Sorry for the lack of blogging! The internet has been hard to find and expensive, but oooooooooh, I absolutely loved France, and I absolutely love Italy so far too. (check below for a couple Paris pictures I just posted).
We just got to Venice and today is quite a bit rainy, so I am doing my laundry and taking a few hours to catch up on things. Random photo on the right is a little village / foresty area named after moi in southern France.
We are staying just across the bridge from the Jewish quarter in Venice which it's so funny, is called the "Old Ghetto" on maps and signs, but this ghetto is a beautiful part of town with outdoor fruit markets and pastry shops, and all the store owners shout across the street at each other to chat about the day's news.
Last night when we went to dinner in our neighborhood, we were wondering if we were really in Venice because there were no tourists anywhere! I think we're just in the non-touristy part of town, thankfully. Our little hotel is more like an apartment building that rents rooms, and across the plaza from us, there's a church bell that rings in the mornings and evenings, SO pretty.
and I should catch you up on the last week's events...
After a few days walking, walking and more walking in Paris, we took one relaxing day in St. Remy de Provence (we learned, you have to say "Son Romi de praw-VAWNCE" in French, they don't understand the American pronunciation, "Saint Remee") which was soooooo beautiful.
The town is famous for lots of Van Gogh paintings, including his Irises, because he stayed in an asylum there the last year before he died, and he painted the landscape a lot. All the buildings are little cottages with pale blue shutters and the most common souvenir is little sachets of dried lavender. It was like a real-life Crabtree and Evelyn town.
Where we stayed was a villa just across from Van Gogh's asylum (actually it's just a monastary that offered to take care of him), and we just walked the area, and took tons of photos. After our one day, we took a train to Nice, about an hour west, which is in the center of the French Riviera. (Everyone always comments "why are you staying in Nice? yuck!" because it's a bit like Atlantic City or something, but it's because it's the cheapest place to stay on the Riviera).
When heading to Nice, we noticed that Cannes was only 20 minutes by train, and since the film festival was going on, we headed there our first night and then sat and sipped drinks while watching the tuxedo crowd cruising the main strip along the water. We also caught the tail end of a movie premiere arrival where Bruce Willis worked the red carpet (left, tiny carpet under sign) for like 20 minutes. No idea what movie was premiering though... maybe someone can look it up for me... it was last Sunday night... (turns out later this was Over the Hedge)
Cannes is really beautiful and even without movie tickets, was so worth seeing. I loved especially how they have movie murals everywhere. One of my favorites was a mural that grouped classic film figures together - in one corner was Robert DeNiro, Alfred Hitchcock, Rhett Butler, and Gerard Depardieu... but hmmm, which of these "movie greats" doesn't belong?
The next day from Nice, Kate and I split up and she visited St. Tropez while I visited a little artist village called St. Paul de Vence, both along the Riviera. We wanted to make it to Monaco, but there was no time, and also the annual Grand Priz racecar thing was going on, so traffic was terrible in that direction.
The one thing we did do in Nice itself was see a Marc Chagall museum which was so worth it, Kate and I have both fallen in love with Chagall's art, and I even sent a couple posters of his art home which was a little outrageous to pay for, but I really love them.
Well I can't waste too much more time while in Venice on a computer, Ciao!