping along the way at a boulangerie / patisserie for breakfast. Fortunately it was a warm and sunny morning. Once inside the city walls, we explored various alleyways. At one point, we passed by an open window from which emanated a familiar tune – we both stopped and looked at each other as we heard the Star Wars theme being played on a viola.

If only we’d been able to see the person playing it…

While we had originally planned to visit the Pont du Gard, we inquired at the tourism office and discovered that we’d just missed the last bus (being Sunday). Instead, we devoted our time to seeing Avignon’s sites, notably the Palais des Papes. It’s worth the visit, just for its impressive size and incredible wealth of history. We could have bought a co-ticket for the Pont d’Avignon – we did really want to dance on it – but decided that it wasn’t worth 4 Euros to make fools of ourselves. Maybe next time.

Instead, we headed to the Rocher des Doms, a very interesting, craggy rock formation that serves as Avignon’s crown, with all kinds of cool fountains and parks around, with kids riding on miniature toy chariots and other neat French things. The rock also offers a good panorama of the area, including mountains, the winding Rhone, castles, and of course the Pont d’Avignon:

To see all of my photos from Avignon, click here.

After exploring Avignon, we headed back to the TGV Station, where we waited to catch a train to Aix-en-Provence. We had bought our tickets ahead of time, since it was a fairly time-consuming affair — none of our credit cards could be read by the automatic ticketing machines, so we always had to wait in line to buy our tickets. This would present some stressful situations later. Heading for Aix, we already had our tickets, but somehow managed to get on the wrong train.

We were at the right platform, but the trains were all slightly delayed so we ended up accidentally boarding the train before ours. I should have made a note of the train number. There’s nothing quite as terrifying as discovering that people are sitting in your assigned seat numbers. I asked a young woman what the train number was, which didn’t match our ticket – I then asked whether the train was heading to Aix, which she answered with an apologetic “je crois pas.” I said, “zut.”

Fortunately, the train did stop at Marseille, from which we were able to take a coach to Aix (after navigating our way through the construction-riddled station) – it just cost us an extra 6 Euros or so, plus a couple of hours. Just part of the adventure, I guess.

During the bus ride, we got a good view of Mont Sainte-Victoire in the distance. Seeing Aix again was definite déjà vu, but a very pleasant déjà vu. Unfortunately, it was cloudy during our entire stay in Aix, but that didn’t take away from the charm of this authentically Provençal city. I enjoyed walking down the tree-lined Cours Mirabeau once again and admiring all the fountains, although sadly the big one at the middle of the rotonde wasn’t fountain-ing at the time.

Unfortunately, we hadn’t heard from our couchsurfing host, Bruno. This was probably due to communication difficulties between myself and Megan the week before (while I was in Scotland). What made matters worse, we had no contact info for him – no phone number, no address (and we double checked at an Internet cafe). So we could only hope that he would call us.

As the evening began, we were starting to worry. We decided to kill time by having dinner; we set off in search of authentic French cuisine, but, discouraged by the menu prices, we eventually decided to settle for “Quick” and save our French dinner for another night. I was tempted to buy the special “Simpsons” Menu, a promotion for the film, but for some reason I decided not to. 😦

At any rate, after 10pm we still had not heard from Bruno and so decided to look for another form of accommodation. We weren’t willing to walk outside the old city at such a late hour in search of a hostel or campground, so we looked at the map of hotels outside the tourist office and wrote down the 2-star (and one no-star) hotels that were within walking distance. We then proceeded to walk from hotel to hotel in search of the lowest price.

As it turned out, the last hotel we visited had the lowest price – the no-star hotel, naturally, but the rooms were en-suite, unlike the closest 2-star competitor. The room was 39 Euros, but at least it was a place to sleep. Although I was frustrated about not finding our couchsurfing host, I realised that if we had stayed in hostels as I had originally planned, the total cost of accommodation would have been a lot more than 19.50 Euros.

In the morning, I awoke with a more positive attitude, and after having breakfast at the hotel, we set off to explore Aix a bit more. We followed a winding route through the city’s streets, heading to historical sites and whatnot, including the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur, which brought back memories of visiting the church with Monsieur LeBaron and Albert in 2004. A large school group (American I think) was receiving a tour of the cloister, but this time I wasn’t able to see it.

