Friday, October 2, 2020 | Written by Kaela
I had been looking forward to this trip since the beginning of my time at GTL. It was the first weekend trip I had independently planned of the semester. What started out as a six person trip with fellow INTA 2221 classmates, ended up being a twenty-two person excursion with half the undergraduate program. As John Heywood said, “the more, the merrier!” When making reservations with an eurail pass, the seats are, unfortunately, assigned at random. However, since a large group of us were journeying together, it was easy to find a friendly face no matter what coach you were placed in, making the thirteen hour travel much more enjoyable. We played cards, watched movies, attempted to study, and of course as one does on a long train, napped. After the long voyage, we were greeted by with great weather and beautifully colorful buildings. The buildings in Nice differed greatly from my previous experiences in France: the ornamental style of Paris, the timbered style of Strasbourg, and the limestone style of Metz.
With twenty-two of us journeying to Nice, there wasn’t an airbnb large enough to house all of us. So, when we finally reached Nice, we said “au revoir” to our companions and the original six of us headed to our airbnb, with multiple stops for pictures and videos of course. After dropping our bags off, we headed straight to the beach to meet up with the others. I spent the next few hours traipsing across the beach, feeling like I was stuck in a dream (omitting the difficulty of walking on the large, uncomfortable pebbles). I was surrounded by a breathtaking landscape– immersed in crystal clear water gazing at the sunset painting the sky– laughing with new friends. After a stressful week and lengthy travel, I took a breath of relief in this moment. I, a pisces star sign and lover of all water activities, felt an indescribable amount of peace. As I began to float in the Mediterranean so did the stresses of my journey here. While in a meditative state, floating and relaxing, I began to hear plopping noises to my left. I looked over my shoulder to inquire the source of this noise and found my friends had decided to start skipping rocks (or shall I say throwing rocks). I joined in and made multiple futile attempts to skip one adding to the chorus of plops echoing across the beach.
When the sun had completely set, I unwillingly got out of the water and headed to our temporary home to get ready for dinner. Since we were near the sea, everyone was in the mood for seafood. So, we headed to Le Kobe for sushi. I ate a sushi platter and, unfortunately, was a bit underwhelmed by it. To compensate, we indulged in ice cream at Fenocchio– a store one of the girls on the trip had been raving about on the train ride– and it did not disappoint! I had two flavors: tiramisu and salted caramel. ( At the time of writing this, it has only been one week from this trip and I am already looking forward to going back for more ice cream in the future.) The rest of the night was spent perusing around Nice: going to the I love Nice sign and lounging at the beach. My group decided to head back a bit early and call it a night.
After an amazing petit dejeuner at Marinette, we headed to Cannes for sandy beaches. Although Cannes is gorgeous and I truly enjoyed my time there, I enjoyed the Nice beach more (although it hurt a bit to walk on the pebbles). We had pizza at La Maison, visited souvenir shops and markets, then headed back to Nice. When we arrived, we rushed to the top of castle hill to catch the sunset. It was easily one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Not so much for the sunset itself (as it was a bit cloudy) but more so for the overall experience. It was a moment for me to reflect and remember despite how tough 2020 has been, how truly fortunate I am to be studying abroad.