NICE – 11:00 am, April 11th We spent our last day in Barcelona yesterday. We had to carefully schedule our day as war protests completely shut down all transportation in the city between noon and 2pm. We got to see tons of people marching, carrying signs, blowing whistles, banging pots and pans… No need to worry parents, everything we saw was peaceful. We have begun to see more and more American tourists as our journey continues, Italy should be just as full as Barcelona. We went to the Picasso museum yesterday during the main protest time, even the museum ticket office stopped selling tickets for 15 minutes at noon in protest. We had some falafals for lunch and then it was back to Las Ramblas once the metro was back running. Mel went crazy window shopping in all the shops, but to Jeff’s suprise she has not purchased an article of clothing, just souvenirs.

We took the night train from Barcelona here to Nice last night. This time we decided against the couchettes and roughed it in the regular seating compartments. It was not too bad, normally the compartments seat 8, but there were only 3 of us, the third being a hip french dude (non smelly). It was a little discomforting to be woken at 3am by the police searching every compartment for a thief and wanting to know if any of our belongings had been taken during our sleep. We where OK, we had locked our backpacks together and to the train with a cable (nice work Mel).

We watched the sunrise over the Mediterranean this morning while on the train. Beautiful and strange, since we are used to the sun SETTING over the ocean. The weather is not as warm as we had hoped, but the forecasted rain has not yet arrived. We are feeling a little grubby without a shower and in the same clothes as yesterday, but know it will get worse as we leave Nice tonight (overnight) for Rome. We found a park and ate breakfast and will go searching for a comfy bar to do some relaxing later. We found the most expensive hotel in the city and treated ourselves to a refresher in their WC (water closet — bathroom). We can say that wetnaps have become our best friends in the last couple of days.

We are hoping to get some pictures uploaded soon, but no promises! Jeff has gone a tad crazy with the digital camera and has taken over 500 pictures so far! Mel has made herself the designated video camera operator and has captured quick video of all the big sights.

Next update from Rome!!!


PARIS – 10:00 pm, April 3rd BBBRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!! Did we mention it was cold? We hit our first bump in the trip today. France’s train workers are on strike today. This means two things: 1. we cannot leave tonight on the overnight train to San Sebastian, not a big deal, we got a 730am train tomorrow. 2. The metro is not working, this is a big deal, we had to walk everywhere today, estimated 10 miles from our hostle to the Orsay Museum to the Eiffel Tour!!! Isnt this supposed to be a vacation? Most Parisians are pleasant, and speak english to us right away, however, some are sterotypically rude, especially when trying to get a cab! We have done all the major sights here in paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tour, Arc de Triomph, Champs E’lyesee, Notre Dame, Sacre Cour, Orsay Museum, and of course, french pastries, baguettes, un cafe, and cheese. We also survived our first Parisian hail storm last night, and cab ride this afternoon. We are excited to get to San Sebastian and slow down our frantic tourist pace! More later. Oh, and as our cab driver says: “Paris, shit.”


PARIS – 2:45 pm, April 2nd Paris is cold. We arrived here yesterday at 2pm, our Eurostar train was delayed 40 mins, no big deal. After checking in to our hostle it was too late to visit any museums, so we took the metro to the eiffel tour, it was Mel’s dream come true. We decided to go to the top on a different night. We then went and saw notre dame and then took a night boat cruise down the Seine River. Paris is most beautiful at night, with all the lights on at all the monuments. We had an interesting experience at dinner. We went to a small, hidden, non english speaking restaurant. Since neither of us speak french, it took us a while to order our food. We were very much out of our comfort zone, but that is what this trip is all about. We laughed along with our waiter and the food was great!

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Au revoir, it is off to the Louvre.