I also decided to stock up on more herbes de Provence, which I had also bought in Aix last time, and which I knew my mother would enjoy getting as a souvenir. I bought a small pouch of it, decorated in those lovely Provençal colours and designs. Our last stop in Aix was the market, where we stocked up on fruits for our long train journey to Nice:

To see all of my photos from Aix, click here.

Nice, located at the eastern end of the French Rivieria, was essentially a detour in the travel itinerary (since we were flying out of Marseille), but I knew, of course, that it was worth the trip. The train ride brought us through fairly industrialised areas (around Marseille, Toulon, etc.), as well as through open Provençal countryside, complete with characteristic hilltop villages, Mediterranean-style farms, and green mountains. Taking pictures from the train proved to be a real challenge, however, especially since we were facing the rear of the train.

One of the most interesting parts of the journey was between Toulon and Nice, where the train passed just below a series of tall, craggly red rock formations. They were quite impressive, especially the colour of the rock. Although it was still cloudy at the time, this added a cool effect, as the red monuments disappeared into white cloud near their summits.

Upon arrival in Nice, the clouds were starting to clear up and the Mediterranean sun was shining. Naturally, we headed straight in the direction of the beach. We stopped at a large place surrounded by bright fuschia-coloured buildings, which featured a large fountain that shot water high up into the air. Nearby was a skating park and a fountain-laden pool surrounded by flowers. Although I didn’t recall coming to this spot during my first visit to Nice, it reminded me of how much I loved the city.

We descended the stairway from the Quai des Etats-Unis to the beach (“Harriet, off that rail!”), where we waded in the sea and took in the beauty of this awesome corner of France.

From there it was into the Vieille Ville, where our couchsurfing host, Ellen, lived. We did get slightly lost in the narrow streets, but eventually found a map that helped us find her apartment. Ellen is British, which got rid of any language barrier problems (mostly for Megan ;)). After she and her boyfriend (whose name I have also sadly forgotten…) helped us get settled in, Megan and I left to find supper and to explore Nice a bit more.

First, we decided to hike up to the Parc du Château on the edge of the old city, located atop a hill (once home to a castle) which offered panoramic views of Nice. There were lots of things to see in the park, but the sun was starting to set and we had to conserve our time.

Of course, what better way to spend that time than by climbing a big spider web-style jungle gym? There was an empty playground in the park, and as two college students we couldn’t resist the opportunity to climb around on it. Granted, the top of the spider web did offer some good views. Alas, we couldn’t stay up there forever.

This photo was taken looking east from the park, towards the port:

Further to the north, we could see the distant peaks of the Alps. As we were admiring the view, however, a group of tourists approached us and told us that the park was closing; apparently they had tried to get out through a certain gate but found it had already been locked. We forgot to check the closing time. Oops. We followed the group in what seemed like a generally good direction, and were eventually met by a police officer on a scooter who pointed us in the direction of the exit.

Now it was suppertime. Megan and I searched the old city for some genuine French cuisine, specifically Niçoise specialties – but unfortunately, everything we saw was a bit over our budget (such is Europe). I only wish that I could have remembered the location of the restaurant where we ate during my first visit to Nice, because the Niçoise food was absolutely wonderful.

We did find one restaurant with reasonable prices, but as we were contemplating the menu, a Scottish couple informed us that they were only serving drinks (they were off to buy some crisps afterwards). We ended up settling for a panini and a salad at a sandwicherie, but also bought crêpes for dessert, in the square next to the lovely, illuminated Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate. We then returned to Ellen’s apartment for a relaxing night’s sleep. Our hosts were very kind and wished us well as we continued on the next leg of our adventure in the morning.

To see all of my photos from Nice, click here.

We headed to the nearby bus station, where we boarded a bus for Eze Village. Eze, a compact Medieval village situated atop a high hill overlooking the Mediterranean, was without a doubt one of my favourite places during my first visit to France, and I was very excited to go back. The weather had completely cleared up and the sun was shining bright as the bus followed the Moyenne Corniche, the same road that we took in 2004 (with Didier at the wheel).

