Les Gorges du Verdon

So ever since we have arrived here everyone has been telling us to head to see the Gorges du Verdon. We looked them up and thought yes this would be amazing for a day trip but there was only one problem….we had no way of getting there. There is no train station or a bus to get there so without a car it made it very difficult but we found a way. Two of the girls went with a few of their teachers one weekend for a hike and they confirmed that they truly are amazing which just made us want to go even more… always want what you can’t have:).  Well luck was on my side in the shape of Klara’s (the Austrian assistant) mam who was driving to come pick Klara up as her contract was over a month earlier than ours. They had planned to head to the Gorges Du Verdon on the Saturday before leaving and very kindly offered to take me and one of the other assistants along too. What better way to spend our last day together than to go on a little road trip.

20170401_122035We got up bright and early and set of, it would take us about 2 hours or so to get there but that would also involve lots of stopping off for photos. We headed to the boulangerie to stock up on croissants for breakfast and some sandwiches for lunch on the road and then we were good to go.  We headed up and up out of the valley where Draguignan is situated and continued to twist and turn which I have to say was not the best for my stomach but the views were amazing so that made up for it. With rolling hills on either side it was strange to think we only lived about 15 minutes from this but had never seen it, the disadvantages of having no car. We made a stop in a little village along the way which I will give a separate post to so look out for that, then it was back on the road.

20170401_11512620170401_113633I don’t think I had quite prepared for how spectacular the view would be but I was not prepared for what I saw. Pulling into the side of the road for I think photo stop 1 of about 6 or 7 , all we could see was a sheer drop with a faint colour of blue at the end. Risking it to get the photo but trying not to fall off the edge of the cliff we thought we would head on to the next spot to maybe get a better shot. Then we saw a little pathway and decided to follow it which led us to a viewing platform which definitely gave us a better view. It was spectacular. The grey rock faces juxtaposed which the aqua blue of the river was just amazing. It was a little scary looking down because it was quite a drop and I didn’t want my phone falling to it’s death but just wow! It really makes you think just how amazing nature really is.

20170401_13220920170401_130006After a few more stops we arrived at the lake and it was time to get the sandwiches out for our picnic. I liked to think of it as a very Irish picnic because the weather was not on our side so we ate them in the car but  it was nice looking out over the lake and we still got some pictures.  After this we decided to head back , of course taking another de-tour to another little village which I will give a separate post to (you’ll get my little joke then).

20170401_115430It was so nice spending the day exploring and before we had to say goodbye to Klara which is always horrible but we have a reunion in Austria in less than 2 weeks so it’s all good. Also from listening to her, her mam and her mam’s friend all speaking German in the car I now what to learn German 🙂 This year has made me want to learn every language under the sun from french to Italian to German to Spanish. I’ll find the time some day.

If you get a chance to head to the Gorges du Verdon I would definitely recommend it, maybe on a day when the sun is shining but that is not always possible. I would love to head back and hike some of it because I’m sure that would be amazing.

Emma

xx

 

Jardin Exotique, Monaco

So on my second trip to Monaco we headed up to the Jardin Exotique to have a look around. It was gorgeous wandering around looking at all the different plants and many a cacti. I took my big camera along and really enjoyed taking lots of photos. There is also a cave in the gardens which you can go into. It’s 300 steps down which was a little hard on the way back up but it was great to be in the cave, it really was amazing. If you are thinking of heading to Monaco the Jardin Exotique is definitely a place you must check out.

Here’s are a few of the photos I took, I had to narrow it down from the nearly 200 but I think these ones are the best.

Emma

xx

Hyeres

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So last week we decided to tick another destination off our travel list and we headed to Hyeres for the day for a bit of exploring. We met up with an Italian assistant there who kindly showed us around. We spent the day basking in the sunshine , walking up to the ruins of the chateau , having lunch in the park and finally ending by heading to the beach to relax until we had to head home.

Hyeres is such a nice little town and it was great to wander around with the sun shining down on us, spring has arrived. Instead of me telling you a play by play of our day I thought I would just show you some of the photos I took. I will definitely be heading back to Hyeres to explore more .

