Nice - vieille ville



On the last week in Nice I decided to visit an Evangelical Church nearby to Madame Sebban’s house. I wanted to see what the difference was between the three major denominations including masses at French Catholic Cathedrals and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Nice. The service was pretty typical of a protestant church, songs, a sermon and prayer. It was interesting singing familiar songs translated into French. Luck was in my favor as they were having a potluck that day and I was more than happy to accept their invitation to dine with them. What I thought would be a typical potluck turned out to be a cultural experience. I say cultural because the meal was composed of traditional French/Mediterranean and African cuisine. Tabouli, salad, Nicoise Salad, baguette, pastas, chicken, and my favorite a spicy pepper sauce on the chicken. Some of the congregation are from French speaking countries in Africa and had made a special honey cake bread thing. I’m not sure what it was but it was delicious. After eating for over two hours, cheese and wine was served, including caprice des dieux. After sitting and conversing for another hour sipping on wines and sampling cheeses, dessert was served. There was homemade Flan and my absolute favorite dessert in the entire world: TIRA MISU!!! It was by the best tiramisu I have ever had and finished a perfect meal off nicely. The total deujener experience lasted for around four hours. Thank you victoire centre Nice for the hospitality and the experience.



So sorry it took so long to add a post but France one upped me. I returned from Rome and my power cord wont charge my computer. So I went to Finac -France's Best Buy- and the cord was 90 euros. To much. So that is why Im late on my post so ill include both.

Fatal- Jerrett, Valerie, and I went to see a movie tonight called Fatal. It was made by French rapper Fatal Bazooka. It was really cool and funny to watch. It had some slang and the actors talked really really fast so I got about 40 percent of the dialog. The movie was like Zoolander mixed with bits of other movies rolled into a crazy 90 min adventure. I think I will never be the same. It was def worth the 8 euros and the seats were the best part. If you can, everyone should watch Fatal.

Final Thought- My time here in France has been great. I was able to go to 4 countries, 4 capitals, 18 cities, 20 museums, 30 churches, and eat 27 different flavors of ice cream. I think that I spent my time wisely.? France has been really enjoyable and Im grateful that I have been able to dive right into the culture. Before I left people told me that the French were rude and cold hearted people, their cities are dirty, and not a place to visit. My trip here has been the exact opposite. I think the people here great and warm. They care about relationships and each other very much. They respect their cities and have pride in them. I have had people go out their way to help and show me where things are or give me suggestions. They are genuine people and not fake. They dont hide behind masks just to impress or cause they have to. I really can say I have a place in my heart for France and the french.

I was told once they french are like coconuts. They have a hard outside, but inside they are good and soft people; unlike peaches with soft outsides but hard insides, pits. Now I can say that I believe that saying to be true. They might look mean or rude but they are truly nice and are caring people. Im glad I learned that. If that was the only thing I learned then my trip here was worth it( don't worry I learned other things like french, not to take 10 year olds to Agora, and everywhere or anything can be turned into a bathroom like lets say the catacombs). France is a great place and I can see why it is the most visited country in the World.


When In Rome....

