The first and most last minute / spontaneous trip I did during my first semester in Italy was to the French Riviera with my Swedish friends Elin, Lovisa and Ida and my Canadian friend Laurence. Most of that weekend was spent in a car that we had hired for the weekend. In the end it was worth it for all the views the journey had to offer and the memories I now have.
First stop – Monte Carlo
Our first stop was Monte Carlo, I can’t lie, I was mainly excited about this stop because of the Selena Gomez movie called, you guessed it, Monte Carlo. As soon as we stepped out the car we immediately started taking pictures because it was so incredibly beautiful and also because there was a storm on the way so we wanted to make sure we had at least a few sunny pics of our trip. We walked around for a bit, had some lunch (aka the most fabulous McDonalds anyone has probably ever had, jk), saw all the amazing yachts in the port, took some more (lots more) pictures and got back in the car on our way to the next stop.
With a storm on the way, we drove to Èze . If you Google Èze, it looks absolutely stunning. It’s an old medieval town known for the view you get of the Mediterranean from the hilltop. However, due to the storm, we stayed in Èze for quite literally 30 minutes. With the first drops of rain starting to fall, we ran our way back down the man-made streets of the hill and got into the car as quickly as we could before we got absolutely drenched. I hope that one day I will get to go back.
Driving to Cannes
We decided that the next destination would be Cannes. However, the rain was getting to get really bad, so much so, on the drive, you could barely see the car in front of you. I had high hopes for Cannes because of the renowned Cannes film festival, with all its glitz and glamour, but because of the weather, I didn’t get to discover much of the city. Cannes is where I tasted my first cappuccino out of Italy since living here, and it tasted absolutely disgusting. (You can clearly see in these pics from what we were wearing, we were not ready for a downpour).
After walking around Cannes for a little bit we decided it would be best if we sought shelter and go to our Airbnb a little earlier than expected. We had decided to stay on a catamaran! Yes, a small boat. In the terrible weather. I was not very pleased with our decision. What made thing worse was the fact the boat got lost at sea earlier that day. When people rescued the boat it was partially damaged and they put it in amongst the enormous yachts. Wouldn’t have been so bad if it didn’t make the motion of the water on this small catamaran almost unbearable.
We also weren’t informed that the owner and his ex-wife would also be on it. They were two extremely extroverted French people who didn’t speak a word of English. That night I decided that I would sleep in the car, and to this day it is still one of the best decisions I have ever made. (My face looks happy in these pics but in reality, I was ready to GTFO).
Exploring St. Tropez
From there we drove to St. Tropez and this was by far my favourite part of the whole weekend. However St. Tropez was not what I was expecting. You always hear people talk in awe about Saint-Tropez and for this reason thought that it would look super impressive. Really, it’s just a small town that was once a fisherman’s village. I think that over the years, in my opinion (don’t hate me pls) has conned people out of their money. Whilst some of the girls got food in a restaurant, Elin and I went for the cheaper option and went to the supermarket. We got a Caesar salad and a mini bottle of wine and we sat on the beach. We talked for ages just getting to know each other a bit more. Because really by that point we had only really known each other for a week.
A Quick stop in Nice
After St. Tropez, we drove to Nice to see the beach front. We spent approximately 45 minutes there. We walked around for a bit and getting a coffee before our long drive back to Turin that evening. On the journey back, we all reflected on our perfect/imperfect weekend. We decided to all come up with a phrase that we felt summed that weekend up. The ones that I remember to this day (and I can’t remember who said them, sorry girls!) is “Why make it easy when it can be complicated?”. And also, “No matter what happens, life is all about perspective and how you decide to experience it”.