I'm Olivia. I'm a perpetually hungry redheaded girl from New York. I eat, sleep and breathe Korean pop music. I speak French and am studying Korean language and business in school. This fall, I'm setting forth on an exciting and terrifying (seriously I'm so nervous I might pee) solo journey across Europe. Hopefully this experience is full of bright, fun, and exciting as well as ridiculously stupid experiences that I can share with you!
A LOT has happened since I last wrote. I'm in Switzerland now!
So the last entry ended with my trip to Antibes. The next day I went to Emily's and we went to the beach with her friend from Belgium. The beaches in Nice are like 100% rocky. It's actually not uncomfortable though, it's just tough on your feet.
Look at dem rocks. I almost wanted to take one as a souvenir, but to be honest I've really been avoiding collecting and buying unecessary things. My suitcase is packed enough as it is. I like to keep tickets and business cards of places I've been. Maybe I will scrapbook after all.
I took this at the beach...I always love a fierce selca.
Originally I thought we were meeting to go to the museum instead of the beach, so I didn't bring anything for it. Thankfully Emily let me borrow a swimsuit!!
After that she cooked us some pasta and we went to the Musée des Beaux-Arts (remember the place with all the puppies out front?) We actually got there kind of late so we only really had an hour to look around. There was one artist there that absolutely fascinated us. His name was Gustav-Adolf Mossa. I wish the museum had been entirely dedicated to him because I really could have looked at these for hours.
After that we went out to a really great sushi restaurant. We both ordered a lot and ate it really quickly. Guess we were pretty hungry.
I had Chirashizushi and a salmon hand roll. Yum!
After that we were craving something sweet, so we found a place for crepes. These crepes were good but were seriously exploding with Nutella.
Look at it oozing out of there..
After that we said goodbye and made plans to take a day trip to Cannes. I woke up the next day, got showered and ready and went to the train station to wait. It turns out that Emily was feeling sick and the message she meant to send to me didn't send. I decided to go to Cannes alone anyway. On the train, I heard two boys talking about Japan and Japanese. I turned around to the Japanese boy and said 日本人ですか？ (Are you Japanese?) He like freaked out because on his entire trip he hadn't met anyone who could communicate in Japanese. So we started talking all three of us and we decided to spend the day in Cannes together. The other boy was from Lithuania and they were both couchsurfing at the same apartment in Nice. We got to Cannes and walked to the Tourism center so we could pick up maps. Outside the tourism center there's handprints of celebrities all along the walk way. I took a couple of pictures, but this one just made me die laughing.
LOOK AT THAT OVEN MIT OF A HAND.
Anyway we walked to the Old town and bought some fruit and meat from a covered market. There was a boulangerie nearby so I got a pissaladière and a beignet au Nutella. Too much food. Too much. A Pissaladière is a food unique to the Cote d'Azur region. It's like a pizza type thing topped with onions, garlic, olives, anchovies, or pissalat. It was so yummy!
I JUST CAN'T WITH THIS DONUT. CAN I EAT 12 MORE PLEASE.
After that we walked up to the top of the hill where there was a museum. We tried to go in but they had closed for lunch time. When France closes for lunch time...it's closed for like 2 hours...But the view was really beautiful!
We went down to the beach for a couple of hours. For those of you who know me, I really don't like to swim. But I'll have you know, I jumped into that water and everything. It was so cold, but after a day of walking in the sun, it was so refreshing! I told my new friends about a beach on the other side of Nice towards Monaco that I really wanted to go to, but didn't think I would have time. It's called Cap D'Ail, and it's maybe 20 minutes away from Nice by train. We decided to go there that afternoon. We got there at maybe 3 pm. There's a rocky path right along the cliffs you can walk to the beach on. For some reason my camera wasn't working so well so I'm kind of sad the way these came out because it really was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever been and the photos don't do it justice.
We sat together on the beach drinking beers. It was refreshing after such a long day!
There's a dock in the middle of the cove that we swam out to and jumped off of. There were caves you could swim to too but they were really far away.
That night I met them again with their host and we went out to dinner. The dinner lasted so long. We drank two bottles of wine and shared a charcuterie plate of sausages, pâtés, pickles, and cheese. I actually tried foie gras for the first time. I liked it but I'm not sure I would eat it again. I also ordered duck confit and I really wish I had taken pictures of all this food. I was so full by the end of the dinner. We finished eating at like 12:30 so their host let me stay at her apartment with them, which was really nice of her. Also the guy from Japan had brought candies from Japan with him. I had my first green tea kit kats!
