Tuesday, September 8, 2009

France Before Switzerland:The Missing Link

I realized that I did not get a chance to update the blog for awhile and I skipped an entire section of my journey. Nice became our home for about 2 nights and 3 days, the first morning we arrived there at about 6am and watched the sunrise. I mentioned about this first morning in an earlier post. In the afternoon we decided to take a siesta because we were all so exhuasted that we knew we would be unable to function if we did not get some sleep. We slept for about 4 hours ( I kept waking up because for some reason my body does not like to sleep for long periods of time) and started our day again at about 4pm. It was really good, we explored Nice and had our first picnic in the park. We bought a couple baguettes and some brie cheese with some fruit and found a patch of grass to people watch. We cut the cheese with Chelsea's phone card and broke bread together. It was great! There were so many different types of people roaming around from people having play dates with their dogs to people having play dates with their children. There were friends sharing memories to friends sharing drugs. There were people in love and people wanting nothing to do with one another. It is amazing what you see in the park. Our meal was amzingly filling and cheap. The best thing about Nice was that it was our vacation of our vacation. Although our entire journey is a vacation, a lot of what we have been doing has been rushed and we do a lot in one day. While we were in Nice, we were able to slow down and just simply enjoy the French culture. It is much different in France then in America. There is a lot of emphasis on the pleasures of the world instead of the important priorities in life. There was probably two or three churches that we saw in all of Nice, but there was about one Sex shop on every street. It was sad. It seemed like the daily life of the French was to eat pastries and go to the topless beaches. The French men and women are all very thin, France is like the dream of every guy ( ok not every guy, but the stereotypical guy). I do not mean to be so negative, I am just being realistic and please do not be offended. Honestly I loved France, more then I ever thought I would. There was a lot of emotional and spiritual pain there, but it was a great experience.

We did not just stay in Nice, we also went to Eze and Saint Raphael. It was so cool, the small little cities near Nice were all like 30 minutes away so we could simply hop on a train and go to a couple cities a day. It was really fun, we felt like natives. Hehe. We met so many interesting people on trains and other public transportation, it was great. On one of our trips, we met a couple from England who were living in France and traveling around on their day off. They were super sweet and gave us advice on what to see in France and what to see. We went to Cannes ( prounced 'Con') one day and it was nice, but we were not treated very nicely at a couple resturants. Not very good customer service... maybe they knew we would not be paying a lot. We spent time just walking along the water and just simply watching people. I think that is one of our favorite things to do, walk around, eat cheap French food, and watch the people. We meet a lot of people in random ways and I feel like we got a good sense of the culture. We were able to learn a few French words to get by and for the most part we were treated fairly decently. Everyone says that the French hate Americans, this is false. We were treated very nicely by almost everyone we met. Most everyone was very helpful and the people who were rude or not helpful, acted that way toward everyone. So it was not just us. :)

Eze we went to on our second day in France and it was amazing! It is this beautiful little French town that is built off the side of the mountain. We had to take a bus up the steep mountain to get to the village. It overlooks the French Riviera and it is absolutely breath taking ( I feel like I say that about a lot of things, but honestly there is so much I did not know even existed and God is so amazing with these life paintings that it takes my breath away). We walked through this little slanted town and saw this beautiful hotel with a cactus garden at the top of the mountain from which you could see a castle in the distance. We had a picnic at the top and took a tour in a different area on how to make perfume. It was right next to Eze in a town called Grasse. The most amazing part of this entire day and maybe this trip thus far is what happened before we left. We were getting ready to leave and we saw these little donkeys. We were petting them because they were tied to a pole and that is just what you do when you see donkeys tied to a pole. I was eating a pear and one of the donkeys kept trying to get it, but I moved away because I did not want to feed a donkey without asking their owner. So I placed the pear core on a brick wall in the reach of the donkey so that I could say that I was not the one who fed her the pear... Lol. They were so cute! While we were petting the donkeys, the owner came out and asked if we wanted to ride. Everyone said no because usually everything cost money, but I said yes and asked how much...The nice old man looked at us kinda confused and said 'cost? It does not cost.'
:0 Then he put Chelsea on one donkey and me on the other and he led us toward the stables where the donkeys stayed. Joel, Christina, and Melody walked alongside. I was so excited! I could not believe that I was seriously riding a donkey down the rode in France! I could not stop smiling the entire time and I kept giggling because I could not believe this was seriously happening. My donkey's name was Nina and Chelsea's was Nani. They were so sweet! They did not bite or buck or anything. They just walked and let us ride them. When we got to the stables Joel and Christina got on the donkeys and we fed them fruits and vegetables. The old man told us stories about hoe Nice used to have no cars and just donkeys everywhere. He was so sweet. Oh yeah and Melody rode the donkey too, she had trouble getting on the donkey. It was really funny. You had to be there, but lets just say she kicked the donkey and we were all laughing so hard that even the nice old man had to turn away because he could not hold in his laughter. The whole experience really made our day, our week, everything. I just loved it!

I really need to head to bed, so let me sum everything else up as fast as I can. Chelsea is patiently waiting for the computer and I need to get some rest so I can enjoy the fun filled day tomorrow.

We went to the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco ( which is in France, but is actually it's own country), on our first night and it was too expensive to go in and there was little to see there. The water and the lights were all very pretty to look at. I saw the most expensive cars there then I have probably ever seen in my life. All the cars there were Ferraris and Bentleys and more Ferraris and I do not know all the other names. It was all glamorous, but not for me. I am glad I went just to saw I have been.

We also went to San Raphael, we were going to go to Sab Tropez but it was farther than we expected so we went to San Raphael instead. We went to the beach and walked around. It was very relaxing to swim in the water and lay on the rocks. Chelsea found a piece of sea glass and so then we were all sifting through the rocks to find sea glass. It was fun. The beaches are much different then the ones in California. Besides the nude aspect, the phyical aspect of the beaches is different because the sand is not as soft. There are pebbles lining the beaches and the water is full of rocks, but it is also a lot more clear. It is so beautiful there... Mom you would love it!

Let's see what else... food... crepes are amazing, I had a chestnut one and a sugar one while I was there. Sugar or 'sucre' was my favorite. The baguettes were amazing, cheap, and filling. Brie cheese is sooooooo good. I love the pears! France is so beautiful, the people and the architecture and the natural green hills lined with beautiful blue water. I really loved France, I hope to go back one day. Hopefully I can go to Paris when I am in London, it will be interesting having such a different experience.

Alright I love you all! Thank you for yours prays and support. Thanks for reading.
Love always, Danni

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the beaches do sound amazing!! Thanks for describing it for me. Was the donkey ride like when you rode horses? No bringing home any pets.
    I love you!!!