Travel Diaries: Dans le Sud

Pour la dernière fois, rebonjour tout le monde ! J’èspere que vous allez tous bien. I can’t believe this is already my 6th and final blog post for you. Le temps has flown by! I thought it would be fitting that for my last post, I tell you about my last few weeks in France, et donc this entry is all about my time travelling in le Sud de la France !

As you know from my previous blog post, I finished up my placement as an English Language Assistant on the 15th of April. Cependant, my visa didn’t expire until the 15th of May, so I decided to stay in France as long as I could to really soak up the culture, see more of the country and speak as much French as possible before returning home! I left Clermont-Ferrand, my home town for 7 months, on the very same night that I finished up at work. I stayed a night in Lyon, une grande ville près de Clermont, and then I woke up early the next morning for my 6:30am train to begin mes voyages in the South of France.

Nice

The first place that I visited was the city of Nice on the côte d’Azur. I spent 10 days in Nice two friends from Glasgow who came out to see me! Nice was a lovely city, and the contrast between its old and new towns made it feel like two places in one.

A view of Nice from Castle Hill

Nice was also a great base to stay in that allowed us to take day trips to other places on the French Riviera, such as…

Monaco

The Principality Monaco is actually a separate country (a microstate) from France, where the official language is French. You might recognise some of the pictures, as Monaco is very famous for the Grand Prix and its Casino de Monte Carlo.

Cannes

Again, a very famous place grâce à the Cannes film festival which takes place in May every year. Cannes is a resort town filled with luxurious designer boutiques and hotels, and glamorous beach bars and clubs.

It felt surreal to see places in person that I had only seen before in films! It was a great 10 days spent hopping around the French Riviera.

Marseille

After my friends from home left me in Nice, I travelled to Marseille where I met up with deux amies, Erica and Erica, from university who were also ELAs, but placed in Toulouse!

We spent cinq jours à Marseille exploring the city and its surrounding areas. We absolutely loved Marseille – je pense que c’est ma ville préférée du sud de la France. *Did you know that Marseille is une ville jumelle (a twin city) with Glasgow!* Maybe this is why we liked it so much!

We spent one day visiting Cassis, a small fishing port town, and hiking Les Calanques – a natural park of over 20km spanning between Cassis and Marseille. Although there was plenty of soliel, it was unfortunately un peu trop froid to swim in the lovely water surrounding the Calanques.

We also visited a group of small islands just off the coast of Marseille called Îles de Frioul. These islands were tiny (with a population of only 146 in its last consensus) but beautiful!

Of course we also took our time to explore Marseille and its tourist sights such as visiting the Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, with its belles vues of the city and coast:

And since Marseille is famous for its production of soap, we had to pick up some savon de Marseille as gifts for our families and for ourselves too!

Aix-en-Provence

Marseille and Aix-en-Provence are actually very close to each other, as both are in the Provence region of France. After spending a few days in Marseille, we travelled to Aix-en-Provence to spend the weekend. Three days was enough time to see this city, as it was assez petite, but it was a nice change of pace for a weekend after being in a city as big Marseille. We got to visit les marchés du dimanche (second picture), and the famous Bibliohtèque Méjanes (fourth picture) which has a huge ‘bookcase’ of French classics at its entrance at its entrance. One of the things that stood out about Aix was the colour of almost all of the buildings, a pale yellow stone that looked tellement belle in the sun!

Toulouse

After lots of travelling, it was time to relax a bit, and so I went back to Toulouse with Erica and Erica to stay with them. Although this week wasn’t as busy as the previous weeks, we still managed to make the most of our time ensemble in Toulouse.

Par exemple, we visited Carcassone – a town famous for its medieval fortified citadel called La Cité:

We also had l’occasion to go see Angèle, a famous Belgian singer, at her concert in Toulouse. We were surprised at how much French we could understand and sing along to!

Angèle at le Zénith Toulouse Métropole

Et voilà ! C’est tout fini ! I hope you have enjoyed reading about my final weeks in France, and moreover coming on this whole experience with me. It was truly an incredible eight months, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing my adventures with you all.

I hope you’ve learned some things along the way, and maybe even considered doing something like this yourselves. I will be uploading some final pictures on my Instagram account, and feel free to get in touch with me on there if you ever have any questions etc! You can also reach me at my university email address which I will pass on to Mrs Muir.

Merci infiniment mes amis ! Je vous souhaite une bonne continuation dans vos études, et de bonnes vacances d’été !

Bisous !

2 thoughts on “Travel Diaries: Dans le Sud

  1. Bravo Isla ! Super blog ! Je l’ai lu avec grand plaisir et cela m’a donné envie de visiter Clermont ! 🙂

    Like

    1. Merci beaucoup Cédric ! Je suis ravie que vous ayez aimé mon blog. Je vous recommande absolument de visiter Clermont ! 🙂

      Like

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