Emma

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The Chateau

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A view from the top out over Hyeres

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Ending the day on the beach

How Irish am I??

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone. I hope you are all having the most wonderful time. I have spent the week teaching lessons on St.Patrick, all about how we celebrate and shamrocks. It has been great and the kids have really enjoyed it. Along with this I also thought some of my classes how to Irish dance which has been great fun. I thought I would make a little video to say ‘Happy St. Patrick’s Day’ and do a little quiz to see how Irish I really am.

Hope you like it,

Emma

xx

Monaco Dreaming

So as I mentioned in my last post when I was staying with my parents in Cannes for my birthday we decided to take a day trip to Monaco. We had been there when I was younger and I can remember gazing at the fabulous cars outside the casino and the yachts in the port. I was very much looking forward to heading back and getting to explore some more. The weather was stunning  as we walked towards the station to catch the train for our short hour and a half journey through the Cotes d’Azur. As we arrived in the station in Monaco- Monte-Carlo even from there you could see the class as you walk through a tiled tunnel which looks like marble. From there you know you are stepping into another world.

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Walking out into the sunshine with the port right in front of us we decided to do some yacht shopping and wow were there some big ones. We had seen come yachts in Cannes the day before but they were nothing compared to these ones, just WOW! I get a bit sea sick so even if I did have a yacht it might not end well but I could try, maybe one day , haha. After this we decided to head up to the Palace and the old town. Walking up with a view out over the port, up to the Casino really is breathtaking especially with the day we had, the Cotes d’Azur was definitely living up to it’s name. After looking at the palace and wandering through the little streets which were a mixture of red, pink and orange bricks which were stunning we decided to head and get some lunch. Instead of heading to a restaurant we bought some sandwiches and head for a seat with a view.  Finding a nice bench with a view over the port , it wasn’t a bad place to eat lunch except for the sneaky seagull that kept trying to steal our food.

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This was the yacht I set my eyes on, anyone want to buy me it? It was my birthday after all!

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Not a bad spot for lunch!

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20170219_133725-2After lunch we decided to head up to the Casino, I mean you can’t go to Monte-Carlo and not head to the Casino. Instead of walking the whole way around the port we decided to take a boat across which was kind of like a taxi, took us about 5 minutes and we got to see the port from another angle. Although by head to the casino I mean got stand outside and gawk at all the cars just like everyone else, not actually stepping foot in the casino. This in one thing I can vividly remember from when I was younger is the amazing cars, one had a glass pane so you could see the engine and we thought this was the coolest thing ever. I do appreciate a good car. From Lamborghini to Bentley, Porsche and Corvette, the list goes on of the top cars that are outside the casino and the Hotel de Paris. It just makes you think who might be inside at one of the tables playing and would they mind if I went for a little rid in their car? It is amazing to see the crowds of people just waiting to see what car will come around the bend next.  Just behind the casino is the Opera which again is stunning , looking out over the sea. We spent some more time wandering around looking out over the sea and me taking copious amounts of photos, everywhere you turned there was an amazing view.

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Our boat taxi across the port.

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Just a of the amazing cars….

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The Opera

After this we decided to head back to Cannes to get ready for dinner. We had a great day exploring Monte-Carlo but I will definitely be heading back to explore some more and see some more parts of Monaco. It is a place that I would recommend visit, it truly is stunning and like entering another world.

Emma

xx

 

February Moments

From Edinburgh to Cannes to Monaco, school inspections , getting accepted into the Camp Canada programme and of course my birthday, February has been a busy month.

Here is a little video of me chatting about all the things I got up to this past month along with two books that I loved. ‘Girl Online’ by Zoe Sugg and ‘The Paris Secret’ by Karen Swan.

Hope you like it,

Emma

xx

Birthday Celebrations in Cannes

So it was my birthday last week (Feb 17th!!!) which was very exciting, I am officially 23, ahhh , getting older. Anyway my parents decided to come over for the weekend to see me and to celebrate. After showing them around Draguignan for a little bit we headed to Cannes for the weekend. Driving along the coast road to Cannes was amazing, with the sun shining on to the blue sea, it was just an endless canvas of blue in contrast with the red rock cliffs, it really was beautiful.

