The last three or so weeks since my last blog post have been pretty packed and I’ve been making the most of being in such a good location in France and only having three days a week in uni. A few weeks ago I was in Paris (again) to support Jess in a concert and also to do some more sightseeing. Last weekend I had the most amazing time in the south of France, staying in Nice and travelling to Cannes and Monaco. And lastly, George came to see me this weekend and I have just got back from dropping him at the airport. The weather has been so nice here over the weekend and we definitely took advantage of it!
Jess got invited to play the flute at a networking event for Visit Wales in Paris and so Abi, Josh and I headed along to support her as well as using it as an excuse to visit one of our favourite cities again. Although slightly stumped at the fact it was a networking event promoting Welsh education and we were completely out of place, we had a lovely time and Jess played wonderfully! We were able to meet some people working for the British embassy in Paris (always useful) and to see Richard Parks, the Welsh ex-rugby player speak about his trek across the Antarctic which was really amazing. This was all fueled by free (Welsh) gin and tonics and was made even better by the amazing view we had of the Eiffel Tower from the British Council building which was right by Les Invalides.
Squad at the Eiffel Tower
We stayed in a lovely Airbnb apartment in Le Marais and we couldn’t have asked for a better location. With a direct metro route to the Louvre and so close to the Notre Dame, we were able to pack in a lot of sights.
At the Notre Dame again
We also took a trip up to the Sacre-Coeur which I haven’t done since I went inter-railing after my A Levels. As lovely as the Sacre-Coeur is, the surrounding area was not so nice and we did feel a bit threatened by the men selling bracelets who stood in a line of the steps so you had to walk right through them while they tried to put bracelets on your wrist. I’m still amazed that Sophie and I actually stayed in Montmartre when we were inter-railing, we were very naive although I have to say we never actually felt that unsafe when we were there.
Our apartment happened to be a street away from Ollie’s, a good friend of Abi’s and who many Exeter people will know! He took us to the Sorbonne where he studies and also to the Pantheon, two places I had never been before and which were really great, as well as showing us some cheaper studenty areas to buy food in!
Paris was, once again, amazing and is even better every time I visit it!
Last weekend Abi, Beth, Jess and I took a trip to the south of France for some much needed sun after 3 months of rubbish weather in Nantes.
Sunglasses out in Nice
We decided to stay in Nice as we could easily travel to Cannes and Monaco from there. Nice was really amazing and quickly entered my top-cities list! It was such a nice place to stay and felt much more welcoming than many places further north in France! Our Airbnb was in the old town, 5 minutes from the beach and the main square and shopping streets, it was perfect.
The fountain right by our apartment
We got so over-excited about the weather (about 16C) and immediately the sunglasses were out and the jackets were off! Our first full day there we walked up the Colline de chateau which looks over the city and has an amazing view of the sea.
On top of the world in Nice
The beach looking beaut
We did a bit more wondering and chilling on the beach before getting the train to Cannes.
Starting the day on the beach
Cannes, I have to say, was slightly disappointing. It definitely did feel like an out of season seaside town with a lot of posh shops and rich tourists. I imagine it would be much more impressive in high season but we all decided that we much preferred Nice.
The next day we decided to spend the whole day in Monaco. We took a super cheap bus there which went right along the coast which was so beautiful and we all spotted our future holiday homes! When we arrived in Monaco we went straight up to the palace, just in time to see the changing of the guard.
The palace! Apparently I didn’t get the sunglasses memo
The palace without us ruining it!
This was a really great experience and the old town of Monaco is just beautiful. We walked through the Jardin Exotique and took in the views.
In the Jardin Exotique! Again sticking out without the sunglasses..
We then went over to Monte Carlo and took in the famous Casino.
The Monte Carlo Casino
It is a really impressive building and the cars outside really showed us we were in another world- Bentleys, Maseratis and a bright yellow Ferrari were among the most notable! You had to pay to go inside the famous casino so we decided against it and went into the free Cafe de Paris casino next door instead. Jess managed to lose us 5 Euros in 5 minutes so we decided against playing anymore! We walked back through the tunnel that connects Monte Carlo and the old town and it felt like a James Bond film with all the sports cars racing past.
On the Grand Prix route
The south of France was really, really amazing and I would absolutely love to go back and spend more time there.
George came to visit!
George came on Thursday and he just left today (Sunday) and we had such a nice time making the most of the spring weather that has finally arrived in Nantes. We decided to stay in an Airbnb as my room is so small and we found one near the Tour de Bretagne which is really central. Although the apartment was great, the toilet didn’t work (a fairly basic need..) and the owner didn’t reply to any of my messages so hopefully I’ll be able to get a refund of some sort! But other than that it was in a great location and also meant we had a proper kitchen which is a novelty for me!
Picnicing on the ile de Versailles
As we’ve both done all the touristy things before we decided to just have a very chill weekend and had a picnic on the ile de Versailles and then one in the Jardin des Plantes the next day and that was about the most eventful thing we did!
Jardin des Plantes
We popped into Giggs to see the others on St Patrick’s day and also had cocktails in Le Nid but other than that it was a pretty quiet weekend, but was so nice to spend some time together!
If you want a lol, this is me and George with our faces swapped
Our Easter holidays don’t start until the weekend after Easter so we will be celebrating ourselves with a roast dinner and Easter eggs! I don’t have much planned for the next two weeks but hopefully the weather will stay sunny!