I got back to the hostel the next morning pretty hungover and not having slept well at her apartment. I took a two hour nap and did some laundry and homework. My last day there was pretty low-key. I went into town again for some dinner and one last Fenocchio's ice cream.
It's Mandarin Orange flavor. yumyumyum.
I went back to the hostel and then went out for a drink with one of the girls I was rooming with. She was so sweet and so much fun, I really hope we meet again! :)
So the next day I got on my Geneva bound train promptly at 10:57 am. Everything was fine and good for the first three hours and then all of a sudden the train lurched to a stop in the middle of nowhere. It stayed that way long enough for me to fall asleep laying in the empty seat next to me, so it must have been there for at least an hour. I guess there was some kind of accident on the tracks. The train started moving again eventually. We came to a stop at a station and were told we'd have to get off the train, board a bus to another train station, and take a train to Geneva from there. We all ran for the bus, got comfortable on the bus, only to be told that our previous train was able to continue to Geneva. We got off the bus, got back on the train, and continued on. At another train station we were told that the train would be ending there and we'd have to get on another train to Geneva. Ultimately I was 3 and a half hours later than I was supposed to be. The train was supposed to be a direct trip, taking only 7 hours. It ended up taking about 10 and a half. My phone also decided to stop working as soon as we got into Swiss borders, and I had no way to contact my hosts to tell them I'd be late. I was actually worried that they wouldn't be there when I got there because the train was so late. So I got off the train, looked around, recognized no one, and started panickingly pacing through the station. It didn't help that the station was a labyrinth. Eventually I was in full on panic mode and on the verge of tears. I asked a woman to borrow her phone, and at that point I was like full on sobbing. She told me it was okay and that this happens to people all the time and not to worry. Eventually I found my host who had been waiting at the gate for me. (I didn't know what she looked like so..) and we got to their apartment safely. They cooked dinner for me, and I was really grateful because I hadn't eaten much. As an apology, SNCF gave out these shitty free meals..I'm thinking of asking for a refund to be honest.
That little thing that looks like a container of jelly...it's tomato...what the actual...
Anyway so I went to bed kind of late last night because I needed to finish art history homework. I woke up at 9:30 and went to the post office and exchanged my money for Swiss francs. They're really interesting looking.
The exchange rate right now is 1 euro= 1.20 Francs, so 90 Euro got me a little over 100 Francs. She didn't give me small bills though...nope..as you can see. So I found a little boulangerie nearby and had this really tasty custard filled pastry and a coffee for breakfast.
Yummy, but not filling. Of course I was hungry in an hour. I walked down to the Jet D'Eau, which was so not close by. It was at least a couple miles away. But I took so many pictures of/by it because it is really awe-inducing.
Yes I took two photos.
Then I walked to the Red Cross Museum only to find that it is closed on Mondays. I maybe walked like 5 miles today. My calves are pretty sore right now actually. So I took the bus to the other side of the city to the border between Switzerland and France and took a cable car up Mont Salève. It cost 9 Francs for a round trip ticket. The views were amazing, and there's a restaurant and hiking trails up there as well.
So this big-ass chair was in the square in front of the United Nations...
I'm planning to go there tomorrow morning before my train.
I made some animal friends!
So after that I took the bus to the train station and bought my ticket to Leukerbad for tomorrow.
I went back to the apartment to recharge my phone (this new ios 7 is eating my battery) and went back out to find the Geneva Old Town. That was also within walking distance. Okay I say walking distance but The Jet D'Eau and Red Cross Museum were really far, but since I'm young and agile I was only mildly sweaty when I arrived at each place. I would suggest taking the bus. Bus tickets here are super expensive though at 3 francs for an hour. They have whole day passes as well but I'm not quite sure how much those are. I walked up to the Cathedral and around and took some pictures. This area is really beautiful and is typically what the picture of Switzerland I had in my head looked like prior to getting here.
Also don't plan on eating out a ton in Geneva because it is freaking expensive. Each entree was maybe 25-30 francs so that's about 20-25 Euro. Since Francs and Dollars are pretty much one to one, you're paying about 30 dollars for one meal. I did stop at a chocolate shop because come on you guys I'm in Switzerland and I got this little piece of dark chocolate deliciousness.
Nghhhhh I just can't.
And also you will laugh at me but yes I stopped at a sushi restaurant for dinner. Whoever this anime character is, the woman owning the place must love her...there were pictures of her all up in there...only pictures of her...
So now I'm back here. My train leaves at 2 pm tomorrow so I'm going to try to go to the Red Cross Museum right when it opens at 10. I'm taking the bus too. After this I will stay in Leukerbad 2 nights. After that I will spend a night in Bern and then go to Zurich.