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Archive for July, 2010

Relaxing in Avignon!

We trained to Avignon the next day. It was my birthday! I found out that day that my train to Florance from France was full on the 3rd. It was full all week under my rail pass. I had to pay in cash, and take a train two days later. I think I really make the ticket guy feel sorry for me , because he gave me an awesome first class sleeper car for dirt cheap. Awesome!

Àvignon is so beautiful. Mom booked us into the cutest bed and breakfast EVER for my birthday. It was the most beautiful little place I’ve ever stayed. The room was so lovely, we had our own little patio and the breakfast was great. We went to a little Vietnamese place the first night for my birthday dinner. That may seem a little weird, picking Vietnamese in France, but I hadn’t had Pho in 6 months.

Avignon is a walled city, so the center is separated from the rest of the city by an old beautiful wall. There is a huge Palace of the Popes, with a beautiful garden in behind it. We shopped, sat in the garden, fed ducklings at the duck pond, and just relaxed for a few days.
I assured my mother that since I was now 21, I could fend for myself for two days in the cutest city on Earth. But, because she is my mother, and I don’t really think she believes me, she decided to leave on the 5th instead too.

We said bye to Maxxie on the third, and relaxed in Avignon for another two days together.

When I left and trained to meet Lise and the guys, I realized through two days of traveling alone, how lonely I might have gotten by myself in Avignon. I was pretty glad my mom stayed to hang out with me!

More soon, Love,

Ashley Lynn

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Paris and Bordeaux

On arrival, Liseanne , Ryan, Zach and I found our hostel no problem. It was a great hostel with a big bar in the bottom and curtained beds. The area we were in was a little bit dingey, there was a really awful looking canal just down the street and a laundry mat every 4 or 5 store fronts. It was strange. We went to the Musee d`Orsay our second day there. It was a pretty amazing museum, but it was huge! It took us about three hours to get through the main parts of the museum, and after we went through a special exhibit called Crime et châtiment (Crime and Punishment). It was full of really haunting art and some antique guillotines and other death machines.

On our third day I set off to find my Mum and Max! I pretty much had the underground figured out, yay, (There are 15 different lines in Paris, and 7 more that take you out of the city, its huge) so I found their hotel without too much trouble.

We went and saw the Louve the next morning. It was huge! We didn’t spend nearly as much time there, the sun was just too bright and beautiful to spend, all day inside a museum. So we hit most of the famous paintings and went through a couple interesting wings and left. I think we spent more time in the touristy shops around the Louve, than we did inside it. We shopped for most of the afternoon, just browsing through most of the little stores, and stopped for wine multiple times. Later that evening we headed to the Eiffel Tower, where we took lots of pictures, then sat below by the canal and ate a crepe and chatted.

The next morning we hit the Notre Dame. The giant doors with iron designs on them were beautiful and the huge stained glass windows were amazing. We hopped on a tour bus from there and got off at the Arc de Triumph. We went shopping down the street it was on and I bought a cute floral skirt!

We went back to our hotel area and hit a little cafe nearby. The waiter asked us where we were from and we got on the conversation of coffee. He told us he had been to Toronto, and had been to Tim Hortons, and he thinks Canadians make terrible coffee. It was hard to argue with him.

On our last day in Paris we decided we didn’t want to do anymore monuments or anything, so we headed down the the Latin Quarter to see what it was all about. (Oh and to find the American Apparel) …Which we did. I bought new shiny tights. We stopped at a cafe and met an American guy and his French partner. His partner advised us to go down to the Montmartre part of town. We got down there are and went to the Espace Dali. There were some awesome sculptures there, I didn’t expect it to have so many Dali pieces, but it was actually quite large. They even had a gallery section where they were actually selling some of Dali`s pieces. They all said price available on request, I didn’t ask, but I can`t even imagine how much they would be going for.

We walked through the painters square and took a look through some of the shops around that part of town. We ended up on the stairs of the Sacre Coeur which overlooked the city. There was a French guy set up on the stairs playing his guitar and singing songs, so we sat down and enjoyed the sunshine. There were a few guys selling Heineken and water for a couple Euros on the stairs. They would try and convince you to buy from them by pressing their cold beer bottles against your leg to…demonstrate the coldness? So Max, Mum and I sat on the stairs for awhile and watched our French guitar guy and a guy behind him doing tricks with a soccer ball. He actually climbed a lamppost while bouncing a ball on his head, quite impressive. We`re not sure how long we sat there…4 beers each worth of time. We grabbed some delicious dinner on the way back to the hotel and a bottle of wine.

The next morning we caught a train to Bourdoux, where Max and I got into a fight after a long day of traveling. I`m sure everyone present had their own version of what happened, but the important thing is, I was right. Haha just kidding…sort of!

Anyways, we were over it an hour later after we drank lots of wine and picked up more at the grocery store.

The next day we went on a wine tour! We took a bus to two different wineries and learned all about how wine is made, and the different varieties that grow in Bordeaux. It was fun and we got to taste lots of great wine!

More to come soon. Love,

Ashley Lynn

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