travel

Textures: South France by a zugunruhe

In comparison to the north, the south moves much slower. There’s a peace in the disposition that must drive Parisians insane.  

Pulling away from the more medieval north, there are overlapping fingerprints of Greece and Rome. Modern times have brought an influx of immigrants from the colonial expansion of the 19th century. The south being popular for proximity to the former French colonies.

Nimes and Avignon have steered toward what a Northern European city would feel like while Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and Salin de Giraud are these tiny seaside villages that have their own unique place in the country.

Avingon

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Nimes

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Saintes-Marie-De-La-Mer

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Sailn de Giraud

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Textures: Nice/Monaco by a zugunruhe

You’re on the French Riviera.

A wonderful breeze is coming off the water.

You sit on the rocky beach at night in Nice, listening to the tide gently take the rocks in and out an inch or so at a time.

In the distance you hear something.

Your ear pulls itself from the relaxing tones of nature to focus on what’s happening down the beach.

It’s familiar but somehow incomprehensible.

As you edge closer you realize...

A bunch of drunk teenagers are blasting Zac Brown Band’s “Chicken Fried” and singing along out of key.

This area attracts people from all over the world. The weather is enviable, the sunlight is rejuvenating, and the water is just blue. Straight up blue. 

Strolling the promenade in Nice then hopping on a $4 train to neighboring Monaco is jetting in and out of tunnels that gives the impression of a zoetrope of yachts, blue water, and mediterranean architecture on your way to one of the most expensive inlets in the world. So expensive that one poor soul had to land their helicopter on their yacht instead of using one of the pricey helipads nearby.

Nice

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Monaco

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Textures: Marseille by a zugunruhe

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“Marseille Is The World”

The city is a landing point for immigrants coming from former French colonies. Being so, it is one of the most diverse parts of the country. Laying just beyond the cusp of the French Riviera, Marseilles mixes the beautiful waters of the Côte de Azur with a city that has struggled with industry decline and high unemployment levels. These identities are reflected throughout the city in the people, architecture, and smell.

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Textures: Arles by a zugunruhe

Arles is a funny little town.

The town that collectively threw out Vincent Van Gogh for being the crazy asshole he was, and now, because the amount of work he produced in his short stay, profits from his time here through post cards, a cringey restaurant, and art foundations.

That said, there is a legitimately heavy focus on the arts. One of the world’s largest photography festivals covers the town, somewhat literally, for a good chunk of the late summer. Pieces are displayed in every available space from abandoned mills on the outskirts to the winding walls of the old city, where mountings from past exhibitions still exist.

The Luma Foundation recently put its mark on the city with a new Gehry building that rises contrast to the Mediterranean architecture. Small galleries dot the area between the Roman ruins and the Rhône. While leftist graffiti garnish alleyways that end up at a Romanesque church which holds the bones of saints.

It’s a funny town.

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Textures: Northern France by a zugunruhe

Castles, cheese, and cuisine.

Grey stone, green moss, and gold ornaments

Old wealth is just a layer that the modern Northern France is built on. A history steeped in rule and braced for cold weather. The money poured into the monuments of each city be it churches, walls, or clock is astounding 

The cities have seen their heydays as far as massive works and expansion as the centralized wealth has been partially democratized and flipped into a tourist industry.

It’s pretty.

Giverny

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Rouen

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Provins

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Lyon

Colmar

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Strausburg

Orleans

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