After just one short week of teaching, myself and my fellow assistants were unleashed onto France for a two week vacation. Toussaint is a Catholic celebration of ‘All Saints Day’ on November 1st. I know what you’re thinking. Two week vacation? You hadn’t even been there for a month! It’s crazy. There really wasn’t any time to get into a rhythm with my classes. There are three classes I was fortunate enough to observe my first week in France but most classes I had seen only once. I was certain it would be like starting all over again on November 2nd when we returned from the break.
Vacations are a time for exploration and adventure. While I spent the majority of my first week of the break furiously searching for and viewing apartments, I was able to break away for a day with some fellow assistants and visit the nearby Èze Village.
Èze is the quintessential France I had been looking forward to since the day I decided to apply to TAPIF – steep, narrow cobblestone paths winding through a picturesque hilltop village.
Much to our dismay you have to pay to view the gardens and gain access to the best views, but this did not discourage us from enjoying our time there. A word of advice: two or three hours is more than enough time to spend in Èze and leave not feeling as though you’ve missed out on something. Unless of course you wish to pass lunch or dinner at one of the restaurants located in the village. We ended up leaving Nice much later in the afternoon than originally planned which worked out in our favor.
During the second week of the break, a group of assistants and I went to explore Parc du Mont Boron (Mount Boron Park).
Overlooking Villefranche-sur-Mer, Mont Boron is just a short bus ride from the port area in Nice. The views of the Mediterranean from the bus were stunning.
After making our way along trails winding throughout the park, we came to a look-out with beautiful views of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
From here we made our way to Fort du Mont Alban where we met up with several other assistants to enjoy the remaining late afternoon sun.
Switching gears, I’ve found a new apartment and will be moving in next week. They say hindsight is 20/20 and my experience with housing in France has certainly proven that statement to be true. Looking back there are a few things I would do differently in conducting my search for housing, but what is done is done. Hopefully my mistakes can serve as a lesson not only for myself but for others participating in this program in the future. I plan to dedicate an entire blog post to finding and securing housing in Nice where I will give more details on my experience.