Well, here's what I've figured out. If I am going to live 5,000 miles away from home, I might as well fill my free time with the best trips I can afford. I mean, really, what is the point of living so far away just to sit in my apartment, right? I could have just done that in my house in Colorado waiting for another tree to take it out!
So, when I found out that my friend Maura and her friend Lisa (now MY friend Lisa too!) were going to come to Europe this summer, I decided to join them for two weeks of their adventure. As Düsseldorf is a fun place to live, but not really that much of a tourist destination (not to mention the weather absolutely sucks there), we decided to meet in Nice, France where we could have some sunshine! My friend and travel buddy, Lauren, also came along as we sweated and laughed our way around the Côte d'Azur!
We found an inexpensive apartment for a week in a town called Beaulieu-sur-Mer just seven kilometers from Nice. This literally translates to "Beautiful Place by the Sea" and it was indeed. Lauren and I flew from Düsseldorf to Nice before daybreak the day after school let out for the summer. As it had been a rainy mess in Düsseldorf for the previous two weeks, we were über-excited to see the sun! You never know how important sun is when you're living in Colorado because we have it everyday. But, when you move somewhere that is GRAY GRAY GRAY all the time, you really start to appreciate it!
|The Promenade des Anglais (English Promenade) in Nice.|
During the late 1800s, English women would stroll this sidewalk in their
corseted dresses & parasols. Sounds miserable to me! WAY TOO HOT!
Lauren got me a Segway Tour of Nice for my birthday!
Great birthday present! We're experts now!
|View of Nice's promenade from the top of a hotel.|
|"Kitty Litter Beach" in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France.|
5 minute walk from the apartment we rented.
We called it this because the "sand" was the consistency of kitty litter.
The view made up for that!
|A helicopter landed on a yacht right in front of us!|
Another life on another planet.
|Going to dinner in Beaulieu-sur-Mer's harbor.|
Four girls. One TINY bathroom.
Getting ready was a long process.
There is a reason all of the cruise ships stop here.
It was utterly charming.
On the upside, I won €24 on a 50 cent bet in a slot machine at the Monte Carlo Casino. Yep, I am a pretty high roller. When I was in Monaco during my study abroad experience, my dad and I compared it's cleanliness level to Epcot- meaning, VERY clean. At the time, that was in comparison to France, where people's dogs poo on the sidewalk and they don't clean up after them. However, after living in Germany for a year- Germany wins the clean award- except at like 3 am on Halloween when you're wading through piles and piles of broken glass!
|Standing in front of "our" yacht in Monte Carlo.|
This is when we discovered that all of these ba-jillion dollar yachts
are registered in the Cayman Islands in order to avoid paying taxes.
|The street I lived on in 1998 in Nice, France during my semester abroad.|
The neighborhood has become increasingly janky since then.
|Giant outdoor food market in Antibes, France.|
Dried fruit of every variety.
|There were also olives of every variety.|
This is the Mediterranean, after all.
|Beautiful sandy beach in Cap d'Antibes.|
I was able to actually order and say the words...
"Bring me another Mai Tai!"
|French beach birthday picnic.|
Sausage, Olives, Bread, Cheese, Chocolate, Wine, and...
We were obsessed with a particular French cereal called "Fourées au Lait."
|In front of the Glockenspiel in Munich.|
The leis were to support the German soccer team in the Euro Cup.
|Auf gehts, Deutschland!|
Let's go, Germany!
(They lost in the semi-final to Italy. Not to worry though, Italy got clobbered in the final by Spain!)
|Paulaner beer horses pulling a few barrels!|
|Birthday lunch at the München Hofbräuhaus!|
We did a bike tour that had a stop with giant beers.
The second half of the tour was a bit tricky!
|Beautiful downtown Salzburg.|
|The "Soup Chicken" celebrating continued with some weight lifting/beer drinking|
in Salzburg, Austria.
We had to watch everyone else for a few minutes to figure out how to even get the beers.
|Our reason for visiting Salzburg, Austria...|
The SOUND OF MUSIC bicycle tour!
|The hills are alive!|
|The Bishop's House...or something like that....|
|Getting ready to "Do Re Mi" through the park.|
|When you know the notes to sing, you can sing most anything.|
We were going to make dresses out of the curtains in our room, but it was more of a "winter fabric."
|Apparently people confuse Austria & Australia.|
|Beautiful Austrian Mountain Views!|
|High on a hill was a lonely goat herder.|
The entire time we were in Austria, I had the camp song
"Oh, an Austrian went yodeling, on a mountain so high..." in my head!
|Senior picture opportunities abounded.|
|Do Me Me|
Me So So
Ra Fa Fa
La Ti Ti
|Adorable Bavarian Alps town.|
There were so many that I cannot even remember the name of this one!
|Random stop along the side of the Deutsche Alpenstrasse (German Alpine Road).|
|The TOP of Germany.|
|Seeing mountain snow in summer made me homesick.|
Although, there wasn't even this much snow at Christmastime due to Colorado's drought.
|I'm seriously cool.|
|More Bavarian mountains.|
|Another pull off from the Deutsche Alpenstrasse.|
As you can see, we gave Maura some "Bavarian Milk Maid" hair for our visit!
Just disgustingly cute.
|What a great trip!|
Here's a crazy, driving-on-the-Autobahn without speed limits video from our trip!
After two weeks of a wonderfully fun, funny, constant-laughter trip, I headed back to Düsseldorf while Maura and Lisa continued on their travels. I flew back to Colorado after one night in my new apartment (that's a whole other blog post) and have been on the super-run-around to catch up with people in the short time I'm here.
Next weekend I am heading to Chicago for a girls' weekend with some old friends! Can't wait!