La Plage et la Parfume

Trip Start Aug 16, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of France  , Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur,
Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday March 26, 2011

Today the CSU program took us on a trip to Antibes and Grasse.  Neither of which were particularly remarkable.  Yet another trip to yet more villages along the coast of southern France.  However, they were still very beautiful and picturesque and I'm sure had I visited them closer to when I arrived they would have stood out more.  But as it is, they seemed to blend in to the rest of the villages of the region.

Anyways we started out by taking a bus through the fog and eventually arrived in Antibes, a small city along the ocean with two old castles that were barely distinguishable from the cliffs that they guarded, as time, wind and the sea had slowly set about their task of reclaiming these once proud towers.  We were rushed by George (our guide) to a museum inside one of the castles, which was closing in an hour.  It was filled with many paintings and sculptures of Pablo Picasso and a few of his contemporaries.  There were some very beautiful works there, unfortunately the museum overall was rather small.  But it was good for a quick visit, like a culture aperitif.

Afterwards Arthur, Michelle, Helen, Angelica and I grabbed some snacks from a boulangerie and had a small picnic on the rocks on the beach.  It was a little cold with the breeze but it was worth it to be enjoying some of the first sun we have had here in months.  And all of us got a little burned, but nothing too painful.  Finally we left the beach, reluctantly, and wandered around the city for a little while before we had to meet the bus for our ride to Grasse.

I had wanted to visit Grasse since I had arrived France, (from a recommendation from my Dad) and was thus a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see any of the village.  However we were given a tour of the Fragonard perfumerie which is one of three perfume companies operating out of Grasse, which is the capital of perfume in France and therefore the world.  We learned a bit about the collecting and distilling of various plants to make the amazing and various perfumes; such as vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, orange blossom, cedar and many more.  I bought a bottle of cologne which did smell very good (I got the objective opinions of several of my female friends) but I must admit it was partially so I could say that I had some French Cologne.

Then after we finished our tour we loaded back onto the bus and headed back to Aix.  So Not as much exploring as I would have preferred personally but I did get to see the capital of the French perfume world and spend a very nice afternoon on the beach with friends, so it was by no means a wasted day.  Today it really seemed to settle in that my time here is starting to wind down.  Which I’m not sure if I’m happy or sad about, but regardless it makes me more determined to take advantage of all of my time here.  One way or another a little over two months and I will finally be back home in California.
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