As the bus traveled along mountain’s edge, we passed by the amazing viewpoints over Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Villefranche-sur-Mer before arriving in Eze. It was major déjà vu, and fortunately I remembered where everything was. It felt great to be back, and Megan also instantly fell in love with the beauty of the place, vowing to have her honeymoon and/or retire there someday. A very good choice.

The first place we headed was also our first stop three years ago – the Galimard perfume shop, where I once again bought perfumed soap for the family (lavender and jasmine). That place was really hopping – which might be the only downside of Eze. As picturesque as it is, it’s also a bit touristy. But it certainly hasn’t lost any of its charm.

We walked up into the old village, with its winding narrow streets and little shops, heading for the exotic gardens and castle ruins at the top of the village. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that entrance cost 5 Euros — and since we were both low on cash, I had to return to the post office at the bottom of the village to change my 10-pound note. Unfortunately, they charged a 5-Euro commission, so I was left with less than 10 Euros. But it was money.

We headed straight back up to the exotic gardens, admiring the bizarre array of cacti and flowers, stopping at the castle ruins for an absolutely breathtaking view. The mountains on one side, the sea on the other…

Ahh, Eze…

We left the exotic gardens and stopped in the village church (which was quite ornate and beautiful inside, but photos were prohibited) before heading towards the trail that my schoolmates and I had taken 3 years earlier. It leads from Eze village to Eze-sur-Mer (or Eze-bord-de-Mer, depending on where you read), the seaside town. It winds down the cliffs and brings you close to the beach. I have fond memories of walking the trail the first time, and it was good to do it again.

Before going to the beach, we stopped at the train station to buy our tickets back to Nice. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a staffed window — but we did have enough coins for the automatic machine. However, for some reason this particular machine wouldn’t accept coins, and since it wouldn’t read our credit cards, we were stuck without tickets. We reasoned that we should be able to buy them on board the train…

At the beach, we soaked in the sun for a while and enjoyed the sight of the beautiful, bright azure-coloured water. They don’t call it the Côte d’Azur for nothing. I sat on the same beach where this picture had been taken 3 years earlier.

To see all of my photos from Eze, click here.

When it was time to leave, we boarded the train heading for Nice, sans tickets. We looked for the conductor, but couldn’t find anyone (granted, we didn’t search the entire train…) and instead just sat down, hoping to either explain our predicament during ticket control or just hope that no one would come by. I figured that if the conductor came soon, we could just apologise and buy our tickets without too much hassle.

Unfortunately, we kept stopping at stations, and still no conductor. As we got closer to Nice, I was worried that the conductor might come ’round and get mad at us for getting on at Eze and not buying tickets. On the bright side, the view from the sea-facing side of the train was lovely, as we winded around those sparkling blue harbours.

Fortunately for us, no one ever came by to check tickets, and we got off at Nice. That was a freebie. ([/Arrested Development])

It was now time to head back west, towards Marseille, stopping first at Cassis. We had a limited amount of time before the train arrived in Nice, and we still didn’t have tickets, or any cash. So while I stood in the queue for the ticket counter, Megan went in search of an ATM (which was surprisingly hard to find). We were really cutting it close, but fortunately we got the tickets and the cash in time and made it onto our train, a very chic Corail Teoz with a really cool interior.

After a while, a woman came by and handed us a survey for the train company, which was kind of a pain to fill out, with some very ambiguous questions. It was most annoying because it prevented me from taking pictures from the train, but after finishing, I headed straight for an open window seat and took pictures of the coastline and countryside. The section east of St-Tropez, with the red cliffs and sandy beaches, was particularly nice.

Upon arrival at Cassis station, we quickly discovered that we weren’t really in the town centre – but rather a few kilometres outside. Fortunately, there was a regular bus service to the town. We boarded the bus and met the driver, who was quite the character. Not only did he drive like a total maniac, cutting off cars dangerously in rotaries, but he also had a habbit of yelling at other drivers, spewing incomprehensible insults that made all the passengers laugh (I could barely understand them, but I think I heard “tête de pomme”).

