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Irish Abroad In France: Monaco & Nice

June 16, 2016

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Editor’s Note: From June 3-13, 2016, the University of Notre Dame women’s soccer team traveled to France and Monaco for its foreign tour. Four Irish student-athletes have submitted blogs detailing the trip from Monaco to Nice to Avignon to Paris. The first entry comes from rising junior midfielder Taylor Klawunder.

By Taylor Klawunder ’18

Here begins the story of our unforgettable adventures in Monaco and Nice, which kicked off our foreign tour in the south of France. As we approached the beautiful principality, tucked away within the cliffs edging the sea, the lights of the buildings glistened and danced as the sun slowly disappeared. We arrived in Monaco on the second night after a short stay in Marseille, and gathered to enjoy a lovely dinner in a charming restaurant.

When we woke up the next morning, we were excited what the day had in store for us. But, before all of the fun, we needed to grind. Thanks to E (strength and conditioning coach Elisa Angeles), the workout was very enjoyable, for we ran along a path meandering the cliffs kissing the sparkling Mediterranean Sea that morning. After feeling good about our workout, we were ready for some much-needed beach time and exploring in Nice.

The route of the team's morning workout in Monaco.

The route of the team’s morning workout in Monaco.

Nice is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Our tour guide, Casey Feucht, guided us through the winding streets of the old town, hidden behind the antique shops and restaurants cluttering the city. Everything about the old part of town was so intriguing and new to me. As we approached the Mediterranean coast, the amazing views took my breath away. The brilliant shades of blue reflecting through the sea were unbelievable. I could not wait enjoy the water and have a relaxing beach day with all of my teammates.

A walking tour of Old Town, Nice.

A walking tour of Old Town, Nice.

After grabbing a quick lunch, we all gathered on the rocky shores and laid in the pebbles to let the sun warm our skin before heading into the water. We swam around for a little while and some of us brave souls (aka Kiley Adams, Monica Flores, and Shannon Hendricks) decided it would be fun to swim out the buoy, which seemed to be almost a mile off of the coast. Upon observing the three swimming in the sea, I notice Moni frantically heading back to shore, separating herself from Kiley and Shannon. Once she got on the beach, she told us that they encountered a barracuda wading in the water five meters away from them, and upon their escape from that creature, they confronted a jelly fish that Shannon claimed to be a plastic bag to calm Moni down. Yikes! Good thing I didn’t join them on their swimming excursion!

Before meeting for dinner, a group of us hiked up to the Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) to experience the expansive coastal views of Nice. We looked down upon the whole city while a waterfall cascaded below us. This was a truly peaceful moment I never wanted to end. As we sat down for a delicious dinner, we laughed and reminisced on all the wonderful memories we made together that day. It is safe to say that our beach day in Nice was one of the many highlights of our incredible journey in France.

The view from the Colline du Chateau in Nice.

The view from the Colline du Chateau in Nice.