I’m usually terrified by planes. Mostly due to the fact that I have a tendency to binge watch ‘Air Crash Investigations’ right before a trip. Weirdly this flight didn’t terrify me at all. In fact, it almost felt as if I was getting in the car and going for a quick spin around the block.
We were lucky enough to have an early morning flight, so we had the rest of the first day to explore the town. We got to the city centre around 10am in search of a coffee shop, as Starbucks was no longer an acceptable option. Since we had 3 hours till our air bnb check in, we decided to walk through the backroads, hoping to stumble across something. We found a tiny bakery, or as it’s known a boulangerie. It wouldn’t be a France without a baguette, no matter how cliche it sounds.
A speaks French, so I asked her to teach me the translation of asking for bread. I tried to ask but stumbled with my pronunciation, the shop owner looked bemused but handed me two pieces. I was surprised that it only cost us 50 cents, I had became so used to the m&s baguettes my mum would so often ask me to pick up. We sat on some nearby stairs of an derelict shop and started to pull apart the bread. I held my suitcase between my legs, to stop it from rolling down the hill and sheepishly continued eating. Every so often I would catch the eye of someone working in the shoe shop opposite us, but I would quickly look away.
Eventually we got back up and started walking again, passing a group of kids. It was hard to navigate our way through small, bumpy streets. I had a tiny suitcase that is difficult to manoeuvre and A had a ridiculously heavy duffle that she was dragging across the ground. We looked like fish out of water.
Navigating our way towards the port, I thought about the feeling of sunlight on my skin. About how it wasn’t too hot, or too cold. It was basically the goldilocks of weather forecasts. A pointed out a cafe called La Brasserie on the corner of the promenade. We took a seat at a table on the terrace, sitting next to bunches of pink flowers.
It was a peaceful moment of sitting in silence, listening to the cars and people go by and trying to decide what to order. We were surrounded by beautiful beige coloured buildings, with intricate balcony fences. I realised that the serenity I felt was something I was lacking in London but I couldn’t pinpoint why that was.
A asked the waiter for a menu so we could finally get our coffee fix, he was very obviously displeased and walked back into the cafe. He didn’t return for a while, but I didn’t mind. I was happy envisaging what a life there would be like. We eventually got our drinks and sipped away whilst trying to figure out how to get to the apartment. We logged into the wifi at burger king and checked google maps, it seemed close enough.
What google maps didn’t mentipn were how many steep hills we had to climb up. Me being as unfit as I am, struggled almost instantly. I was overheating and attempting to carry the three layers I wore on the plane. Eventually we got to the top and to the street that maps had lead us to. After some confusion, we met the host and walked into the building.
I was dismayed when I realised there were more stairs to climb, my jelly legs couldn’t seem to take it. It was an aged building with peach walls and a check board floor, but the apartment was so modern in comparison. As soon as the host left us the keys and walked out, A took the chalk to draw these characters of us. I changed out of my sweaty flight clothes and into my yellow fringed jumper. I thought that the town needed something colourful.