Saturday, October 1, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

J'ai la tête qui tourne: I'm dizzy (literally "I have the head who turns.")

Linguistics is a girl major. No matter where you go.

Also, I had NO idea that this week had already gone by. Seriously. It's not even like I was that busy; that's totally not what I'm implying.

This is NOT what I mean:
"Oh em gee! It's Saturday already?? Oh where did the week goooo?? hahaha (sigh) I guess I'm just so busy with all my new friends and suitors that I just lost track of time and have neglected to inform the interested public of my constant whereabouts. Oh they must all be so bored without knowing where I am at all times, but when you have this whole new life and all new friends, it's hard to keep track of the old ones! Hahahahaha xoxo"

Ew. Gross. No.

THIS is what I mean:
"Oh, god, it's Saturday already?? Wha . . . what happened to the week? Seriously! I mean, I know I've been going to class, and I slept through half of Friday, but this still doesn't even make sense . . . I'm so confused. Plus, I've been working on this blog post for a week now, but I keep falling asleep before I can finish it. Also I just ate part of a package of dry noodles. Didn't feel like cooking them. Now my teeth hurt."

So I apologize for being semi MIA this week. I hope you'll understand.

But enough of that. This past weekend was pretty busy even though I didn't ever wind up actually traveling outside Nice (which was my original plan); but I still made the most of a Plan B scenario. And somehow I managed to take more pictures than I know what to do with. Lots of sorting and sifting has occurred.


Saturday stuck (somewhat) to our Plan A schedule. Well, it tried, at least. ‘A’ for effort, Saturday.

-At about noon, Helen and I left the dorms for Vieux Nice (Old Nice) to find the elusive open-air markets we'd heard so much about. Apparently they set up these huge markets everyday from 7-1 (except Monday). Flowers, vegetables, fruits, preserves, books, posters, etc, etc, etc.

It's incredible.
And totally not what I've come to find is the "French" way of operating a business.

On the way there, an older American/Canadian touristy couple got on the bus with their city maps and fanny packs. They were confused where to put their bus passes in the machine, so I showed them. Then, afterward, the woman walked up to me and started shouting "Chagall?! Chagall?!" while pointing at her map. At first I thought she was choking. Then I realized she was looking for the Chagall museum. But, as I am not French, I had no idea. Thankfully another lady near us was able to help. But what we should take away from this story is that she thought I was French, and it was funny and awesome.

When we finally found the market, we made a bee line (b line?) for Thérésa's socca stand (pretty famous I think). Socca is a flat breadlike thing made out of chickpeas, lots of olive oil, salt, and probably other things. But, for our purposes here, these are the most important ingredients.

Google-image search "socca" & you will see Thérésa.
That's how famous she is.

It was really salty, and mushier than I thought it was going to be. But also delicious.

Veggie market (left), Book market (right)

They had many leather bound books.
They smelled of rich mahogany . . . and musk.

Vieux Nice is adorable.

-A woman asked Helen and me (in English) how to get to some store thing in Place Masséna. We helped her, and she commented on how great Helen's English was. It was good to get that kind of positive affirmation.

-Then, that night, we went out to a fancy shmancy restaurant for dinner. Playing it very French, we didn't end up getting seated until well after 10pm. But it was DELICIOUS, and TOTALLY worth it.

Yeah, I got my own pizza.

So, yeah, we were out really late on Saturday night . . . thus, precipitating the necessity of a Plan B. Since Helen didn't feel like going out (or really, being awake), our plans to travel to Eze sort of fell through. Twas a bummer.

But! Have no fear! Plan B is here!

So I decided to take a bus up to the Matisse Museum over in a part of Nice called Cimiez (my new favorite part of Nice). It's very neighborhoody, and the buildings are all SO different, it kind of just looks like everyone got to draw their own house.

"I like blue. Let's paint the shutters blue."
"Oh yeah? Well, I preferr black and yellow polka dots!"

(Maybe less angry)

The greatest part about this trip though? I went for the Matisse Museum, but found SO MUCH MORE.
Turns out, there's an archeology museum, ancient Roman bath ruins, a giant park, a monastery, some gardens, and a huge cemetery in addition to the museum! Such a great time.

a. So first I went to the archeology museum. It was really lame. Needs revamping.

b. Then, I went out to the bath ruins. They were awesome.

The weather was less than perfect. Eventually a guard came and told me I needed to come back inside because of the storms.

This was the main cold bath. On the left side there are 2 of the hot bath areas,
and the lavatories are in the foreground. Look how informed I am.

Backside. Stuck my hand through a fence to get this money shot.

c. Then I wandered around the park for a bit. Even though it was drizzly out, there were still people all in the park: older couples playing bocce ball, preschoolers enjoying a birthday party, 20-somethings playing volleyball. It was so great.

Then I wandered into a more secluded part of the park, and over a big stone wall, I saw this:

Naturally, I had to see what it was.

d. This was the monastery. It was breathtaking. I wasn't sure if you were allowed to take pictures on the inside. So, obviously, I snuck a quick one (but it didn't really come out that well.)

Say what you want about Catholics,
but these buildings are spectacular.

e. Theeeen, I looked around the outside of the monastery and found a HUGE cemetery wrapped around the back looking off the mountain. WHAT.

As I was the only one there, I took advantage of this time and took a MILLION pictures (even some with my timer so I could be in them).

Cemetery Montage! (is this morbid?)

I'm not doing these pictures justice by making them so tiny. If you click on them, they get bigger. (I mean, if you're interested.)

f. I FINALLY left the cemetery, after about an hour of frolicking amongst the dead, and headed over to the gardens on the OTHER side of the monastery.

Garden montage!

Not as awesome as the "Cemetery montage," I know.

 g. Finally I made it to the Matisse Museum, but I was so tired and hungry, that I rushed through it and went home.


Who knew there was so much to do in Cimiez?

(Also a sketchy woman walked slowly up to me and said she thought I was her daughter. No . . . I'm not your daughter . . . hahaha . . . let go of my arm.)

3. I also went to Eze this Thursday by myself, but since I'm leaving to go (again) in 2 minutes with actual people, I figured I would combine those trips into 1 post . . . later.

Sooooo until next time . . . whenever that may be.

Amitiés :)

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