This is going to be an insanely long post. I will probably only get through a few cities before I get burned out. We are currently in Interlaken, Switzerland and today is our lazy day (aka why I am blogging).
Cannes - Our day began by checking out of Sant Jordi Alberg (my fave hostel as of yet) and made the trek to the main train station to hop on the first of three trains to get to the south of France. I immediately encountered conflict due to the missing/stolen Eurail pass and had to shell out 25 euros for the first train. I got lucky on the 2nd train and they didn't check to see if I had it, but on the third train I encountered a terribly abrasive, burly French SNCF officer lady who confronted me until I was in tears trying to explain and show her some kind of proof that I paid for a Eurail pass, which she was not having, and I eventually had to shell out another 76 euros on the spot. This was beyond horrible to experience the first sting of what I believed would be the worst train of events from my idiotic mistake. We, or should I say I, pulled ourselves together and exited the train, hopeful and excited to be in the south of France. We got lost trying to find the hotel we booked for the night and realized, after some redirecting, that it was approximately 100 feet away from the station we arrived at. We made our way up and checked into our new, quaint, cute, accomodation for the night. It was the first time on a trip that we had a place all to ourselves with a private bathroom and shower. We set our things out, showeed and got ready because we were meeting Britt's roommate, Jess, and her godsister Allison, for dinner at Allison's GORGEOUS 3.5 million euro home. We walked up and I was completely taken aback by the elegance and beauty of this home. Allison warmly welcomed us in and immediately began to bring out all kinds of cheese, meat, and bread and several bottles of amazing champagne because she was renting out the house for a week and needed people to help eat all the food in the fridge before she left on her trip the next morning. Allison was the greatest host we could ever ask for. She continued to spoil us by making an incredible dinner consisting of chicken with bell peppers and an awesome salad with cucumbers, etc. She had taken a year and completed the program at Le Courdon Bleu. This 31 year old is super woman. She gave us advice about the south of France, where to explore and what places to avoid, and how it's only okay to cheers by clinking glass if you are being ironic about it. She told us stories about the people and celebrities, like Adriana Lima the Victoria Secret model, who have rented their home in the past for the Cannes Film Festival. Incredible. After dinner we enjoyed more champagne and a bottle of Rose while romping around eating macaroons and helping her get her home guest-ready for the week. We told her aobut how we visited an absinthe bar in Barcelona and low and behold, she pulls us into the other room to show us her absinthe fountain. She offers us the rest of her absinthe and teaches us the proper way to prepare it and drink it. She had told us earlier in the night that we must help her finish all the booze. We ended up going out to her herb garden to pick fresh mint and make home-made mojitos with the last of her rum. We danced around the house, listening to the awsome playlist that she had on all evening, and had a grand old time. By the end of it all we were a little drunk and it was nearing 2am. She proclaimed that she would not have us walk home at this hour alone and invited us to stay the night. The next morning we helped her clean some more and lock everything up before we headed back to the hotel, which ended up serving us merely as a stroage unit for our things. We packed up and made our way across the road to the train station to hop on for 30 minutes to get to Nice. Of course in our typical fashion, we forgot to look up the directions to the hostel beforehand.
Nice - So we spotted a McDonalds after exiting the train station and approached it hoping that it would have Wifi, unlike the one in Paris. I asked Britt how to spell the name of the hostel and this boy comes over and says, "The Gardens?" and we were like YES! He said that he was also staying there and was about to head back. Perfection. We took the tram and waiting for the "shuttle" to come get us, which turned out to be a smashed up silver van. They were whipping around the corners super fast. So we get to Villa St. Exupery Gardens and it's awesome and massively large. They gave us a tour around and then showed us to our room. We unpacked and got dressed and ready for the beach. We stopped first and got bread, cheese, ham, strawberries, and a bottle of whipped cream from the market. Okay so first off, I am completely obsessed with the beaches in the south of France. Incredible. One problem I had though was how they were covered in small pebbles instead of sand, which my feet are not okay with walking on. I struggled a ton and Jess was a pro. So we were exhausted and ended up just sleeping straight on the rocks (we didn't bring towels) after our picnic and woke up with rock indentations all over our bodies. We were disoriented as to what time it was so I asked the people sitting behind us what time it was. One of the guys, Lars, told us to sit down and hang out with them for while. Half of them worked at the hostel and the other half were guests so we immediately made friends. We headed back with them soon after, got dressed and showered and headed to meet them in the bar at the hostel. We stayed there drinking 5 euro bottles of wine for most of the night and then ended up leaving to go to Wayne's Bar, which was really fun. I got split from the rest of the group and by the time we left the bar, the tram was no longer running. Thankfully I was with the staff people from the hostel and we made a LONG 45 minute walk back to the hostel. This ends our first night in Nice. So much fun.
To be continued...