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2024 Tour Day 5: Aix-en-Provence and Cassis

Today was day five of our GTCYS 2024 tour. We got up bright and early to get ready for our visit to Cassis, a beautiful port town known for its cliffs and white wine industry.

Unlike the typical European breakfast style with a buffet, my hotel had a sit-down breakfast where we ordered our food. I got a pain au chocolat, scrambled eggs, and a fruit plate. There were also croissants and various meat and drink choices, such as coffee and orange juice.

After breakfast, we departed for our 45 minute bus ride from Aix en Provence to Cassis. The view was incredibly scenic, with rocky mountains full of greenery and small villages and towns. We took a train shuttle to Cassis for our Calanque Cruise. On the cruise, we saw many Calanques, which are steep rocky formations made by limestone.

I personally really enjoyed the thrill of the rocky boat, but others who experienced motion sickness certainly felt otherwise. The foaming of the waves under the boat were beautiful and even splashed some people.

After the cruise, both buses rejoined and explored the town during our three hours of free time. My group visited the markets first. Some stores sold fun polos and dresses, jewelry, or food. We even saw a cat on the street! For lunch, we settled on Chez Gilbert, a seafood restaurant by the port. It was definitely very pricey, so we shared four dishes among the eight of us. We also got a free appetizer of salsa, shrimp, and mussels.

After lunch, we went to the beach. Many people gathered by the beach to tan or swim. I didn’t bring my swimsuit, but some students did and jumped into the water. The sand felt extremely pebbly and hurt to walk on, but the water was cool and the waves were huge.

We returned to our hotels in Aix en Provence and had time to rest before meeting again for dinner. Students chose from a variety of options, including French, Asian, and American cuisines. I also got a small cup of mango and raspberry sorbet for dessert, and it was delicious!

Tomorrow, we have two concerts, so everyone will be resting up tonight. To another great day of tour!

-Isabel, violin

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