So what was supposed to be a European tour to avoid adult responsibilities, ended up getting cut short due to adult responsibilities (I am so done with adulthood already). Due to this I only managed to spend about 5 days in France (booo) however, I think those 5 days made me pretty much an expert in French culture.
Here are 5 things that French people don’t do:
Any kind of food without cheese – They really like their cheese. Cheese on things, cheese with things, cheese on the side of things. God forbid if you’re French and lactose intolerant.
Manners – Pretty sure I learnt ‘pardon’, ‘merci’ and ‘s’il vous plait’ in my school French classes but they just don’t seem to use them over there. I think this was just exaggerated by British politeness though, where we apologise for things which weren’t even our fault, even to inanimate objects.
Vodka and mixer – The classic night out drink just doesn’t exist. Just suck it up, order a glass of Rose and deal with the fact that you’re going to have a wine hangover the next day.
Subtlety – I’m kind of used to being stared at in foreign countries because of my orange hair but they really had a good look. Very strange as I thought they’d be used to gingers with being so close to the UK!
Smiles – I love a good grin but I rarely saw a smile. Don’t know how they’d cope if they came over to England and had to deal with our miserable weather. Their faces would probably fall off.
I’m sure that’s not representative of all French people (I stayed with a very nice French man whilst I was over there), but it’s just a few funny things I noticed!
Anyway, on with the trip, I set off very early on the Wednesday morning to land in Marseille at 10am! Zzzz! After journeying to Toulon I was taken to the beach and then on a drive up Mont Faron (a genuine mountain). You would think being in the French Riviera that the weather would be lovely, but as we went up the mountain the rain got heavier and heavier until we got to the top and this was our view:
Sod’s law isn’t it!
After we were wowed by the views we headed off to Carrefour, the main supermarket chain in France. It was huuuuuggge, I could have spent all day wandering the aisles!
We also learnt how to do melon sniffing, where you sniff a melon to see if it’s a good melon even though they all smelt like melon to me. Prime example of how to professionally sniff a melon:
There were a lot of melons and a lot of French people sniffing the melons and I have talked about melons so much now that I just want to eat a melon.
In the fish aisle one of the crabs had escaped the crab box which is both hilarious and incredibly sad at the same time.
For dinner that night I was treated to my first Raclette grill, which was so, so satisfying, especially when watching the cheese drizzle off the serving palette! I cannot even describe how good it was!
The next day we took a road trip to St. Tropez (ooh la la). I was expecting a really modern, sleek city but it was actually quite old and quaint. The buildings were lovely in nice pastel colours!
And of course there were a lot of yachts! They were amazing, definitely living the dream!
Everyone there seemed to have a puppy or tiny dog too which was really cute! The only exception was this really fat, really sad sausage dog who was probably dreaming about his next meal:
That evening we ate out at a yummy burger place, went to the harbour and got some drinks in! I got excited by the giant, happy pineapple and eventually we made it back
On the Friday we wandered around Toulon where there were even more pretty buildings! Aren’t they just perfect?!
Then we went to my favourite place, THE BEACH!!!
How lucky are those people in the houses on the right?! The water is so blue!
I bobbed about in the water which was surprisingly warm, unfortunately I forgot my goggles (yes, googles) so couldn’t see any fishies.
After sunning ourselves we got pizza and then headed to see a handball match! Now apparently the UK is the only country in Europe which doesn’t give a shit about handball and unfortunately I can totally see why. It’s a weird mix of football, hockey, basketball and netball and it’s all a little bit repetitive. However, it’s really popular in France and some of the players we watched had just returned from the Rio Olympics!
I watched but I had no clue what was going on.
The Saturday we visited Marseille, the second biggest city in France!
The best thing about the trip was that in the car park they have lights for each space showing green if its free, or red if its taken. Absolute genius! You can stand under the sensor, pretend to be a car and watch the little light turn red. This revolutionary idea definitely needs to be implemented in the UK.
Afterwards we wandered to the harbour which was once again filled with boats
For food we went to this delicious Moroccan place which sold incredible dishes filled with couscous, vegetables and meat. I honestly could have eaten it all day but I felt like a pepper stuffed with couscous by the end of the meal. I swear the more water I drank, the more I swelled too!
To walk it off we went to the Notre-Dame-de-la Garde, a huge church at the top of a huge hill.
The pictures just don’t do it justice! Look at the teeny boats hung up!
The views were incredible and you could see all across Marseille in every direction!
Following this, we went to the beach again, yaaaassss!! However, it was windier than expected! It was so gusty that a bunch of kite surfers were out! This made me re-evaluate my life and perhaps I actually want to become a professional kite surfer in the future? It looked so fun!
The sunset was incredible even if I had to sprint to get a decent picture!
We then went into a cheap bar in Marseille, tried a drink called Pastis which is like watered down Sambuca (I got very excited when I thought we were actually ordering pasties, which I’m sure you realise is an entirely different thing) and then played cards. Unfortunately it’s a bit more difficult when you don’t have Jacks, Queens and Kings:
I still can’t remember which is which…
On my last day we went to an artisan bakery which had all sorts of incredible cakes, pastries and breads (no pasties though unfortunately). I even got to try white chocolate bread mmmm.
We visited Toulon beach again and this time not only did I remember my goggles, I got to use a snorkel! The water was a lot, lot colder this time around and unfortunately I only got to see a few fish and one lonely starfish. Here I am looking funny in a foggy mask!
Although my journey was cut short I was very glad to get away! I got to visit lots of cool places and would love to go back for another trip! I’ll maybe wait till the summer though!
I’ve said before how I never know how to finish these posts so I’ve decided I’m going to finish each one by providing a link to a song that reminds me of the adventure. Here’s an absolute tune from Kevin Lyttle which came on in the bar in Toulon and I’m sure you’ll remember! Don’t even try to pretend you don’t want to sing and dance along to it.
p.s. if you like this song listen to Cheat Codes version, very good for running too!