Cruising the Mediterranean, Part One: France

It's been a couple of weeks since my trip to Europe, and now that I'm back and (somewhat) resettled I can take a break from being sad about it being over and start reminiscing.

Here's a general overview of our itinerary: We flew from LAX to Miami, then Miami to Barcelona, where we boarded our ship for a 7-Day Mediterranean cruise through France, Italy, and Spain. After leaving the ship, we spent an extra three days in Barcelona. 

First of all, let's talk about the flight. Ahh, the love/hate relationship that I have with being on a plane. Have you seen the bit by Louis C.K. about The Miracle of Flight? Sure, flying definitely has its cons — there's the chance of losing your luggage (more on that later) and the awkward ways of trying to sleep on long flights — but when it comes down to it, the miracle of flight supersedes any and all of these things. After all you're sitting on a freaking chair in the sky, and if you are lucky enough to get a window seat (I always try to get one) you get to experience beautiful views like this above the clouds. 

Next up, the second giant vessel I boarded — the ship. We took a Royal Carribbean Cruise aboard the Liberty of the Seas, where the view from our balcony was 360 degrees of the Mediterranean Sea. While we weren't out exploring on land, it was nice getting to sit out to enjoy the view and the sounds of the water. 

Our first stop was in Marseilles, France, where we visited the Basilica Notre-Dame of the Garde. This was the highest point in Marseilles and had an amazing view overlooking the city. The church itself was breathtaking on its own. Everything was so intricate and ornate, filled with so much history and art. 

The next day was a long day as we visited Nice, Cannes and the independent state of Monaco. I loved the small old-timey feel of Nice with the quaint narrow alleyways, colorful buildings, and shuttered windows. There was even a farmer's market going on while we were there. They sold an array of colorful fruits, vegetables and lavender. Lots and lots of lavender. Mmmmm.

Cannes and Monaco were fun to visit once but it was a little too bougie with all their fancy schmancy yachts, private helicopters, and designer stores for me to want to come again. Well, let me take that back for a second. We did have some really amazing mussels in Monaco... so for that I might just come back. hehe.

All in all, I'm glad I got to experience the little bit of France I got to see. Next post... Italia!