The French Coast

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“Just to travel is rather boring, but to travel with a purpose is educational and exciting.”
-Sargent Shriver

I was sad to leave the beautiful Swiss Alps after only two days, but it was time to go to the beach!  We passed through Italy for over four hours hours on our bus ride to Cannes, France. We stopped at a rest stop in Italy, so I decided to buy some Italian biscotti cookies for a snack.

We drove along the coastline of the Mediterranean for the majority of the trip, but I was on the incorrect side to get good pictures.  Here’s a view from the bus of a gorgeous sunset instead.

When we arrived in Cannes, six of us went out in search of some food and stumbled upon a chic Moroccan restaurant.


I ate chicken kabobs with salad and spicy rice (my favorite part). We explored the expensive beach town of Cannes after dinner.

We found statues of candy all over the city with different country flags

and obviously had to take a picture with the Spanish flag statue.

The following day we traveled to the perfume capital of the world, Grasse in Provence, France.

We took a tour of Galimard to learn how perfume is made, although it ended up being more like an extended advertisement.

Then, we had a chance to make our own!

My friend Kayla and I paired up with the ambition of making a light, flowery perfume named Eurodesire (because the name of our traveling seminar was Eurovision).

Here’s the process step by step:

1. Smell six bottles to figure out what families of scents you prefer.  Choose your two favorite.


2. Choose three scents from those families plus vanilla if you wish (and we did because vanilla smells amazing) to use as the base.  These are called the fond notes.

3. Pour a total of 25 mL of those three or four scents into a graduated cylinder.


4. Pour the mixture into a beaker and back into the graduated cylinder to mix it.

                                                                          P.S. Thank you Kayla for being my model

5. Choose 6 scents for the heart notes and pour in 5 mL of each.


6. Repeat step 4 and smell the mixture with a test strip.

7. Go outside for a few minutes to give your nose a break.


8. Return to the work station, known in the perfume world as the organ, and choose five scents to be the head notes.  Pour in 5 mL of each.


9. Turn in your creation to a trained perfume specialist.

10. And viola!  You made your very own perfume.  Wait two weeks before using to allow the scents to fully mix.

We spent the afternoon on the beach in Cannes soaking up the sun, swimming in the temperate Mediterranean, and walking along the shore…not to mention trying to ignore the topless beachgoers.


That night we watched a fireworks show off the beach that corresponded with music being played from a barge.  One of the songs was from Swan Lake.

The next day, we were in the bus all day and stopped in Toulouse for the night before driving to Barcelona.  We ate duck for dinner, (which I had originally thought I didn’t like, but I apparently do) went on the internet, and fell asleep.  Nearly two weeks of traveling through 4 different countries (5 if you count our afternoon in Italy) is more exhausting than I ever imagined.  I had my fill of France and I was very ready for the final destination, Spain!!!

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2 responses »

  1. Amy! Your pics are soo cool! It prob took 20 min to get to the bottom of the page lol but it looks like you are on quite and adventure already and it’s barely September! Good luck with everything, hope Spanish 5 ap pays off!

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