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Kristen & Joe in France: The French Riviera by Scooter

After our time in Mont St. Michel, Joe and I had tried to get a tour to the beaches of Normandy, but we didn’t have much luck:  we tried to catch a bus over there but failed. We wanted to come to Normandy mainly to get a better understanding of what the soldiers went through on D-day and learn about what it was like for the French to be liberated. We both felt that we accomplished that so we decided instead to head south to Nice.

The French Riviera was sort of a vacation from our vacation. We went to the market to get food for lunches:  fruit (mainly oranges and apricots), breads, cheeses, olives, and some wonderful sun dried tomatoes with herbs and oil. Delicious! We also had some wine and watched the sunset over the beach in the evenings.

The highlight of the trip (and the most exciting) was renting a scooter for two days. One day we drove up the coast to Cannes and later up to Eze–an old medieval village on the top of a small mountain. It was closed to all vehicles since the streets are so small. We lost ourselves in the winding streets filled with artists, shops, and restaurants, and walls covered with ivy and beautiful flowers. The next day we drove to Monaco, the second smallest country in the world only to the Vatican City in Rome. Monaco is only a little over 0.7 square miles but has a population of 32,000, most of them wealthy foreigners. It is known for its casino and the marriage of Princess Grace Kelly to Prince Ranier III.

Riding up the coast and taking in the scenery was absolutely breathtaking but also scary. Once we were in the cities, we had to try to figure out what the signs said in French and frequently got lost. More than once we accidentally turned onto the highway where our little 50cc scooter could barely make it up the hills. People were passing us on all sides, and going around the roundabouts was terrifying. Once we turned onto a toll road by mistake and couldn’t turn around. The toll was 40 cents, and my purse was under my seat. Joe had 20 cents in his pocket and asked the toll lady if that was enough. She looked thoroughly disgusted but let us through. We had a good laugh later and made sure we carried enough change with us after that. However scary, those were two very memorable days for us.

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