Jared, Sarah and I decided that we wanted to take advantage of the proximity of one of the great cities in the world and take a little weekend trip to the ancient city of Rome. The sheer volume of history and sights is quite overwhelming to any first time visitor and frankly, without the help of an amazing travel book Rick Steve's Italy we would have been totally lost and missed out on seeing many amazing sights. It really proved to be an invaluable resource to us on our little trip and I would heartily recommend it to any would be Roman travelers. We began our trip by seeing the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and the Colosseum. All three were in impressive not just in the size and scope but in the history that they represented and in the fact that nearly 2,000 year ago civilizations flourished and constructed such architectural wonders is simply astounding. All though these sights are very "touristy" no trip to Rome could be complete without them you simply have to see them and stand in their structures to appreciate the glory of the Roman Empire. We then went and saw some lesser known sights and Rome is amazing for lovers of cathedrals and art because there are more 900 catholic churches in Rome and many of them are incredibly spectacular in their history and architecture. Many innocuous looking churches in the area house veritable masterpieces from Michaelangelo, Bernini, and Caravaggio its simply amazing to walk around a neighborhood pop into the local cathedral and be able to see a Michaelangelo statue free of charge. For our second day in Rome we visited the Museo Nazionale di Roma which I really enjoyed for it's collections and size which was large enough to see plenty but small enough to enjoy it in just an hour or two. Of particular interest were the mosaics extracted from ancient roman villas that had been marvelously preserved and some really great early roman and greek statues. My personal favorite exhibit were two bronze statues that were discovered buried underneath a local building and were in incredible shape. The musuem also houses the largest collection of roman coinage anywhere in the world which is kept in their bank vault basement. We capped off saturday's activities with the England vs. USA world cup matchup at a popular irish pub which was filled to standing room only and split pretty evenly between fans of the two countries. It was great fun and friendly patriotism and competiveness abounded on both sides which saw the USA pull off an unexpected draw with the mighty English. Sunday was my birthday and we spent the day visiting different churches and the ancient castle of St. Angelo on the Tiber river home to Popes and Italian kings. We strolled through the the ancient streets of Rome on a casual night walk where we spent some time in the Piazza Navona gazing at the famous Bernini fountains and enjoying the displays of artists and street performers who entertained crowds and sold their wares. Tbe day ended up like any good birthday should with birthday cake this cake however, did not end up lining our stomachs but rather in an all out cake fight on the hotel lawn which would require a good twenty minutes clean-up in the bathroom, when in Rome lol. Monday the last day of our Roman Holiday was not some lounge around go to the airport day we spent our last day visiting the vaunted Vatican Museum with its 4 miles of exhibitions culminating in our visit to the Sistine chapel to see Michaelangelo's masterpiece. Later we passed through St. Peters Basilica to see the largest church in the world and meander through its amazing sculptures and works of art not to mention its awe-inspiring architecture. All in all a busy and hectic but fun-filled weekend getaway and I haven't even begun to mention the food, amazing, and could spend a whole blog post on alone the stories and stereotypes about Italian cuisine I am very happy to report are all true.

JE DETESTE LA FRANCE!!! (pas vraiment)

Saturday the 12th was a very enjoyable day, consisting mostly of lazing about, practicing ninja skills, and being a fat kid with pizza and gourmet pastries. Saturday evening I successfully navigated the bus system back over to Cagnes-sur-Mer to see Jerrett run in the 10-k he had signed up for there. For those of you who may not know, Jerrett runs track for Western State so he was pretty excited to kick some French a#* in the course a pied. However, when I got there, he was sulking outside the stadium because the race officials were refusing to let him run. Pourquoi? Because apparently in France, to participate in an official race like that, you have to either have a running license ( o_O ) or get a special physical from a doctor saying you're in acceptable physical condition to run the race. He tried to explain to them that he's a college track athlete in the US and runs everyday, but to no avail, at which point he literally yelled "JE DETESTE LA FRANCE!" I so wish I'd gotten there earlier, just to see their reaction to that.
Anyway, he and a German woman nearby in the same predicament decided to run the race anyway, just joining in outside of the stadium after the start. Jerrett tells me the course was very pretty, but it's really a shame he couldn't compete for real because he finished pretty close to the front and might have been able to place. Oh well, now we all know for next time we want official France.


another tardy blog post for friday, 6/4/10- We headed off to Ventimiglia again because Sarah and I had some serious knockoff purse shopping to do. Our visit was slightly less colorful than the boys' who had gone a few weeks prior, full of track suits and cliche Italian exclamations. Unfortunately, nous nous sommes trompés de train and after arriving in Monaco, the train turned around and headed back toward Nice, wtf?! Eventually we made it to Italy after much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and with about 40 minutes to scour the open air markets full of Chinese knockoffs.
Sarah succeeded in finding a cute black shiny "Prada" purse with a bow on it and a "burberry" wallet, and I got a red "Prada" purse with a koala-dog-pokemon on it and a "Burberry" purse too. The rest of the time was devoted to avoiding the italian flic (cops, who are known to confiscate knockoff purses and fine the violator. We have yet to figure out why they don't shut down the many vendors of said purses that are in plain view), gelato, limoncello, and nutella-oriented snacks. Having Italy just an hour's train ride away rocks!