Anyway, it was a bit of a relief to get off the bus, and we walked to Cassis harbour, which was a busy place on such a beautiful day. Complete with lots of colourful Mediterranean buildings, plenty of boats, a sandy beach, beautiful bright blue water, and stunningly tall red cliffs in the distance, it was almost paradise. A glimpse of the sea:

The main reason I wanted to go to Cassis, however, was to see the calanques, but quite frustratingly, we’d missed the last boat. I was a bit upset about that, but Cassis itself was beautiful enough that I couldn’t complain. Besides, we wanted to get to Marseille early, in order to meet up with our couchsurfing host – Isabelle, a single mother of two. We took the crazy driver’s bus back to the train station and took the short ride to Marseille.

To see all of my photos from Cassis, click here.

Our arrival in Marseille was somewhat hectic. We didn’t have time for sightseeing, since we were due to meet up with Isabelle, and she lived rather far from the city centre. We were instructed to take the metro to the end of the line, then a bus to nearly the end of its line. After buying our metro tickets, we hopped on the subway and were on our way.

At the last metro station, we boarded our bus, which was quite crowded. Before we had even bought our tickets, the bus driver started driving. We handed him a 10-Euro note, but unfortunately he didn’t have any change, so I had to dig through my wallet, slowly placing a number of small coins on the little counter as the bus driver continued his route. People were getting on and off the bus as we remained on the stairs, sorting out our money. Fortunately, we had enough. I also asked the bus driver to announce our stop, since we had no idea where it was. He was remarkably nice throughout the whole ordeal — one of the nicest bus drivers I’ve come across.

However, after riding the bus for quite some time, we came to the end of the line. The bus driver turned the bus off, and I asked him if we’d missed our stop. He apologised quite a bit, saying that he’d simply forgotten. Fortunately, our stop wasn’t too far from the end of the line, and after 10 minutes or so, we were at our stop, waiting for Isabelle.

Isabelle greeted us, along with her 11-year-daughter Ninon (a name that Megan and I both liked quite a bit). Isabelle was walking her little white dog on a leash, while Ninon was walking a ferret. We quickly discovered that they owned a plethora of pets, including something like nine ferrets, two cats, a guinea pig (I got to teach Isabelle the English name for it), and who knows what else. They brought us to their cozy apartment, high in a large immeuble characteristic of French cités.

It certainly did resemble a compact jungle, full of animals as well as other scattered objects strewn about, since the family was planning to move soon. They were moving to a house in the Vosges (the mountains in Alsace/Lorraine), which Isabelle was quite happy about. She was looking forward to having a real house, and getting out of Marseille, which she euphemistically called “très spécial” — referring to all the crime that plagues the city. She also felt out of place in the culture of Marseille, since she originally came from the northeast of France. I commented that the regions are very different, but she went a step further, saying that they had nothing to do with each other.

We also met her 14-year-old daughter, Clémence, who was somewhat shy, like your typical 14-year-old. Ninon, on the other hand, was quite a character, and made us laugh with her antics, like playing with her stuffed animal dragon. I also became well acquainted with one of their cats, Molière, who seemed to take quite a liking to me. The family, however, liked to make fun of him, since he had the tendency to act more like a dog than a cat. They frequently called him “El Stupido” instead — after Isabelle explained this to us, accenting the “do” in “Stupido” as a French person would, Ninon corrected her, saying, “Non, c’est – El STUpido!” complete with a dramatic hand gesture.

Since Megan and I hadn’t eaten supper, Isabelle was kind enough to share their dinner with us, a serving of ratatouille with bread and various little French dessert cups. Although Isabelle spoke a decent amount of English, she wasn’t completely fluent – and the girls only knew a little bit – which meant that I frequently acted as translator between them and Megan. It was kind of fun, except that I would frequently forget that Megan couldn’t understand what they were saying. 🙂

Isabelle also told us a funny story about one of their pets, a squirrel, which instead of calling “un écureuil,” they called “un écreuil.” Apparently this was due to the fact that one day, they returned to the apartment to find the squirrel’s tail on the floor – and eventually learned that El Stupido had bitten it off. Since the squirrel had lost its “queue”, it was no longer an “é-queue-reuil” but simply an “écreuil.” Mdr.

