Sunday, January 22, 2012

From France To Spain

Soon after celebrating Christmas morning with my family I left for the airport with passport in hand, anticipating the lengthy flight to France ahead. As I glance at the seat number printed on my boarding pass, a woman approaches me and asks if I'm Renee. I'm still not exactly sure what had happened but somehow they gave my original seat away resulting in my being bumped up to first class, which I took as some sort of Christmas Day miracle! I was served a delicious five course meal and complimentary champagne and wine throughout the entire flight, a pleasant surprise from what I had originally expected. I landed at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris early the following morning, where my friend Andrea patiently awaited my arrival. Our friend Claire would be flying in the day after, and in the meantime we spent the afternoon exploring the city together. 

After visiting the major landmarks and monuments, we did a bit of window shopping prior to grabbing a bite at this quaint little french restaurant. We ended up sharing a savory crepe filled with smoked salmon, lettuce, tomato and an egg followed by an equally delicious carmel dessert one. We then washed everything down with a sugared cup of cappuccino. I had a difficult time heading back to our hostel being completely enraptured with my surroundings, though I was pretty exhausted from the long flight and our daytime explorations. 

The above photographs were taken either in Paris or Bourges, France.



I was anxious to get to Andrea's apartment in Bourges after our stay in Paris, especially after she told us how cheap the bottles of wine were at the local markets in town. Our train back was a mere two hours, then the three of us spent a full day exploring around Bourges. We caught another train the following morning and first make our way to Bourdoux, then to Carcassonne in the South of France to meet up with a group of Andrea's french friends.

We were given a warm welcome into Edwards' familys home once we arrived to Carcassone. They had prepared a delicious feast for us and I tried everything (with the exception of the Turkey since I don't eat meat). After dinners end we were offered a large variety of artisanal French cheeses accompanied by black truffle honey. I'd never had such a delicious dessert plate in my life!

Even though we were quite exhausted from our extensive travels, the french guys we met up with--Edward, Sebastian, Romain, Vince, and a few of their friends--wanted to take us to a their local watering hole for a couple cocktails. It was nice to get to know each other since we'd be spending the next few days with these guys. The following morning we woke up, had a light breakfast consisting of chocolate filled croissants and tiny cups of expresso and prepared for the next adventure at hand, our road-trip to Barcelona.



New Years Eve was more than I'd hoped for! The guys had purchased tickets to this huge new years eve party/event at an actual castle. I wish I had more pictures to share from that night, but I'd forgotten my camera back at Andrea's apartment in Bourges. A few mishaps did present themselves, but all in all the night ended on a good note. Though I realized I'd unknowingly dropped my clutch with over 40 euro inside, which really sucked. Luckily I'd forgotten to bring my camera though because I would have lost that as well.

The above Feliz Ano Nuevo graphic was a photograph accidently taken by Andrea after a few too many drinks (lol)! Claire and I (but mostly Claire), composed the image and text in photoshop. I thought it turned out very nicely, and the two images below that were taken the day after the nye festivities, the last one being our Burger King lunch. Something I found pretty weird and cool was that they served beer at the fast food spots in Barcelona!

We ended up staying with Edward's family for an extra day once we made our way back to Carcassonne since the train to Bourges was completely full. The weather was sub-par that day, so we spent the afternoon watching Friends and ordered [French] Dominos Pizza for dinner, one Bacon Groovy and the La 4 Fromages for me. I know, how American of us. But the Dominos pizza over there totally trumps ours, I mean, how could it not! We boarded our train back to Andrea's in Bourges the following morning and spent the remainder of our trip there. 

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