Hello mom, dad, grandma and anyone else that may patiently be checking back in here to see if I’m planning to update you this week or not!
The answer is yes, and the post you’ve been waiting for is finally here! *insert gospel choir clapping and dancing vividly* I do apologize for the wait!
It’s hump day and I’m on a beach in Biarritz enjoying the sun whilst Richard is stilling his surfing-desires (can anyone guess who’s currently got the happiest fiancé on this planet? Me, me, me, you guys, it’s me!)
Now, going back to the week that has passed we will have to travel back to Spain and Barcelona, as that is actually where we spent most of our Monday…
We had the longest sleep-in before checking out and going for a walk. The idea was to explore the beach but Barcelona gave us a cooler, cloudy day so it was jeans on and shopping instead!
We weren’t going to leave Barcelona without one last bowl of Thai food under our belts, so before catching the train to the airport we went back to our local little spot:
As you already know we flew to Nice and the French Riviera and we woke up the next morning with a mission of finding the best almond croissant in France.
Unsure if we managed. Definitely sure the French coffee has nothing on the Italian espressos…
The day was spent wandering the old town, enjoying the beach and eating dinner (cheese that tasted like an old, sweaty shoe – definitely not our best meal…) in the harbour.
Talking about French cheese – it’s, just like the coffee, nowhere near as nice as the Italian ones we had… and it’s tons more expensive! What’s going on? I thought the official French diet was baguettes and cheeses?
On another side note though (and I may have mentioned this in previous posts too, but it’s oh, so true!) we’ve had amazing picnic meals in some of the most incredible places and I’m beyond thrilled we both share the opinion that snack-food from the supermarkets often taste tons better than overpriced restaurant food. Not to talk about the locations in which you get to enjoy your meals when you BYO! It’s definitely my number one recommendation when traveling on a budget: get food from the local shops and enjoy it in gorgeous places. Unless you’re on a Michelin-star-budget I bet you it’s better than chasing ‘cheap’ restaurants!
Enough talking, let’s enjoy some nice views from Nice (…see what I did there? Nice one, right? haha!)
Wednesday arrived and we picked up our french wheels, left the country and drove to Monaco.
Whilst I was hoping to mingle with the glam squad of Montecarlo Richard totally didn’t get the memo with the outfit requirements and we decided to casually move along and continue our stroll without stopping at the roulette tables…
I mean, unless you’re Donald Trump or Mr Bond I highly doubt they let you sport flamingo patterned shorts whilst pulling poker faces…
We moved along and found ourselves spending the night in Cannes, where I failed to use the camera.
The next morning Richard woke with the urge to channel his inner Günther… said and done; the beard came off but the moo got to stay when we went for a beach day in St Tropez.
I must admit, if anyone can rock a mustache it’s my man… but I prefer him without it! I simply couldn’t stop laughing at him all day long…
Looking up at the sky it had quickly turned black and we made a run for the car to A) avoid the rain and B) make our way to Marseille.
We only got a little bit of heavy downpour before the weather quickly turned around again and we got to enjoy the stunning Provençal countryside.
The next day was spent in the French capital city of crime; Marseille. And similar to my experience in Naples I didn’t feel quite safe…
The fact that there were policemen and women dressed in full riot gear and lined up in lines upon lines of vans didn’t exactly add to the feeling of safeness. However we later found out the French prime minister had chosen the same day as us to visit and as explained to us by our French receptionist; French people don’t like politicians. They also don’t like the police. As a matter of fact they don’t like people. But especially not politicians and police so there’s often big riots on days like this one…
We tried our best to enjoy Marseille and did manage to find the most picture perfect spot for lunch, overlooking the city (I may or may not have pretended to be Batman looking out for crime as I peered down on all the little houses and ate my Caesar salad)
All though a pretty city, I probably wouldn’t recommend a visit and I don’t think I’ll be back either. Let’s just enjoy the photos, and then we can all pretend we’ve been, okay?
Driving out of Marseille our next stop was going to be Toulouse and we knew we had a massive drive ahead (the end-goal was Biarritz, which is on the opposite coast of France and Toulouse was our half-way-layover). All though we knew it was going to be a big day on the roads I was still extremely excited at the prospect of driving through the fields of purple gold (lavender) that has made Provence so famous.
After doing a little bit of research good old Google told me we may not be having much luck as lavender season falls in late July – early August. But hopeful as one is I was still silently contemplating a second bloom and some purple goodness along our path.
Well… other than specks of wild lavender (size smaller than the bush you’d plant in your own garden) we didn’t have much luck… we also drove trough miles upon miles upon miles of dead sunflower fields. Yep, that’s right! Dead! Dry! Done! My devastation was immense.
I’m a big lover of sunflowers (I’m my mother’s daughter after all) and driving along these roads when the flowers are in full bloom would be like driving on the highway to heaven. Whilst I wouldn’t want to go back to Marseille I wouldn’t mind going back to these roads and see them in bloom one day!
Once again, I failed to operate the camera to capture our stop in Toulouse. BUT driving out of town the next morning my prayers were heard and we found a sunflower field still in bloom! (Hallelujah!)
I made Richard pull over on the road (safely, I promise!) so I could run through the fields of gold.
I even got the drone out (second time using the Spark on the trip, but who’s counting?)
To keep us company on our two big days of driving we had The Australians podcast ‘The Teachers Pet’ sounding from the speakers. Interesting (and sad) case, but now we’ve listened to the full series and we need new English podcast recommendations! If you’ve got some, send them my way!
Other than our sunflower stop we only stopped for food. Richard got to decide what we were having. Can you guess what he chose?
KFC! What else?
I must say the surprise in their kids meal was a good one – stress-ball Superman! Perfect for me!
We eventually made it all the way across the country and landed in Biarritz where we went straight for a chase of waves…
Unfortunately the sea was as flat as the French highways and my poor surfer had to accept there would be one more days wait before hitting the water. I think this photo explains well how he felt about that;
We wrapped up our Sunday evening strolling the little harbour near our hotel and went to bed early to be prepared for the days ahead.
And on that note, our past week has finally been put down in words and pictures. We’ve now got one more week of adventures before wrapping up our European holidays and returning to a much cooler Sweden (let’s see how these aussies will enjoy the autumn…)
Wishing you all a lovely rest of your week! Happy Humpday and all that jazz!