When we arrived we headed to our hotel where we had a little 1 bed room apartment which was perfect. It was also a 2 minute walk from the sea and about 10 minutes from the centre of Cannes so perfectly located (good-job Mam). When we arrived it was nearly time for dinner so we chilled in the apartment for a little bit and then got ready to head out for my birthday dinner. We headed to a pizza restaurant called La Pizza Cresci which I have to say was probably some of the best pizza I have eaten, and I have eaten a lot of pizza but it was perfect. When we sat down the waiter heard us saying “Happy Birthday” to me and he also wished me happy birthday, I thought this was the end of it but it wasn’t. We ordered dessert and when mine came it came with a little candle and the waiters and restaurant started singing happy birthday to me , in french of course. I don’t like when a small group of people sing happy birthday to me never mind a whole restaurant,  who also all started clapping afterwards. To say I went a little red would be an understatement , think the colour of a tomato. I swiftly blew out the candle and dived into my fondant au chocolate , all the while trying to calm the colour on my face. It was a lovely thing for then to do even if I did get completely embarrassed but who wouldn’t with a whole restaurant singing to you. After this we made the walk back to our apartment along the beach with the waves crashing against the shore which was lovely.

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Me after getting completely embarrassed, you can’t see my red face when it’s in black and white 🙂

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The next day we all had a well deserved lie-in before figuring out our plan for the day. The weather once again was lovely so we decided to head out and explore Cannes. I had been before Christmas with the girls but I knew there was much more to explore so i was excited. There really was something beautiful with every turn and I began to fall a little bit in love with Cannes. Wandering through the old town with the little streets and cute houses either side, I could really imagine myself living there. We headed towards the beach to walk along the sea and we saw a ‘Petit train’ which we thought we would take. It is kind of a running joke with a petit train in our family because I think we have taken one in literally every town that we have been in. If you don’t know it is a little train that takes you around the town and you can listen to commentary about the history if you want. It is a real touristy thing to do but it is a great way to see a town and places you probably wouldn’t have walked to. With our little train ride over we decided to get a drink and a crepe on the sea front as we were a little hungry. I went for a gaufre nutella which was stunning, and looking out over the sea on Cannes was definitely a great place to eat it. We then headed back to the apartment to relax a little and get ready for dinner once again. This time we headed to another little restaurant/ brasserie called  Cristal Cafe. I had a gorgeous tagliatelle carbonara which was great, sticking with the Italian theme for the weekend with food.

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The next day we got up early to take the train to Monaco but I am going to do a separate blog post on that because otherwise this one would take you forever to read so look out for that one coming soon….

When we returned from Monaco we headed back to the apartment to relax and then headed out for dinner. This time we headed for La Piazza which we had looked at for our first night but then changed our minds. I was in the mood for pizza (yet again) so it was perfect. It is the first place that I have seen in France that does a pizza with pineapple on it which is my favourite and it didn’t disappoint. Along with this I had a mousse au chocolat for the first time since being in France this time which was amazing. We had a superb last night and all too soon it was time to get up and head back. My parents flight was not until late on Monday evening so we decided to head up to Grasse in the morning before they dropped me back home. The weather once again was lovely and it was nice walking around Grasse and taking a tour of one of the perfume factories. We were only there for a short time and as it was a Monday it was very quiet but I can see the place bustling in summer with people from all over the world coming to see how they make their famous perfume.

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Once again another amazing sunset!

We then headed back to Draguignan where we had lunch before I sent mam and dad off to catch their plane home. It was lovely to spend the weekend with them and do some exploring. Now I have time to have a little rest and get myself prepared before school starts again next week.

