It is the last week of the SMU-in-South of France program, and I can’t believe that our time is almost up! Our time to: discover and learn, enjoy and be in awe, stress out and be relaxed. I know that everyone of us in the program wish we had more time, because there are still those little places we were not able to go see, or that extra trip to Nice we would all like to take, so many different experiences we are all going to leave behind.
The only sure thing is that when we started 5 weeks ago, it seemed as if we were all going to be somewhat bored and searching for things to do to fill up our time, and as it turned out, there was never a moment of boredom, and there was never enough time for everything we wanted, or needed to do.
As you all know, we went to Monaco, and it was awesome! We took a little train so we could see the city and find out where we wanted to go, since we were going to have free time. We saw the change of the guard at the Grimaldi’s Palace. Some of us went to the famous Casino, a fantastic example of what Mr. Garnier helped build, along with the Opera in Monaco, and in Paris. We also went to the Oceanographic Museum-Aquarium that was created with the help of Albert I and Jacques Cousteau.
When we came back to Cannes you could hear the students planning the weekend, since it was the only “free” weekend that we would have. There were plans to go to Paris, to Rome, to Nice, and as for myself, I went to Toulouse and specifically to Albi.
Before I go to the food corner, I want to show you this little piece of the Mediterranean: it was about 3 minutes from the residence, so several students went there to work on their homework, as well as their tans.
Why Albi, you ask? Well, my dear nephew lives there, who was happy to provide me with an excellent guided tour of some of the beauties that Europe has to offer. Among the many sites, Albi has a breathtaking Cathedral. Pictures taken inside a church are rarely good pictures, but it is my hope that every time I mention a place of interest here, that you will take the time to “Google” it, and see more pictures, and find out more about it, giving you the opportunity to admire just I did.
While in Albi, I ate one of the most traditional of plates from that region, called “cassoulet.” It is a delicious dish with beans, duck and sausage. And in Toulouse, we were really French; we bought bread in the market, and “aligot.” Aligot is the French version of mashed potatoes. It has potatoes, seasonings and an insane amount of artisan cheese just blended together. You literally eat it by the spoonful.
Well my travel to France is over, but off I go to Spain, so keep tuning in every week for more travel experiences.