Côte d’Azur

What a week it has been. It all started last Friday, when Simay and I went to Gare de Lyon in Paris to take the train to Avignon. It was finally time for our friends, Tanya and Quentin to get married in Southern France. We arrived at Avignon quite early, so we got to see the beatiful city and all of it’s landmarks. We woke up excited on Saturday, the day was finally here. And what a wedding it was! The ceremony was in an old church in one of the most beautiful small villages, la Roque-sur-Cèze. The whole village is made of stone and in the same style. Thereafter we were brought to Château Saint Maurice for the reception. Driving up to the Château it felt like we were part of Ridley Scott’s A Good Year, starring Russel Crowe and Marion Cotillard. The whole wedding was better than what any Hollywood director could have imagined. It is one of those weddings that simply cannot be replicated. 

We woke up early the morning after to catch the train to Marseille, where we met with our friends Alaa and Mouna. We spent the next days walking around in Marseille, and visiting nearby cities and beaches. Alaa and Mouna was taking us to a beach one of the days, and when we reached the parking lot we were informed that it would take us 40 minutes to walk to the beach. ”Wow, that’s a crowded beach”, I thought. But in reality, the reason for this wasn’t because the parking was so crowded that we had to park 40 min walk away, it was only because it was a nature reserve. And what an amazing walk it was. We walked up a mountain, amazed by the view of Marseille, and when we reached the top we could see why it was such a popular beach. The view that met us gave us again the feeling of being in a movie. It was an amazing valley, with a beach at the end.
After the 40+ min walk, we finally reached the beach. Throughout the walk we had been talking about how nice it will be to get into the water, and one of us (read: Simay) claimed that she hoped it was cold because she ”loves cold water”. This would later hunt her when we realised that the water was colder than up in the north of Norway at this time of the year. After the Calanque de Sormiou we went to Cassis. And once again we were amazed by what met us. It was an amazing city.

The day after we went to Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, close to Toulon. Again a wonderful beach by the small town, and although the water was cold, it was better than in 
Calanque de Sormiou.
In the evening we walked up to Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde. We got a stunning view of Marseille, and thereafter we walked along the coast to find a restaurant. We sort of stumbled into a port that was hidden away from everything else, and it felt like we were back in a small village by the sea. 

The day after it was time for Simay and I to move on along the southern coast. We took the train to Cannes, where we walked around the city, but also took the bus to meet Selin, a Turkish friend of Simay. The bus ride along the coast was one of the best bus rides in France. We got to see all of the best parts of Cannes. Because of the date, 15th of August, the evening was finished with an incredible firework show.

Once we woke up on the 16th, we went to the train station again. Next stop: Nice.
We arrived to Nice, left our luggage at the hotel, and went straight back to the train station to go to a beach someone had recommended to us. The beach at Juan les Pins wasn’t anything special, but the water was perfect. Clear, just like on all the other beaches we’d visited, but the temperature was perfect. I think we spent almost 40% of our time on that beach in the water.
On our way back to Nice, we stopped by Antibes. At first sight it didn’t seem like anything special, but once we got to the old city we understood why it is such a famous city. It was beautiful, and I told Simay that I could spend months here, just writing, bathing, eating and drinking.

My last day was spent in village, just outside of Nice, called Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. We found a small beach, the water wasn’t as warm as the day before, but it was still way better than what I am used to from back home.
We couldn’t spend too much time here, as Simay had a train to catch at 3, and my train to Paris left at 5. On my way back I was sitting, thinking about what a great trip it had been, and all the memories I would take with me for many years to come. And we finally spent our summer like true Parisians; in the South of France.


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