Sit down Asians!!

Ok so I suck at life and am way behind on my blog posts. In my defense though, I wrote my Paris blog the day I was supposed and then couldn't post it because the internet in our hotel stopped working for half our trip. And then the general unreliability of all the wireless internet connections in Nice further deterred me from posting any successive blog posts. So I'll try to post as much as I can today before we head off to Monaco(yay!) again this afternoon. Here is the Paris blog post from like 3 weeks ago. Sorry again about its tardiness. I'll try my best to post some pictures from that day later after class.

Day 2 of PARIS (5/24/10)! After being lied to by the boys AND Tammy—who knew she had it in her—in the morning about our leaving time in an attempt to combat our dispunctuality (didn’t they read French or Foe? It’s called quarkochronics), we metro-ed off to the freaking Louvre.

NBD, we're just at the Louvre

It was incredible, overwhelming, mind-blowing, and a million other adjectives that fall short of this entire Paris experience. I stuck with Jared, Sarah, Alec, and Beeker for the most part and let them attempt to navigate the Louvre’s many wings, floors, and exhibits to find the classics while I trotted behind, happy to take in whatever works we happened to be passing.

The Louvre’s brutal, man. Not only will the sheer quantity of artwork kick your ass, so will the other tourists. Sarah and Richard both got deliberately pushed out of the way by random strangers in front of Winged Victory and Venus de Milo, respectively.

I'm going to start a modern art series called "Asians and world class artwork," do you think I'll be able to make it into the Centre Pompidou?

Regardless of vicious swarms of Asians, we managed to see a decent quantity of the Louvre in the scanty two hours we had there, by taking a sort of jogging tour. I loved the neoclassical wing, and seeing Napoleon III’s chambres were a lot of fun for me too. One thing you don’t necessarily foresee in the Louvre is how beautiful the building itself is. The architecture is nothing to shake a stick at, and they’ve pretty much plastered all flat surfaces with artwork of some kind- namely the ceilings! They were breathtaking and epic, and for me they stole the show from the actual featured artwork in several rooms.

another stunning Louvre ceiling

After the Louvre, we split up for lunch, with about half of the group heading off for super gourmet 7 euro hot chocolate, and I and several others picnicked in le Jardin des Tuileries, kicking pigeons, enjoying our perfect weather, and discussing French swear words.

After lunch, we went to the Musee de l’Orangerie, which features lots of interesting Impressionist and post-Impressionist work. Monet designed the top floor to best showcase 8 of his gi-normous Nympheas paintings.

I felt like I was in a holy place and blessed to witness such genius, and that feeling continued on the bottom floor, where I got to see a ton of Cezannes, Renoirs, Picassos, Rousseaus, and many other gems.

After the musee, we lollygagged around la Place de la Concorde, originally constructed to show off an Equestrian statue of King Louis the somethingth (really! I just asked Sarah and that’s what she said), but is now just a stately square with some giant and beautiful fountains and statues, the Obelisque, and our first view down the Axe Historique vers l’Arc de Triomphe.

un joli statue a la place de la concorde

We crammed onto a sweaty metro and stopped at the Arc de Triomphe which OF EFFING COURSE was under construction and partially covered in scaffolding like almost every other major monument in Paris (Eiffel Tower, la Defense, Notre Dame, etc…)

counfounded scaffolding!!

I feel so gypped…gypsies!! Hey, now I know where that word comes from! After, we metro-ed over to l’Arche de la Defense in the skyscraper area of Paris, laid on the ground, looked for bathrooms, kicked pigeons, and then headed over to the Latin Quarter for dinner again. Sarah and I ran off to a veggie fast food stand with falafels (yay!) and then pear ice cream next to Notre Dame, while the others enjoyed real Parisien fondue.

waiting for hot off the griddle crepes in the Latin Quarter

Our last event of the evening was a boat cruise on the Seine at sunset. I was looking forward to it but then at the very last second before the boat took off (launched? De-docked? Sorry I don’t know nautical terminology), it was invaded by boisterous tourist groups.

one of the few asian-tourist-free photos I managed to take on the boat

It was still full of great photo ops though and a fun way to end the day, and I’m especially glad I went because we sailed by la Tour Eiffel literally right as the sparkly light show began.

