Hi Everybody,

I have been having a great time in France. So far my trip has been full of crazy surprises. Even though there have been a lot of surprises, the trip has been fun. The first surprise of my trip was when my family and I landed in Marseille, our luggage did not land with us. Apparently, it had been left behind in Frankfurt. Luckily, we did not lose our luggage; we were only without it until around noon the next day. After our luggage arrived we all changed our clothes and went in to the town, Salon De Provence. On the next day we went to Aix-en-Provence. On our way there we saw a castle, we decided to go and take a look. We walked up the path to the entrance and saw a garden with hedges designed especially to be in different patterns. Here are some pictures:

The garden.

The castle.

We were surprised when we found out the castle was not open. We got back in our car and head to Aix. When we got to Aix we  found ourselves stuck in traffic and looking for parking. Eventually we found a parking spot and walked to the market. I did not buy anything and I don’t think anybody else in my family did either. After the market, we headed back home and that was it for that day. The next day we headed for Cassis, a small town on the coast. We visited the market there and had lunch. After lunch we walked down to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was an old fashioned, small lighthouse; here are some pictures that I took:

My sister dancing.

The lighthouse.

Cassis.

After we went to Cassis we headed to La Ciotit to look for catamaran lessons and go to the beach. We found a great beach spot and set up camp. I started noticing people going out on paddleboats with slides; I was able to convince my family to go out on one. We had a great time. I was the first one of us to go down the slide. When I got in the water, it was much saltier than I expected. We enjoyed ourselves for an hour and then returned the boat. By then the day was ending so we headed back home. The next day we headed to Arles, a town west of Salon. We walked through the streets and entered the square. We went into a church and I took some pictures using different effects. Here are some of my favorites:

When we left the church we headed to an underground area that used to be a roman building and courtyard. There were different neon sculptures. It was really dark and I was able to get a few good pictures there as well. Here they are:

Here is a picture of neon skulls.

Spider webs hanging from a metal grate.

A accidently blur that ended up cool.

After the underground ruins we headed to a Roman theatre, luckily above ground. Then, we headed a to a museum with a bunch of models of different roman structures. The models were really cool. here are some pictures:

The now underground Roman courtyard we explored earlier.

The museum was interesting but not very big. We left the museum and headed to Nimes, where there is a Coliseum. Sadly, the coliseum was closed, so we left Nimes and headed to the Pont Du Gard, a very old roman aqueduct across a river. The Pont Du Gard was amazing; it was amazing that it has been standing for such a long time. Here are some pictures:

Above is the view looking right, below is the view looking left.

After the Pont Du Gard we headed home to play in the pool. The next day we started out by heading to another castle. When we got there we had to park our car and walk. We walked for a long time and finally we found out that the castle was closed. We headed back down and left to go to another town with a castle and to get lunch. We did not go into it the other castle, but I got a good picture:

After lunch we went to an Abbey. Here are some pictures:

Down in the valley.

After visiting the Abbey we headed home. The next day was my birthday! I started my birthday by sleeping in, when I woke up my family sang happy birthday to me. We left Salon around 9:00 so we could get to La Ciotit. Remember when I told you that the first time we went there we were looking for catamaran rentals? We planned on renting a small catamaran to sail on my birthday. When we arrived at Societie Nautique La Ciotit they told us that we could not go out until 2:00 PM. We went back to Cassis to take a Calanques boat tour. It was forty-five minutes long. Here are some pictures:

After the tour we headed back to the catamaran rental place. Only my dad and I could go out, and before we could rent we had to take a lesson. I was happy to take a lesson because I am interested in catamarans. The lesson and the renting time were really fun. At one point my dad, who was the skipper, started heading downwind. I was trapezeing, hanging out of the boat while being supported by a line that is coming down from the mast, when suddenly my dad fell off the boat! The boat kept going and I unclipped myself just as the sail was crossing sides. I stopped the boat and waited for the teacher, who was in a motorboat, to arrive with my dad. I don’t have any pictures of me sailing because all of the cameras were in the car. In Societie Nautique’s boatyard there was a boat that to me, looks like it was designed after Oracle Racing’s AC 45s. Here is a picture:

I noticed is that the visual hull design is very similar to Oracles hull design. After sailing I was really tired so we went home, back to Salon de Provence. That was the end of my birthday. It was a really great and fun birthday, like every day so far my trip. I think that if I were to write any more, this post would be too long! I will get back to you next week after Normandy and Paris.

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