Not so land-locked anymore!
Published Monday September 27th, 2004

The first day here has already elapsed nearly completely and i find that i already have sun burned skin. Tragedy, truly. Nicely located wherever I failed to apply sunscreen.

I got up at 06.30 Saturday early morning, and by 07.15 i was in the car of my aunt and uncle, Rita and Christoph. Anna was also there in the car. We drove to a town outside of Bern where we loaded ourselves and our luggage (in reverse order) into a Bus. It was relatively empty and spacious. I ended up with two seats to myself. By the time we reached Geneva most of my very little morning energy had been used up.

We had a little rest stop on the outskirts of Geneva at a large freeway-rest stop. After departing again at around 10.15 (if not exactly) I slept in an odd, or many odd twisted positions in which i have no difficulties sleeping in, until around 13.08 when i ate some tuna sandwiches i made for myself the evening before from tuna salad my grandma had made. They were yummy.

We still had 'round 5 hours to travel before reaching our destination on this 10 hour trip, but I found that time passed rather quickly when i put myself into a sort of half sleeping and half day dreaming trance. Occasionally joking to my cousins, or with my cousins that i or we, "Saw the ocean!" Even though i was not nearly as excited to see the ocean as some of my land-locked relatives were.

Eventually we reached La Grande Motte (at around 18.30), a what seems to be a town purely of Hotels, condominiums, studios and so forth, as long as it is tourist related. We got our rooms in this sort of residence of small European/French style tourist apartments. We got on our bathing suits and ran of to the ocean (okay, i walked.. whatever) and took in our surroundings. I walked up to the water with my bare feet and tested the water temperature.. It was warm! (Relatively speaking, in comparison to the Pacific by California.) I strolled about a bit as the sun set, and then, with caution to the cold, entered into the water where my cousins: Anna, Ursula, Martin, and a friend of Martin's: Floris were. We played around a bit, and then got back out. I found myself extremely short of breath and very cold as the warm sun departed the evening sky. (Though, it was not yet setting.) A moment where it would have been handy to have more than around 4% body fat; No one else was cold, or not nearly as cold! No offence intended with what this indirectly may imply.

After returning to our apartment (Anna, Ursula, and I share one) and showering or rinsing off the salt water and sand we had dinner. After dinner I read a bit, listened to music, and then went to bed at around 22.00. I woke up Sunday 12 hours later at around 10.30 I got dressed and went over to the second apartment where Rita, Christoph, Martin and Floris slept, though present at the time were only Rita, Christoph, Anna and Ursula. I ate some breakfast and then we went to the beach again, a 5 minute or less of a walk away. We went into the water, the ocean, and it was cooler than the day before, however the air was warmer, so when we got out it was not as bad, and i was not freezing, Though, while in the water, after some excitement i noticed how fatigued i felt, the edges of my vision blurring and darkening.. I knew it was time to get out.

When we went back in again later, after having built a nice and resilient castle with Martin and Floris, I was not nearly as tired, if much at all. The water temperature was much higher, though.. We stayed in for quite some time, and when we got out, after drying off, we returned to our respective apartments and showered. I read a bit, and feel asleep to wake up in time for dinner. After dinner, I read some more, we all played a game, and now here I am writing these words. I have almost eaten an entire bad of Haribo gumi bears and my teeth scream bloody murder, though my metabolism is happy that it has something to do. I ate a lot of food today and am still somewhat hungry.. even after eating all these gumi bears!

The beach is pretty nice. Once can walk out far and still stand. The waves, however, are non-existent to pathetic and small. If I did not know that it was an ocean, it could be a large lake.. with salty water.. which brings me to the water. It tastes fairly different than the ocean water of California beaches.. A fair bit more salty and there is something else as far as the taste which differs, but I'm not sure what that is.

Older women lie/sit around topless tanking their leathery and wrinkled, over-tanned skin with UV rays, which is fine and dandy, but not exactly something attractive to see. But I'm definitely not in America.. and I like this. People can take off their clothing and not cause a national incident.

Well then.. I'm rather tired so I'll go to bed!