French People.... I am sorry if any of you love French People. Jor, if you read this I am sorry, Nat... I know you just married one.... but seriously I am totally over French People. I have never had so many people be rude to me in one day. I said it..... now I can move on. :)
So it was another beautiful day on the Mediterean Sea. The weather could not have been more perfect. It has been so perfect the entire trip that I almost forget that weather could possibly be an issue!!! Clear skies and a cozy maybe 80 degrees.... yes paradise.
We decided to take on Marsielles on our own.... we could have done excursions that range from $30 to just take a shuttle to the city to $300 for all sorts of tours. The entire day I spent 11,50 euro on taxis and a huge bottle of water. First off, the whole city is under construction because I guess next year it is the capitol of culture in Europe... what that means I have no idea. But our woman taxi driver was so freaking nice we got a picture with her! She was so helpful, spoke fabulous English, having lived through California for 6 months in her youth, and CLEARLY gave me the wrong impression on how the rest of the French would treat us 4 stupid American girls in their city.
So we got into the city and it was amazing right off the bat! Cute flower stands everywhere! So many flowers that I thought I was in the flower mart of downtown LA. I was giddy about it! I started taking pictures and walking. I think saw my first French pastry shop. I was so excited I of course started taking pictures of it..... until the own came and yelled at me, “NO PICTURES! NO PICTURES!” I should have learned then.... but no, there was a man carrying to dead skinned pigs on his back coming out of this farmer market. I was so excited of course I took a picture. I was then going to take a picture of the baggets being sold next door.... I had the flash on because of the bright light causing too much shadow... and when the flash went off (even though I didn't take a picture) this black guy came running out, “NO pictures! How rude! What's wrong with you!?” And then he proceeded to follow us around for the next 5 minutes to make sure that I deleted the picture... which was impossible because I didn't take it. It was a beautiful open market full of wonderful smelling fresh fruit but I couldn't enjoy it because I was so worried about the man following us.
Once that fiasco was over we decided to walk to to the old catholic church on the top of the hill overlooking all of the city. It was a pretty tough hike of hills and stairs but eventually we got there and the view was well worth it. (It is killing me that I can not post all of these pictures that would more adequately describe the beauty of this trip, but oh well) People honked at us, yelled at us, and glared all day. A couple times in pathetic desperation we asked people to help interpret the map of this confusing little city built by the Geeks thousands of years ago. The most common thing we heard was, “I don't speak English!” Okay I might be exaggerating a little but honestly, when finally a cute... well not really cute, but a guy, (bald, unibrow, and short) finally asked if he could help us find what we were looking for, I was so excited I asked him for a picture with him and thanked him for being so nice. We kept watching and a few minutes later he came driving up on a scooter, “Kristin! Kristin!” He asked if I wanted to join him at a club that night. I said maybe (Clearly going to be LONG out of the city by that night.) He got my name and said he'd add me on facebook so we could talk. It was so cute. (Just you want til you see the picture of him on his scooter chasing me down!
We went to the gorgeous catherdal which is always fun... but what was even better was the wedding happening next door AND some huge party going to happen at the cathedral. I'll tell ya what... there is something spectacular about the European fitted suits. They are the same thing as the Mad Men style that Banana Republic is making a line of. Anyways, if I had it my way, every man... okay every skinny man would wear a fitted European suit. They just look so sharp. OH which reminds me... we of course found the shopping streets of Mariselle... exactly the same shops as Miracle Mile, Wikiki, South Beach, or Old Town Pasadena. I can now through Mariselle on the list. I swear these shopping district could just be cut out and copied and pasted in each tourist area anywhere around the world. Of course we found an H&M. The clothes are a bit cutter here but really most everything in the H&M here is in the H&M in the U.S.... sorry to disappoint all of you that told me their clothes are so much cutter in Europe. I found 6 things I've boughten in the states over the past couple weeks in H&Ms in Spain and France. (Yes, I do shop that much at H&M.... it's cheap and cute.) We also FINALLY got wi-fi to work in a McDonalds. Thank goodness for Micky Dees. I got to facetime the BF at 2 am his time. I'm sure he loved having me wake him up...but he had said, “Call whenever you get the chance.” So I guess he meant it. I loved that he has this huge American Flag on his wall behind his bed. Honestly, probably after this trip I will love America more than ever before. Don't get me wrong, I am LOVING every minute of being here. But there is just something about home. As soon as I hear someone start speaking American English I am so excited to talk to them! It's so crazy how instantly we have this common bond... where in the States we wouldn't even acknowledge each other. OH that reminds me... yesterday at the beach we asked some girls to take our picture. They were from Australia. They asked where we were from and I said the States. One girl said, “Oh let me guess by your accent... are you from California?” of course that made me so proud and excited that I didn't have the heart to tell her I was technically from Utah... since my heart belongs in California I figured I'd let it slide. Back to France:
So this is where the real drama kicked in. It was now about 2:00 and we had to be back to our ship by 3:30... no big deal right? Well.... 2 other cruise ships were departing at the same time and there were no taxis to be found in the entire city! Each taxi pick-up had hords of tourists frantically trying to hail a cab in order to make it back to their ship on time. I even tried going into a hotel and asking them to call a cab for us. She first asked if I was staying there... when I said no she told me that she has been trying to call a cab for an hour but there are none to be found in all the city-center. “Great.” I thought... “My second worst nightmare (only behind getting kidnapped and sold into the sex slave trade) is going to happen! We are going to miss our cruise ship! And on the very first port!” We were finally the next in line to get the taxi when things got nasty. People started jumping out in front of me and taking the taxi away from us. One member of my group who will remain anonymous started calling people idiots. So I went into survival mode. I stood out in the middle of the street fighting off the other tourist desperately trying to get a taxi. Don't you worry. Once I went into survival mode... the next taxi was mine. It was almost like boxing out for a rebound in basketball... or catching a wedding bouquet for that matter. But needless to say, we got a taxi we made it back to the ship with a few minutes to spare... and they only left 20 people from my ship in Marsielle today. Ok.... they THOUGHT they left 20 people, they called their names over the loud system... but I want to believe they made it back in time.
So after that we were all exhausted. My friends hit the pool and what did I do? I went up on the track and ran. We had already walked for 7 or 8 hours but you know me and working out... so I ran 21 laps around the track while we pulled out of the port. It was beautiful watching the city but more comforting to watch it get smaller and smaller into the distance. It was fun but honestly, the rude people left an awful bitter taste in my mouth and I might be okay not returning until I can either speak French or have thick enough skin to not care.
And tonight at dinner we had shrimp cocktail, beef tenderloin (I can't remember the fancy name for that right now), and chocolate lava cake.... and now it is 10 pm and I am ready for bed. Tomorrow in Florence and I can not wait! Too bad I am not one stitch tired... just like last night I wasn't once stitch tired. I watched 3 hours of A&E version of Pride and Prejudice after Daniele was fast asleep... so hopefully I can finally get some sleep.
So until tomorrow.