Avignon, despite our meager expectation, you sure as hell performed.
GUYS! We got out of Marseilles in one piece!
(Seriously when I read that sh*t back all I can think about is how little it actually depicts the experience we had in such a glamorous and refined city), but it will have to do seeing as I definitely didn’t convince a single one of you to go there.
Avignon was the life raft of all rescue measures for us, seeing as it was every single thing that Marseilles was absolutely not:
clean / cute / cheap / cozy
I really don’t think you get how much poop was on the ground in Marseilles…
So we pulled the trigger on a hostel when we were spending our day in Avignon, happy to lose out on the cash we spent to sleep once more in Marseilles.
At the beginning of day two, we were packed up and more than ready to get out and never ever look back (unless really to make sure that no one with a switchblade or serious B.O. was following us).
The hilarious part about this portion of the trip, was that no matter how much we tried, France won in the battle of Paige and Kailyn vs public transport. Every. Single. Time.
It was unreal how little explanation any of the maps ever provided, not to mention the fact that busses would drive past us, not come at all close to the time listed, or simply not stop where they were supposed to stop. This is how we ended up walking almost two miles from the train station — but I swear, Beyoncé is watching over us because it was one of the best parts of our first day.
Charm was practically oozing from every inch of this place already (and we hadn’t even arrived inside the city walls yet).
Once there, we let ourselves roam with zero plan, zero experience in quaint French towns and zero in our stomachs.
We stumbled upon something insanely magnificent called the Palais des Papes. This insanely large and beautiful medieval gothic palace was once home to the Christian popes of the 14th century. It is the most magnificent and well-maintained property we had seen so far, so safe to say we spent a lot of hours roaming around and experiencing room after room of preserved mosaic, written word and well kept fresco art.
Considering the fact that this was the only real historical or magnificent thing that we did, I will tell you a few other hilarious stories that include us being derps (as per usual) and sh*t getting weird (as per more than usual).
Because let’s face it, something doofus this way comes. Everytime.
Avignon can be summed up in two short stories
Ice is not a thing here. Okay, that sounds weird. But I’m serious. The French like their beverages luke warm, even heated a smidge, and trust me, they think anyone that doesn’t share this strange quality is a complete f**k…I say this with experience. So remember how I told you that we used McDonald’s for wifi in Marseilles? Yeah we did that in basically every city, because it was always free and we have an unmanageable addiction to soda on this trip, so both could be fulfilled.
Imagine my surprise when I approached the counter to ask for a small cup of FROZEN TAP WATER and the guy working the register said they didn’t have it….I could see it in the ice machine behind him. And of course that sh*t was full. Because NO ONE uses ice!! When I explained that I had eyeballs (most Americans do) I asked again and he told me to wait and approached his manager. The dude needed to ask permission to give away FROZEN TAP WATER. I can’t reiterate that enough.
After speaking in whispered French he returned with the smallest cup I’ve ever seen, containing four ice cubes, and assured me that this was “exceptional” just so I knew that he doesn’t do this often and not to expect it in the future.
I mean this country is just making it easy to have 768 wtf moments each day I swear.
Okay so boyfriend and mother can attest to the fact that I started planning and packing for this trip months ago, and when I say months I really do mean months. I’m insane….whatever. So the fact that so many different things went to sh*t that I had planned for well in advance to was becoming laughable and absurd. This includes the expensive lock I bought to keep my suitcase secure.
Well of course it jammed and wouldn’t open. While still on my suitcase. At 2am. In a hostel..HAHA can’t make this stuff up folks.
So imagine my surprise when all I wanted was to change my pants and go for a brisk walk and I can’t so much as unzip my friggen suitcase. Suffice it to say, I laughed my ass off at what ensued.
After sitting for an hour and attempting to open it ourselves, using YouTube as a guide to hack locks (my browser history is now sketchy to say the least), we didn’t get anywhere. When we were about to give up, we happened to run into a hostel employee in the hallway and asked him if he had bolt cutters. He told us he would look, so we waited in the hallway for around twenty minutes. (In case you didn’t know, this is never a good idea when you are a girl and there are drunk Frenchmen around). Not only did three French dudes come piling out of their room, cigarettes lit & and eyes wandering south of the collarbone, but they decided that their large French muscles could most definitely fix my broken lock. Their brilliant plan was to ask me the combination and tell me I should try that.
You are kidding me. I should try the combo??! That just seems silly. I’m glad I have a big strong, gel-slicked, sweaty, tight-pantsed French slimeball to assist poor and helpless girly me with my obviously fixable issue.
I just about tore through this guy with my death glare. I decided to let them do as they wished while we waited for the bolt cutters and it became a whole hall event. At one point there were like 5 dudes all speakly in very loud French about how to open the suitcase. Meanwhile, my favorite slime was taking this time to ask us where we were from, how old we were, if we had Snapchat and if we wanted to buy weed. I wish you could see the looks on our faces (and then his, subsequently, when we told him we were only twenty and didn’t know what Snapchat was). Couldn’t have been a better way to kill time.
When the dude with the “bolt cutters” or rather large scissors arrived, I took it upon myself to close the deal and each male in this hallway asked me to take over “sweetie”. Oh man. If you could only feel the wrath. And oddly enough I was able to cut it open, even with my girly parts and every thing. Not only did they continue to ask us if we wanted weed, but one man demanded a kiss for his efforts and another told us he knows where to party….thank god for fake phone calls from moms in a pinch. Or in my case, a real phone call because my mom is just way cooler than yours.
I wish I could sit here all day and give you even more details about our strange PhD student hostel roommate who ate McDonald’s for every meal and walked around with one back pack on his back and another on his front, but I’m sure at this point I have word-vomited quite enough for this city.
All I can say is thank god for: cute towns in Provence, our ability to laugh at every complete mess and well, bread, because let’s face it, that’s been quite a few meals here in France.
We both decided that coming back was a must, and the decision to rework plans was the best one we made thus far.
STAY TUNED for a bit of Aix-en-Provence & of course my post about the best t-shirts I’ve ever seen in my life.
Keep it weird and keep it interesting my friends.