Filthy feet and vicious tourist flocks aside, I’m feeling more and more every moment how much I adore this city- if I can ever find a way to come back and live here, I’m doing it!


Over the course of our trip to france I have noticed one of the most important accesories to French fassion is the scarf. Even if it is 90 degrees out the french will still be wearing a scarf. I have also noticed that there are a plethora of different ways that you can wear your scarf. The six different ties displayed I have seen proudly sported by the french. I am sure that there are other ways you can wear you're fashionable scarf but these are my six favorite. I would suggest using the scarf in combination with the three other most important french fasion accessories: the beret, dark sunglasses, and the frown
The Pull Through. This is the most commonly utilized by the french, it says "I keeps it krispy"
The Loop. This is also very commonly used it's for those who want to look good and stay somewhat cool, one of my favorites
The Bow. Only to be used for special occasions, its real nice
The "tie" for the french who are in a rush but still want to be fashion conscious
The Aviator. Only to be used when there is a breeze, or when you need to go real fast, I mean Lance Armstrong status
My personal favorite: The Turban. Who said that the scarf was only for the neck?
Beret count: 13

La Coupe du Monde

This weekend, the major thing that has being going on is the World Cup (soccer for the Americans).
Being American, I have rarely had a desire to watch or even wonder about this so-called football thing...but being in Europe through the beginning of the Coupe du Monde has made me ridiculously patriotic and terribly pestery for all other nations. This, of course, is only because Les États-Unis d'Amerique are going to dynamite-blow the competition away. Lucky, our first game against the bloody English was null (1-1) due to the incompetence of the English goal-keeper on Saturday. On Friday, we also observed the France-Uruguay match and again, it was null (1-1)...kinda boring right? Wrong! The match last night between Germany and Australian was a nutter German storm of victory. Luckily for us, we were at an Australian bar at the time (rooting for whoever was victorious, of course) and wouldn't ya know it, our German boys pulled a fascist two-step and beat down the Aussie's 4-0. Good times.
Also, this weekend is the 150 anniversary of Nice's adoption into France-land. When we went to the Observatoire, there were some jets flying around emitting some rouge, blanc et bleu:



Today we went to the Observatoire in Nice! The Observatory is on top of pretty much everything in Nice, and has a beautiful view of the city along with the mountains on the other side. It was Built (and paid for) by Raphaël Bischoffsheim in 1881. Charles Garnier and Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tour. An interesting tidbit about the two- Charles Garnier also designed the Palais Garnier and Monte Carlo Casino- Gustave Eiffel designed the Eiffel Tower. It has an 18-metre re lens which was one of the world's few tools to serve for virtual observations of the stars. The lens brought about the discovering of two thousand new double stars in Nice! It was really cool to be able to see the work of such famous masterminds! On our way down from the hill we were also able to see something really cool. From the 10-14th of June there is a celebration for the anniversary of Nice, so they had fighter jets flying over the coast. Since we were on top of the whole city we had a perfect view of them doing stunts! They colored the sky with red white and blue stripes (France's flag colors). I only took a couple pictures, and it was really cloudy so unfortunately there was only one good picture of the view (but since of course the view was good my face turned out a little funny) but here it is anyways!


Le Château de Fontainebleau

On our free day in Paris, I took a crazy journey to Fontainebleau. First of all, it was really weird to be alone in Paris trying to find the right train to take me 34 miles outside of Paris and then hoping the train will take you back. After a fun 1hour 30min travel experience of hit and miss, I made it to my destination. Well worth it.
This palace, transformed by Napoleon Bonaparte into a symbol of his grandeur, was really remarkable.

I walked along the gardins then took a tour inside. Every room was really cool to see but my favorite was the throne room, the only throne room fully furnished in France, and Napoleon's library. I enjoyed it all.

It was a great time and Im glad I took the time to go and see it. By far my favorite chateau I have seen in France.


So you guys know that I wasn't allowed on my plane because of my bags?

Well, my bag is lost..