je l’ai fait!

Bonjour amis,

I arrived safely back in Paris Saturday evening after a week in the south of France and walked from Gare de Lyon to my apartment in the spirit of cheap transportation and a good wandering dénoument. It nearly broke me. My bags had somehow doubled (though I bought nothing more than a scarf and a bag of candies for my parents) and I’d forgotten to change back into walking shoes. And, naturally, I’d taken a route without good subway stops. Needless to say that since then, I’ve been resting.

So many wonderful adventures, sights and sounds characterized my week that it would be foolish to limit them to one post. It’d be be summer before I could edit and copy all my journal entries onto Soleilsphere, and plus it’d be miles long so you wouldn’t read it anyway. What I have done, from the comfort of my bedofa (a friend’s term for my bed-sofa contraption – a vintage futon, if you will), is to upload my pictures to an online album. I’m finally abandoning Facebook Albums and Mac Online Galleries for the luxury of Picasa, and hope to never return to the other options again. Google is taking over the world.

http://picasaweb.google.com/mandasims

I’ve organized them by my five major stops and edited out the truly crappy ones. To summarize, I went to:

San Sebastian: In the Basque country, just across the French border into Spain. I spent Sunday and Monday night here and took a day trip to see the Guggenheim in Bilbao, about an hour’s bus ride away. I walked my face off, read on the beach, ate tapas and soaked in the coastal hilltop views.

Carcassonne: En route to Provence, I stopped in this medieval castle city for a little bit of kitsch and a lot of fairy tale exploring. I stayed within the old city walls and ate their local fare, a decadent stew called cassoulet. I saw the castle turn pink on my way out from the sunrise the next morning.

Arles: Van Gogh’s treasured mecca, this little windy-roaded gem is nestled deep in Provence, land-bound but not far. I did a lot of drawing here and saw more roman ruins than in all of france so far. I stayed in the hotel of precious little Musee Reattu and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a glass of good red wine and a 10 pm bedtime.

Marseilles: for just the day, to map and explore and research for a class project where I’m writing a paper about the GUTTERS in Marseilles. Looks to be best-seller. Made some sailer friends who let me drive their tourist vessel to Chatea d’If (TRUE), to meet the Count of Monte Cristo (a little less true).

Aix: Le fin, to stay with some mutal friends of a classmate, soak up a little intensive French language practice, and hang with the locals. We ate artisan ice cream, smoked a little hookah, and bathed in the first rays of a real spring day on top of a library with a cheap rosé.

Like so (counter-clockwise from Paris)…

That’s all for now, but I’ll give good details in future posts. Basically, it was a week of exploring, reading, writing, designing, drawing, eating, occasionally drinking, and going to bed early to rise with the sun for my next train ride…

Love,

Fred

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~ by soleilsphere on March 22, 2010.

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