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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, France

Apr 17, 2018 - 4 nights in Nice

Early start on our way to Nice, a 3.45am taxi to Paris Orly airport. Our 10am flight had been cancelled due to strikes and our wonderful neighbour Suzy, and of course Brett, managed to get us on a 6.30am flight to Nice, otherwise we would have had to fly the next day which would have really ruined my schedule! The flight to Nice was short, when we arrived at our accommodation to leave our bags we were able to check in which meant we could get changed and relax for a bit. We visited Parc du Chateau which sits on top of a mountain and was...

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Feb 11, 2018 - Being unhappy while having the time of your life (a note from Arles)

While travelling on the bus home from Arles a few Saturdays ago, I overheard a conversation between two British students sitting in the seats in front of me. I initially tuned in because I enjoyed hearing their accents, but ended up listening for a bit longer than is probably socially acceptable, engrossed in my eavesdropping by the topic of their discussion - unhappiness. Studying abroad in Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I feel extremely lucky to be here, and I know that not many people ever have the chance to do something...

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Feb 4, 2018 - Aix-en-Provence, pas Aix-en-Vacances !

It’s been two weeks now since my last blog post, and maybe not entirely coincidentally, it’s also been two weeks since I started classes at “Sciences Po-Aix,” my university in France, which is mostly geared towards political science (never mind that’s not one of my majors, I made it work). As one of my professors said on the first day, it’s now “Aix-en-Provence, pas Aix-en-Vacances !” (“Aix-en-Provence, not Aix-on-Vacation!”). The campus itself is centralized almost entirely in two buildings just across from the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur,...

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Jan 28, 2018 - Pre-trip Preps

After a evening of viewing Airbnb possibilities, Emilie and I found our gem - an appartment in Marseille, in the quartier Sainte-Anne. It has two bedrooms, bathroom and all the other necessities including wifi and parking. Our host is Patrice, but I believe we will mostly be dealing with Maggy. The reviews of the B & B were very good. 70 Rue Callelongue Bât 6, Marseille, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur 13008, France The price for 8 nights is $663.36 (1/2 paid now, 1/2 to be paid May 24th) Back in August, we bought our Air Transat tickets...10...

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Trip Journal


Marseille 2018

Jan 22, 2018 - Avignon & Cassis

This weekend, I took day trips to the nearby cities of Avignon (Friday) and Cassis (Sunday) with friends. Together, they were my first trips this semester that I made independent of my study abroad program. As the year progresses and I become more familiar with the French and European systems of transit, I’m hoping I can start to branch out further than the Provence region in southern France. But for now, I’m more than happy to spend time discovering my new surroundings. For this journal entry, I’ll start with Avignon, my first destination....

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Jan 21, 2018 - Marseille

Last weekend, I had the chance to visit the southern French city of Marseille for the first time. It's full of history - founded more than 2,600 years ago by the Greeks, Marseille is France's oldest city. It's also France's the second-largest city, with nearly one million inhabitants. In recent years, Marseille has changed quite a bit as lots of new investment has come in, often pushing out its working-class inhabitants in a process very similar to American gentrification. For me, it was interesting to try to see the lines that divide and...

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Jan 14, 2018 - Settling In

I've been in Aix-en-Provence for just over a week now, and I think I'm probably due to post an update. Between the pre-planned program activities, spontaneous nights out, and plenty of petite siestes (naps), it's been difficult to find the time to settle down and let my thoughts drain out a bit. If writing is the most personal form of therapy, then I could maybe use a little right now to help take it all in. I'll start off with a few highlights from week one, then I'll try to parse out what I'm feeling right now. The First Day: The day...

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Jan 4, 2018 - Arrival in Aix

Lying down in my bed for the first night in Aix-en-Provence, I feel a little exhausted. The past 24 hours or so have overloaded my senses, so it's only fair that I take 15 minutes to reflect. I started in Chicago Wednesday morning, where I met up with two of my peers in the program, Cass and Joey. We flew to Boston, and then to Lisbon on Air Portugal (obrigado!). The man sitting next to me cracked a joke in Portugese when we sent down, but seeing my blank expression, he realized his miscalculation, which I think created a slight air of...

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Oct 22, 2017 - Goodbye to Provence....................for now

The wonderful life in Provence has continued in the last week. More of the same really……………hiking, cycling, visiting Roman ruins and eating desserts. We hiked in the unique ecosystem called “the Colorado” close to the village of Rustrel. As the name suggests it is a unique wildly eroded Ochre landscape. We have ended our Provence stint in the historic town of Vaison la Romaine. An old Roman town with a medieval slant in the upper portion with a fortified castle. The campsite is only a 5-minute walk from town and is quite perfect. Liz has...

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Oct 15, 2017 - Wonderful Provence!

We have had yet another fantastic week in sunny and warm Provence. The weather is amazing, villages interesting and hiking and cycling to die for. Since arriving from waterlogged Belgium over a month ago, we have not moved very far. In fact, we have been able to spot Mont Ventoux from all our hikes in various areas since. We have really absorbed each town, village and surrounding area. Bike rides have taken on a fun routine…………………leave camp at 10:00 a.m. once it has warmed up, stop at a village at about 11:00 a.m. for a large “café au lait”...

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Oct 13, 2017 - Day 5 Le Luberon, Mérindol for lunch

Overview Another late start as my bike light wasn't working and my front wheel seemed to be rubbing. So mucked around for awhile and fixed the wheel then went to a close bike shop re the light. They wiggled it a bit (as I'd been doing!) and suddenly it worked. They then also taped a piece of cable that looked a bit bare. Then we had an awful time trying to find today's bike route out of town. After numerous attempts we had success with the help of a little old lady, who I suspect used to ride a bike! It was a relatively flat route that took...

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Oct 12, 2017 - Day 4 Le Luberon. Cavaillon, Fontaine de Vaucluse, L'Isle sur la Sorge circuit

Overview Had a later start today. But it was going to be an easy ride so we were in no hurry. No bike route sign posts to follow so we were navigating ourselves today from a brochure and aps on the phone. Started out the same as the first day then headed north. Stopped for a little look around in Lagnes. A quiet little village. Then rode on the Fontaine de Vaucluse. ( a village that is 'unavoidable' as the cycling brochure said in english 𿘃). This town is very touristy but it does have an interesting attraction. The river Sorgue commences...

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