Look out for the Monaco post coming soon…

Emma

xx

 

 

Edinburgh

So the school holidays have arrived which means only one thing, it’s time to get the travels underway once again. I was very excited to head off to Edinburgh for the weekend not only because it was a place I had never been and wanted to explore but also as I was going to be doing it with some of my favourite people who I hadn’t seen in a very long time. Who are they you may ask? I’ll tell you my friends from Erasmus Charley and Courtney who I don’t get to see very often as we live in separate countries. We planned this little trip away before Christmas so that we could meet up and actually see each other in person and not via a computer screen. So Friday afternoon after finishing school at 12pm I headed for the station to catch my flight at 6pm, I wasn’t wasting any time. After catching my connecting flight in London I eventually arrived in Edinburgh to Courtney running towards me, scaring me but in the best way. It was then that I found out that unfortunately Charley’s flight had been cancelled and she wasn’t going to make it which was a bit of a bummer as we all hadn’t been together in so long but that just means we will have to plan another trip soon. I picked up a pasta salad in M&S in the airport before we made our way to the Airbnb which was about a 15mins walk from the centre and was perfect. We spent the evening chatting and catching up before we headed to bed to get a good night sleep.

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After an amazing night sleep we got up ready to explore Edinburgh. We decided to head out for brunch to set us up for the day and after some research on Instagram and blogs on where to go we set off. In the end were we had decided on going was full and there was a 45 minute wait which wouldn’t do for our stomachs so we headed back to restaurant we had seen on the way called The Refinery. The interior was amazing with tiled and wooden tables and little copper extras, it was definitely an Instagram dream.  We ordered a Hot Chocolate to heat us up after the brisk winds outside which was perfect. I ordered a sausage sandwich and Courtney had the eggs Benedict.  I have to say that the food was okay , we were starving and it was nice but it was not something that would have me running back for more but it was nice. After being fuelled up we headed towards the castle to have a look. It was beautiful seeing a view over the whole city of Edinburgh even if it was so windy we nearly blew away. We just walked around the outside of the castle as it was £16 to enter which was a bit steep. We headed down the cobbled Prince’s Street to have a look at the shops and head into a cathedral. At this point the wind had really picked up and it had also decided to start raining which was not the best. As the 6 Nations has begun and Ireland were playing we decided to find a nice warm place to watch the match and eat some food. We decided on a restaurant called Le Monde which was lovely.I had the mac & cheese with pesto and Courtney had a fish finger sandwich and then we also treated ourselves to a nice mocktail. The food and atmosphere was amazing and Ireland also won their match which was a bonus.

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What can be better than a nice Hot Chocolate on a cold day!

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Loving my ‘fake’ glasses that I bought 🙂

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The weather had not gotten any better while we were eating and it was still freezing and wet which is not the best weather for exploring. We decided to get something for dinner to bring back to the apartment and then have a video call with Charley to catch up with her. Sunday was Courtney’s last day as she had to head back for work and I wasn’t heading home until Monday. We had the morning to explore so decided to hit up the gallery and museum. The national gallery didn’t really have too much to see so we made our way to the National Museum of Scotland which was amazing. It is so big that we din’t get to see it all so it means I will definitely have to make another trip to Edinburgh which I am not complaining about. I found that it was a little like the history and science museum in London, with exhibitions on animals, space and even fashion. Something for everyone and lots of interactive things to keep kids both small and large entertained. Then unfortunately it was time for Courtney to catch her train back home and it was time for us to say our goodbyes. We may not get to see each other as often as we would like but when we do it is always amazing. Once Courtney was safely I headed to have some lunch , I know eating again but when it’s cold and windy outside it has to be done. I headed to a bar called George IV Pub which was really cosy and did great food. I had the bangers and mash which was just gorgeous and also a hot chocolate. I spent about 2 hours just sitting eating and reading my book. Afterwards I was going to head out and do some more exploring but it had gotten darker, wetter and colder so I thought I would call it a night and head back to the apartment to relax in the warmth.

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The National Museum of Scotland

20170211_135034The weekend was amazing but all to short as I packed my bags to head back to France. The weather was not our friend for exploring a city but that only means that I will have to come back and see what else Edinburgh has to offer , hopefully when it is a little warmer. Despite the weather I had a great time and it was so lovely to see Courtney and catch up, it was a shame the Charley couldn’t make ( stupid cancelled flights) but we will all have another adventure together soon.

If you would like to see what I got up to while I was away, I also vlogged the trip which you can see here.

Emma

xx