Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Phrases that don't fit

Now, I'm not one to "Toot my own horn" or to "Put the cat out with the garbage" so to speak, but this weekend was the "Bee's knees"! In fact, I'd equate this latest Saturday's adventure with a "Bagging a peak" or "Eating a whole bag of Sour Patch Kids only to discover that they DO make you sick in large quantities" experience. You know the ones I'm talking about. Totally awesome. You look back and see no problem with the day simply because there was none. You might be of the minority of people who would disagree and argue that getting sick off candy is truly a poor experience. I pity those people. Because they are missing out on cool life experiences because they're afraid of getting sick. Alors, l'histoire. On y va.

This weekend's trip was a mass of mistakes, late arrivals, no arrivals, strikes, missing busses, cheating busses and amazing times. This is the story of my trip to Marseille and la calanque de Sugiton. The original plan for our day was not to be there, but rather in the charming city of Cassis and their pretty calanques. But, as can be anticipated, our voyage was not as we planned. First off, I was planning on meeting up with a friend from home in Marseille, but was denied the opportunity when he couldn't get tickets for his train at 6 in the morning. I don't blame him for not being able to figure it out. No one can truly function at that ungodly hour as it is, much less in a foreign country where you speak approximately 7 words of the language. Anyways, he missed the train and we did not meet up. That was disappointing, but understandable. The day marched on.

The group of 10 people or so (between which 8 languages were spoken) met up at le gare routiere (bus stop) at 10 am to take the bus to Marseille where we would meet the bus to Cassis. We ended up leaving 45 minutes late and arriving in Marseille after 11 in the morning. But that was not bad. What was bad was the third consecutive days of French people striking in retaliation to government plans to reform retirement and pension laws. I will post another whole entry to talk on that, because it truly is fascinating what is happening here. Anyways, the busses were not running. Our options were take 3 separate busses to Cassis or walk 3 hours. None of which appealed to ANY of us. So we walked. Into downtown Marseille. And caught a bus that our French friend/tour guide for the day told us to take. We blindly followed hoping he wasn't taking us somewhere weird and able to be likened to "The big black van with dark windows you KNOW holds unsavory people/memories". You know what I'm saying. So we ended up at a college and were told to walk down a path. I guess none of got the "van" vibes, cause we all just walked. Then this view unfolded and I realized I was in for an awesome time.

We kept on going and the excitement grew and grew until I was finally there...on the shores of the Mediterranean with my picnic lunch and swim trunks, sitting in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I was mentally and physically prepared for anything. And anything is exactly what we did. We were not the proverbial "Knob on the log" nor "Fly on the wall" nor the "Atticus Finch of the party". No, we were veritable Lewis and Clark's of adventure and fun, jumping off small cliffs and swimming around the island fortress providing the cliffs. It was amazing and now I can say that I swam and jumped off some cliffs in the Mediterranean. I enjoy being able to say that. After swimming and "Laying it on thick" we ran back up the hill, caught the next bus to Marseille. We got back to Aix that night, ate a couscous dinner and went out and enjoyed the local bar's dance music while chatting with our French homies. It was an amazing day/night, filled with fun and French and will be held fondly in my brain until the day I die. Much like the "surprise" child, this was my "surprise" day. And I can't complain one bit.

A little bit of jumping of cliffs into water never hurt no one.

Kinda like whoa.

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