Monday, February 4, 2013


Bonjour tout le monde,

 This weekend IAU and I traveled to Nice and Monaco, about 2 and a half hours away from Aix-en-Provence. There are about 100 kids in the program so we took two buses and definitely looked like tourist Americans but whatever, it's unavoidable sometimes.

Nice is a huge city (the fourth largest in France I think) on la Côte d'Azur. There are 1 million people in this city alone,  which is as many as the entire state of Maine. The entire sprawling city can be seen from the road that runs along the mountain side from Aix to Monaco. When we visited Nice on Saturday, it was a cloudy day and very windy but the sea was magnificent. It was turquoise blue and the beach was not soft sand but light gray, medium sized pebbles and stones. Once we had ventured off the promenade and past the old part of the city, Nice began to feel much like New York or really Miami. There were palm trees along all the main streets and large brand name shops everywhere. My friends and I spent the rest of the afternoon window shopping in some places like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Galeries Layfayette, Longchamp and Zara.

If I had to pick a favorite experience in Nice, I would say the markets by the sea. They had everything Mediterranean and local like Socca (crepes made out of chickpeas). Fruits and olive always seem to be in season in for Nice and the incredible fish market.

 This is Mt. Sainte Victoire, or the mountain range actually. It is most famous for being painted by Paul Cézanne. I will be climbing the mountain in the spring months!

Part of the market in Nice, a woman selling all sorts of chestnuts, walnuts and local nuts. 

 One of the many olive stands in the market

Provence lavender and gifts.

The fresh oranges of Nice

Some sea side restaurants

 du pain (some breads)

The flower section of the market. My favorites are the yellow and orange roses

The beautiful Mediterranean Sea

An orange tree hanging out in the market plaza

Wine shop in Nice. Red wine and of course champagne are the specialties of the Provence region

A church in Nice and the fountain in the square outside the church

Le Palais de Justice (the court house of Nice)

 "Vin chaud" or hot wine that we had for lunch. Really good stuff on a chilly cloudy day. It tasted a bit like a hot cidre but instead of being appley tasting it was red wine and with a touch of lemon. Sorry that explanation was terrible but I just can't put this one into words.

The statue of Apollo at the Place Masséna. The horses signify him carrying the sun across the sky.

The ladies before the visiting the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco

More to come on Monaco soon!

À tout à l'heure

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