After dinner, we watched the film Jeux d’enfants, which Megan had spotted in the family’s DVD collection (in fact, it belonged to Ninon) – one of her favourite films. I quite liked the movie, although there weren’t any subtitles (I would have preferred to watch it with French subtitles so I could understand everything).

When we left in the morning, Isabelle and Clémence had already left. Ninon was home because it was Wednesday – when I questioned her about this the night before, at first I’d forgotten that primary school students have Wednesdays off in France. When I told her that American students don’t go to school on Saturday mornings, either, she was quite jealous, complaining of the French system, “ça GACHE le weekend!”

In the morning, Ninon was still sleeping, and since Megan and I had forgotten to get a picture of the whole family, we settled for a candid photo of Ninon in her sleep. The next time I go to France, I hope to meet up with that family again.

Heading back into Marseille, we had to deal with more bus difficulties — we only had a 10-Euro bill, so we attempted to buy day passes, hoping that the driver would be able to give us change. Unfortunately, the day passes were only sold in metro stations, so we tried buying six tickets instead — however, the driver said it would be better to buy two tickets and then buy a day pass in the metro station. When I explained that I didn’t have any change, he said that there was no problem with giving us change for the 10. Huh. I guess sometimes they have more change than other times. At any rate, he was also remarkably nice about everything.

After arriving in the Vieux Port of Marseille, we headed to the tourism office for a map of the “fil de l’Histoire”, a red line that crosses the old part of Marseille à la Freedom Trail in Boston, showing the historic sites and whatnot. The first stop was the port itself:

We never did get a chance to make it to that cathedral in the distance (which wasn’t on the trail), but the route took about 2 hours, which was precisely how much time we had before we needed to head to the airport. Some highlights along the way included a neighbourhood full of “fake” clotheslines crossing the street, adorned with colourful objects of clothing constructed from tissue paper. Another highlight was a black cat sleeping on top of a white car, taking in the morning sun.

To see all of my photos from Marseille, click here.

After a bit of confusion back at the train station, we found the coach to the airport and had plenty of time before our plane departed. However, there was some mass confusion, since the entrance to the terminals from the waiting area was completely roped off, and nobody was crossing over it, except for flight personnel, who ducked underneath it. Everyone assumed that there was a reason why the terminals were closed off, although as the departure time got closer, a crowd amassed around the entrance and everyone was a bit restless.

Eventually, a young woman who was meant to catch the flight before ours (meaning imminent departure) had the courage to unclip the rope and head on through, while the masses followed. I guess it just takes one person sometimes. We were all afraid to defy authority, but it turned out to just be a stupid error on the part of the airport staff, I guess.

After landing in England, we had a couple of hours to wait in London before our coach to Brighton, and so we decided to get something to eat (some very reasonably priced and tasty fried chicken in Greenline Coach Station), and just talked for a couple of hours. However, our conversation was interrupted by a strange Polish homeless man. First he only wanted change, but he returned later to compliment Megan on her looks, even kissing her on the hand – it was quite frightening. He even came back one more time with one of his homeless Polish friends.

Needless to say, it was nice to get on the coach to Brighton, even though I only had two more days in England before my departure for America. It was time to say goodbye.

However, my return to America will have to wait until the next update; but it certainly feels good to have completed my last major travel blog. I can guarantee that my future posts won’t be *quite* as long. 😉

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3 Responses to “Le Retour en Provence”

  1. megan 22 July 2007 at 18:19 #

    Haha… the roommate’s name is Bianca. The cats’ names I don’t remember either. Don’t remember Ellen’s boyfriend’s name either. And it’s Clementine! No?

    You forgot to mention how many times we got honked at! 😉

    I’d forgotten all about the Polish man until I read your blog… eeks! Haha. “No money! Only Euros! No money!”

    Next time we should remember to rattle off in another language.

  2. megan 22 July 2007 at 18:27 #

    Btw, I posted a link to this entry on my blog! I hope you don’t mind? Let me know if you do and I’ll take it off. =)

  3. Mads 4 August 2007 at 09:18 #

    Well, I just skimmed through your (long =P) posts and I’ll admit that I am extremely jealous of all the traveling you did.

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