Well, long time no talkie! We've done a heck of a lot since we last wrote, so we'll skim the boring stuff and get to the juicyness. The day after our last update, we headed out to Bayeux and on to the D-Day beaches, where the Allied forces landed on 6/6/1944 to begin the battle that would end WWII. Adam was really into this stuff (he is a boy, after all) and Sam quietly enjoyed it as well. We got to trundle through a few german bunkers that were used as machine gun posts when they landed - think the opening scene from 'Saving Private Ryan' - that's the beach we were at. It was a pretty moving experience, and we walked through the American Cemetary with all the white crosses and stars of David. A lot of lost lives.
We jumped on a train the next day and headed to St Malo, a town on the North-West coast. It was our favourite place so far, really beautiful. After a long walk to the hostel we stayed at, we walked through FALLING SNOW to a pizzeria for dinner. SNOW, people. In spring? Craziness. That's our new word, by the way. St Malo on the whole was great, an old walled city on the coast with huge tides, they go out close to a kilometre at low tide and we got to clamber around on a couple of islands and forts. Great fun.
Well, here's the boring part. We went to a town called Tours, and it rained. And rained. And rained. For about the next week, it rained. At this point, we'd had about 2 days of sunshine of about 10 days in France. We were grumpy. So we did nothing, Tours is basically just a gateway city to cooler stuff in the area, and it's all outdoors. A whole city wasted. Good chinese food, though.
Travelled down to a tiny, tiny, tiny town called Le Teich, where we stayed for 2 nights. It's not far from Bordeaux, and was going to be our gateway town to Archarchon, where Europes highest sand dune is. We got there, the day was beautiful (FINALLY) and we were going to hire bikes to cycle to the dune (8km away) and the cheapest hire we could find was equivelant to $130. FOR BIKES. FOR 3 HOURS!!!!! So we politely declined, moped around the town for a while and had some ice-cream to cheer us up. Then we went back to our nice apartment at Le Teich (got a really good deal), cooked our own dinner (better than the restaurant stuff we've been eating!!) drank too much phenomanally cheap scotch and fell asleep, resolving to have more fun in our next town. Ahhh, travel.
Next on the itinerary was Pau, a town in the Pyrenees Mountains, on the border with Spain. After wasting a day in Bordeaux because of stupid French trains, we finally got there. Gorgeous, gorgeous town. Everywhere you looked, you could see snow-capped mountains in the distance. It was great. We walked for 1.5 hours before we found our hotel and crashed for the night. The next day we day-tripped to Lourdes, drank a bunch of Holy Water (Adam survived) and took a cable-car to the best view so far on a mountain peak 1km up. It was great. Next day, of course, it rained. So there went those plans. It was also our anniversay - thanks to those who remembered!!! (cough seeber family cough). So we ended up celebrating it with Tex Mex for dinner, a bottle of real French champagne in our hotel room, and great views when the rain cleared - at sunset, of course. We're sick of French weather.
On to Marseiile! Great bustling city, reminds us a lot of Naples in Italy. People everywhere! The weather was finally nice, for 2 WHOLE DAYS IN A ROW!! After we arrived, we went up to a basilica (Europeans have something for building stuff really high up) and got great views over the bay. The next day we took a ferry out to a couple of islands, kicked around on a 15th century fort used by the Germans in WWII, and generally had a great time exploring. The islands (the fort especially) weren't manned by guides, so Adam had great fun going under barriers and climbing through tunnels that probably hadn't seen life for 200 years. Idiot. Sam took appropriately pretty photos.
The next day we caught a train to Nice, and here we are! Today! We arrived about noon, checked in to our AWESOME HOSTEL (PS Matt, they have 1euro beers for a 1/2lt of Pilsner - drool) and went down to the beach. You can tell they built it to look like Miami in the USA, palm trees along a wide concrete path border crystal clear blue water over an oddly pretty pebble beach. It's an incredibly beautiful town on a really pretty bay, with a great old-town of winding streets lined by market stalls and shops selling everything from spices to hats to flowers and ice cream.
So that's about us up to date kids, the next couple of days should find us doing some Canyoning (AWESOME!!! - Adam) and heading out to Monaco and Monte Carlo on day trips, before we train it up to France's adrenaline capital, Chamonix (there's a chairlift that takes you 3km straight up - way excited.) The photos are being lame at the moment, so we'll add them either in the next few hours, or tomorrow. Depends on how much cheap beer we have.
Thanks again to everyone who left messages and such, it's really nice to hear from everyone. Strangely enough, actually missing most of you, too!
Peace out kids (love you everyone!)!