Friday, February 28, 2003

sur le pont d'avignon, l'on y danse, l'on y danse....

am in avignon today which is really great. it's completely walled in with little entrances all over the city. saw the famous bridge, though decided against going on it, which cost 3 euros. i just took some photos from the river bank. it actually doesn't go all the way across the river anymore, and they still charge you 3 euros! at least your $2 on the tobin lets you go all the way across!

also visited the palais de papes, which is where the papacy was run from for like a hundred years in the 14th century and they built a gigantic palace. quite an amazing place. there's also tons of little museums here.... but i'm not in a museum mood today, it's sunny out. and even now i'm sitting in a sunny window looking out onto a "place" filled with people.

and all this is a vast improvement over yesterday, when i visited nimes. it rained _all day_. and i was so miserable. i decided to treat myself to a *real* lunch at an actual restaurant with wine and dessert. i'm not normally a big dessert person, but they have this thing in like every restaurant in france which is called "fromage blanc" (means "white chees") which is essentially a cheese with the consistency of yogurt, and they put a fruit sauce on it (everytime i've had it, it's been raspberry) and it is so good.... like dannon (or whatever yogurt that is... maybe yoplait?) it is sooo goooood....

was unable to kill time during the day of rain in the internet cafe in nimes, because it was filled with teenage boys playing QUAKE!!!! i was so angry. stupid boys. ended up spending a lot of time at the train station waiting for my train....

today is a much nicer day, and i don't mind just sitting outside and people watching.

slow, boring day tomorrow, my last day in arles and it is also going to be laundry day. then sunday morning i'll head off to toulouse. so until sunday... :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

it was a very long day yesterday, killing time until 5pm. sat for a very long time in a cafe. first had a coffee and sat for a while (that in itself earns me the right to sit there all afternoon). but i was hungry and it was lunchtime so a little later i had a croque monsieur and salad (to counteract the croque monsieur - which for those who don't know is like a grilled ham & cheese, but with cheese also melted all over the outside - to be eaten with fork and knife. this one was especially cheezy, with an almost welsh rabbit-y sauce under the outer cheese.). then a little while later, another coffee.

after that it was a little harder to kill time with my giant bag. didn't want to go in any shops (too bulky) and it was a little chilly out.... so sitting outside was not as nice as it could have been. eventually took a walk to see where exactly the hostel was, and then time how long it took me to walk to the train station from there (about 25 minutes with a full pack).

it was eventually time and i could put down my bag. sigh of relief. wandered off feeling 50 lbs. lighter (well, let's be honest - at start the bag was 13 lbs, can't have put too much more in there.... some papers, one new sweater - that's all). got myself a sandwich and went back to the hostel to tuck in for the night.

today i had my very first FREE breakfast (it's included in the price of this hostel) which was fantastic. my first breakfast to include something besides coffee in weeks. :) plus, not only a coffee, but a big cup which i could refill. the bottomless cup of coffee is unheard of in france.

have been seeing the sights in arles today, it has quite a lot of roman ruins and some museums, also the hospital that van gogh was put in after he cut off his ear (like mental hospital).

tomorrow i'll make a day trip to nimes, which also has some roman ruins. i might get roman ruin-ed out by the time i really get to rome, eh? well, probably not. i imagine the colleseum will blow away what is left over in france.

till tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

a sad end to my sad sunday (when i last posted). i wanted so badly to get some chinese take-away to soothe my crappy afternoon, which i have been able to find in every city so far. but not in marseille. instead i ate at MCDONALDS and had "le chicken mcnuggets" and "frites". was comforting at any rate.

yesterday spent the day in aix-en-provence, which restored my hopes for provence in general. it was charming and quaint and clean (well, apart from the obvious dog doo and cigarettes that are everywhere, but no real trash like marseille) and i was able to get chinese take-away before i went back to marseille. mmmm..... made me quite happy.

and i finally sent my film in! though i think i must have air-mailed it or something... was a little more expensive than i imagined. so soon (depending on when it arrives in the US) i'll have some pictures to share.

was up very early this morning to catch a 8:48 train to arles. so i am here now. but i'll have to lug my big bag all over this city with me today, as the hostel i plan to stay at is closed from 10-5. blah, i hate lock-outs! but it's nearly lunch time now, and it's sunny out and not too cold, so i'll have some lunch and maybe find a place to park myself near the river and read for a little bit. i picked up a new book in aix yesterday "angle of repose" by wallace stegner, something i meant to read ages ago when i was thinking of being part of an online reading group but didn't.

alas, i don't know how much this is costing me here, but hopefully not too much. i'll be 4 nights here in arles, which is home to some of the best preserverd roman ruins in france.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

j'ai arrivee en marseille hier.

and apart from being quite expensive to stay here (25 euros a night) i do have my own room, which is an exciting change. even my own shower (which was cold this morning) and sink. toilet is down the hall. still it's kind of nice to be lazy and just kind of lounging around with no one to bother me....

oh, don't think i wrote about the crazy inconsiderate girls in cannes - was finally asleep the first night of my wretched cold when at about 12:30 these two girls came into the room and clambered up into their beds and continued to chit chat as if they were still at the pub, and their mobile phones buzzing with text messages..... and the same in the morning, at 7:30 when they got up, no thought for the three other people who didn't want or need to be awake at that time. oy vay. actually talked to them on my last night in cannes, they were sort of crashing the 3GSM World Congress and trying to sell their business idea.

spent the afternoon yesterday cruising around the port in marseille and enjoying the sunshine. am thinking of trying out my wedding band here, there seem to be a lot of guys who think if a girl is sitting/walking/standing alone that she wants to be picked up. it's a little annoying. was sitting on a bench yesterday when some guy started to chat with me, so i made an attempt, he didn't really speak english, i was trying to speak some french. then he said i had a nice smile, and could he see my eyes? he wanted to see the color... (danto: a bit like those crazy egyptians) which i declined.

today saw a couple of the sights (the ones that interested me) and then was going to walk around in "le panier" which is a section of marseille that's supposed to be quaint and cute streets and shops and such... not so much. i've seen cute and quaint. this was just a little grungy. and marseille on the whole is sort of a dirty place. but the port is nice.

anyhoo- tomorrow i'll go to aix-en-provence for the day, which is a small town, and hopefully a little cleaner than marseille.

have finished enough film to send in to the developer, but haven't been able to find an envelope to mail it in (and "la poste" is closed today). but soon, hopefully, i'll have some pictures!