A 37-day adventure by Jess
  • Day34

    "That's a long way down!"

    October 14, 2015 in France ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    More KM's on the dash, the last 2 days theme has been "highest".

    We climbed/hiked up the Pic St-Loup this morning and the view from the top was amazing! It was a very rocky track, the type of sharp rocks you wouldn't want to trip on! The peak had a little church on it and a horrendously unforgiving cliff on the other side. (We were very sensible, don't worry!) It's the highest mountain in the Montpellier region but only 658m tall.

    Then we drove to the Millau bridge which is the highest bridge in the world (the peaks of the bridge, not the road). It was OK, nice bridge and all that. Nick liked it more than me so we had to go down to the base and go to its museum. Most of it was in French, it also turned out that Nick had already seen the documentary playing on mega structures. Nick still says it was worthwhile though and I suppose you don't know these things until you get there anyway! Nonetheless a good day!
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  • Day33

    "Look Nick, Graffiti from 1905!"

    October 13, 2015 in France ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    We've got a bit of distance to travel to get the car back to Paris on Thursday so we clocked up a fair few km's today too.

    We left Nice at 12pm, which was our checkout time. Along with the fact that we had some admin to do for the next few days the bloody cleaner kept knocking on the door despite us already telling them we were checking out at 12 so we felt it necessary to use as much WiFi and stay right up until the last minute (haha!). I also took the soap.

    Along the way we stopped at the highest aqueduct that the Romans built around 40-50 AD. It was pretty impressive and the museum was interesting, historical mass construction is fascinating and we were right into it- then all the lights went off and all the displays stopped... Apparently it closes at 6pm!
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  • Day32

    "That's my boat there"

    October 12, 2015 in Monaco ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Today was a travel day, we visited Monaco on the way and stopped at an aquarium for the afternoon. Coming over the hill to Monaco was probably the best part, the city looked amazing along the coast with all of its super yaughts and gorgeous buildings. It was a nice walk along the coast to the aquarium which also happened to be some of the formula 1 Monaco track which Nick knew quite well, too much GT4 perhaps?

    We made our way to Nice and arrived during rush hour in the pouring rain. Finding the parking for the hotel was a MISSION so we parked in a nearby arena, walked to the hotel and then went back for the car. The whole thing was just meh, so we decided to move on the next morning (although we didn't really see much at all we felt the next stop would be a nicer place!)
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  • Day30

    "It's kind if small"

    October 10, 2015 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Today we visited Pisa and saw possibly the most over rated building in the world! Ticked that one of the list well and truly haha! We took the obligatory photo, had some of the best Subway we've had ('Italian herbs and cheese' bread is 'oregano and Parmesan' in Italy!).

    We arrived in Levante in time to set up the tent and then have a wonder before dinner. We found a great pizza place, complete with wood fire. It was the closest thing we found to the pizzas we made in the cooking class.
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  • Day29

    "Can you drive?"

    October 9, 2015 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 15 °C

    This morning we went to the gallilayo Science Museum, it had a huge collection of historical science related tools for example, protractors, chemistry kits, scales, some of the first round globes made, physics related experiment models. Lots and lots of the same tool with slight variations but still, really interesting seeing how complex things were to make / hypotheses were to prove.

    The afternoon was spent on a Vespa tour of the Tuscany countryside with the same tour company and yet again- we got another private tour! Italy is reaching the end of its tourism season and most operators will close for 4 months at the end of October. We just happened to pick 2 good days for tours. We went to a vineyard, lots of scenic stops, and we ended the tour with a traditional Italian dinner. We've decided that we need to find better balsamic vinegars this summer!

    We headed back in to the city to find an Irish pub to watch NZ vs Tonga. We ended up at The Lions Fountain with about 10 other kiwis and a very rugby avid Walsh man who we chatted to for most of the game. There was only 1 toilet for the whole pub!!! This was a problem because due to the line and the state of it we decided to find other facilities after the game but we also needed to get to the bus station ASAP as there was only 1 bus we could catch after the game. We found the bus stop but not a bathroom and long story short, missed the bus! We did find a toilet though- a man in his tiny train station office saw us wondering around the empty train station and offered his toilet. He was watching oceans 11 in Italian and don't speak any English at all. A real night shifter! Finding a taxi was a bit of a mission, Google told us that taxis don't really lerk at the stands- Google was right. Anyway, the fairytale ending is that when we did find a taxi it only cost nzd $40 and we were back to the castle before the bus was.
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  • Day28

    "You get your diploma, just!"

    October 8, 2015 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    We left San Gimignano with a glove box full of baking from the B&B host and headed toward Florence. We went straight to the castle that we were staying at so that we could leave the car there and take the bus in to the city. The castle was pretty cool, just a little one but very proper. We were welcomed by the guardian of the caste, Dante, the Spanish pointer.

    We went in to the city for a wonder before our cooking class at 2.30pm where we learnt to make pizza and gelato. It just so happened that no one else booked the same one so it was a private class. The chef had spent a year flatting with a kiwi in London and enquired if we were JAFAs! He was really nice and a great teacher, although you just can't teach some people *cough-nick-cough*. I think my years of making pancakes with Dad paid off in this class (I made a kick-ass well for the water! Good wells are important in pancakes and pizza bases.). Nick needed a little bit of help but David helped us both a bit, I think he was quite particular about making sure that people have a pizza to eat at the end of the class! The gelato making was really basic, Nick spent about 10 minutes whisking milk, cream and cocoa and then the mixture gets put into a special machine to cool. Bit of a have really, the machine is really expensive ($1,000s) and it would be extremely labour and time intensive to do by hand. Do I don't think anyone will be enjoying homemade gelato anytime soon! It did taste delicious though, as did our pizzas and we both got our 'diplomas' at the end of the class.
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