Europe, France

France is better by bike

22 degrees and sunshine, biking along the coast of the Mediterranean sea aint too shabby for Ami. This is how we spent our last couple of days and let me tell you, after clouds and rain in the UK it has been a little slice of heaven. Yesterday we decided to check out the rental bikes which have posts all over this spectacular city. You grab a bike and when you’re done you drop it off an any post and leave it there until you come back or want to grab a different bike from a different post in another part of town. To rent the bike for 7 days it costs 1ā‚¬. The first half an hour is free and then it costs 1ā‚¬ every hour after that. So its a pretty sweet deal and such a great way to get around. So we grabbed one and headed down to the pier. At first we were a little nervous biking around being that the traffic is a little hectic so we stayed on the sidewalks — which wasn’t any easier as they are packed with pedestrians. So today we ripped it up on the road like a vehicle. Much easier. We noticed that people just kinda do what they want so we decided to follow suit. It worked out well. Cars just go around you when there is space and they are very good about sharing the road. Yes Mom, my rental came with a helmet, don’t worry we are very safe. JK — no helmet but we are still safe, I was just trying to make you feel better. You’re welcome. There are a good amount of bike lanes so we use those, and bus lanes are always free and safe to use as well.

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Today may have been one of my favourite days so far. We have seen a lot in two weeks but to be able to jump into a city the way we have and soak up the culture and really get to know it and not like a tourist is a pretty great feeling. If you plan on travelling, I highly recommend going out of your comfort zone, research places that are less commonly travelled and give it a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised. Like I said before, I was not so sure of this place from the start but I am really starting to love it. We jumped on the bikes and headed back down to the pier to check out the fish market for supper tonight….well what I thought was a fish market and ended up being a candy stand, so I bought some candy and THEN we headed to the fish market (I swear I didn’t plan that)

candy stand

Once we got to the fish market, Mark made a super great point. We have zero tools to filet any fish and these fish are a whole. Also, we do not speak French and English is hard to come by, so we cant even ask if they filet them. Blah. Hung around a bit, checked out the variety of fish, laughed at some weird looking fish and carried on our way.

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We stayed along the water most of the way but did take side road routes to stay away from heavy traffic areas. It was a deadly workout. We found is very odd as we biked around and all the, what must be locals, are wearing leather jackets, heavy winter jackets, scarves, toques and jeans. Here we are sweating away on our bikes, getting in the first cardio in weeks after drinking our way through the UK, I’m sure we still wreaked from the booze seeping from our pores. Ok I’m being dramatic but still. We stopped at a couple beaches on the way just to sit on the rocks or in the grass and inhale that fresh ocean breeze. And have the other tourists ruin it quickly by deciding to feed the seagulls right beside us. Dammit people. I swore if one sh*t on my head someone was gonna get a beating, I just washed my hair!

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I decided to grab a loaf of GF bread the other day cause there was a pretty big selection and Mark made a good point, “If anyone is going to make good tasting GF bread, its gonna be the French” and my god he was right. It runs circles around that cardboard garbage back home that you have to keep frozen. We had packed a lunch and found a little beach to sit and eat for a bit. Watching the kayakers row around and the brave swim in the freezing cold turquoise water. It was a nice little rest. We made it all the way to Parc National Des Calanques — which I’m sure you can translate as a national park. This was a good 6+ miles from where we started so we decided to check it out another day as we still had to bike the 6 miles back home so we were in no shape to go on a hike just yet. (Remember, I mentioned the sweating and lack of cardio earlier…)

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On the way back it was packed at the pier. Flooded with people at the local markets, indulging in all the food and booze at the abundance of pubs and restaurants. Music playing, cars honking (they love to do this constantly) some type of protest going on, no idea what it was for. We decided we were going to just grab a couple pieces of fish from the grocery store…well turns out all the stores close at 1230pm on Sundays — cool, cool. So we came to the quick conclusion that there is no cooking for us tonight as all we have is rice at home. We noticed everyone walking around had pizzas, everywhere…so I guess Sundays are pizza days in Marseilles. That’s cool, we’ll jump on board. Pizza it is and recouping (or ruining) from the cardio workout today. Excited for another beautiful day in French paradise tomorrow and so very pumped on my sunglasses tan from today! Awe Yeah!

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Love to you all ā¤

 

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