The Christmas market tour is in full swing! Currently, I am spending my last night in Brugge, Belgium before continuing onwards. Tomorrow will bring with it another city, another dessert and another adventure. This marks the fifth city and 3rd country in the last 6 days. I’m so happy this bucketlist item is turning into a reality. Each city has been fantastic for its own reasons. I started with Colmar last Sunday.
I have survived a week of driving on French roads! While not as scary as Italian roads, I am quite proud of myself. With a French speaking GPS, a really unpractical car and a million roundabouts, I am still quite surprised the car was returned in its original state. Throwback to two Sundays ago, my cousin, Regi arrived in Bordeaux. It was really sweet to realize how familiar I have gotten with Bordeaux. I seem to have finally figured out all of my favourite places to hang out, take pictures and of course where you can find the best food. Reuniting with my travelling sister was also awesome, as we simply started were we left off on our last trip.
From the nude beaches of Marseille to the fairytale castles of the Lorie Valley, I’ve travelled some whopping 1,456km in the last 7 days. With great distance come great adventuring stories, starting with my very first night in Marseille, last Tuesday night. I was exploring the old port area around 6ish which meant it was already dark outside. I found out later, through friends, that you should never walk alone in that area when it is dark. However, considering it was the middle of the downtown I didn’t think much of it. I had a man, likely in his early 40’s, ask me to take his picture. Considering I was holding a DSLR camera I simply assumed he thought I was a good photographer. I continued walking around the Christmas market and then down the street in search of food.
You won’t always find someone who has the time, money or motivation to pack his or her bags and discover the world. So, pack your bags, buy the ticket and venture off on your own. This week I’ve packed my bags and am venturing through the south of France. Since Saturday, I’ve been filling my belly with crêpes and baguettes, soaking in the sunshine and discovering unfamiliar places.
To bring you up to speed, since my last post I’ve experienced living in France during a national crisis, written 3 final exams, travelled 640km and eaten at least 8 crepes. In case you have not seen my post on social media or heard from me in another capacity, I am safe and sound, despite all the unrest in France this last week. Thankfully, I have never been in a country during such a large-scale crisis. Yet, from it I’ve learned so many things. For starters, it was really heartwarming to see how many people reached out to me and checked in. Even my home university sent out 2 e-mails ensuring that everyone on exchange was safe and didn’t require help. Obviously we like to think that this is the response we would get, yet until something like this happens you will never know. The attacks hit close to home. I had 3 friends in Paris that weekend, including one watching the soccer game in the stadium. Thankfully, everyone I know personally is safe but, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had an impact.
This past weekend, I took advantage of the wonderful transportation systems and hopped over to Switzerland for the weekend. A mere 4 hours after leaving the Bordeaux airport on Saturday morning, I was at my Grandma’s house having cheese fondue. How’s that for quick travel and embracing my inner Swiss?
Besides the memories, food and people, I absolutely love taking pictures while travelling. I have yet to count how many pictures I’ve taken so far but, considering I’ve emptied my camera more than once I assume I’ve already surpasses the 5,000 picture threshold. I think it is only fair to fill this post to the brim with photos. Since each one is said to be worth a thousand words, I should keep the storytelling part to a minimum. I mean it’s a great idea in reality but we’ll see how well I fare by the end of this post. Side note: If you haven’t seen the GoPro video of this trip, click here to see it!.
I’m currently sitting on the high-speed train heading back to Bordeaux after an awesome week away from reality. Reality will hit hard Tuesday when I write my first final but, for now I will reminisce a little more about the latest adventure. The adventure itself started last Saturday when, after my afternoon lecture, I headed to Paris to meet my friend Emily. This was the first time I was back in Paris in 2 years and somehow the tranquil atmosphere in Bordeaux had made me forget how rushed and dirty Paris really is. I suppose that’s what happens when you take the metro past midnight on a Saturday night. Nonetheless it will make me appreciate Bordeaux that much more when I return.
I’ve been told my appetite to life is unique yet I don’t stop often enough and appreciate it. This week I am travelling around northern Europe with a girl, let’s call her Emily, I met at a French exchange program I did 3 summers ago. Funny story actually. Exactly two weeks ago today, I was up late writing a blog post. I was signed onto Facebook when my messages lit up and Emily messaged me. This is what followed.