48 Hours in France

Two days is certainly not enough to discover a new country, let alone even put a dent on its shiny surface. Having said that, attempting to see France from top to bottom in 48 hours will always be an unequal struggle for the first-time visitor.

Instead, with its reputed cultural heritage, great cuisine, good weather and numerous attractions, I would strongly suggest these villas in the south of France, like Toulouse in South West France, as an ideal getaway for that perfect weekend French holiday.

The Toulouse – Blagnac international airport is well connected with several airlines from different parts of Europe. The airport is conveniently situated a mere 10 km from Toulouse city center, making access quick and easy.

Day 1 – Morning

Place du Capitole (Photo credit: Ignis)

Toulouse lures the visitor to France like no other city primarily because of its rich culture.

As you step out of your hotel into Place du Capitole, the main square of this laid-back city, the splendor of the Capitole square itself will leave you mesmerized. Hidden behind the 18th century facade is the exquisite terracotta colored architecture, courtyards, and galleries packed to the hilt with ancient art.

Day 1 – Afternoon

Head to the main shopping street on Rue d’Alsace Lorraine, and discover a 14th century monastery full of murals and religious scripts. The principal museum of fine arts, Musee des Augustins, is situated nearby and is marveled for the fine Gothic exterior, while the interiors and the chapels house a large number of sculptures and paintings dating back to the 14th century.

Photo from augustins.org

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Livin’ La Vida Roma (Rome)

Rome was the last stop of my 3-week trip to Europe.

I chose a hostel just 10 minutes away by foot from Roma Termini, so finding it was not a problem. I was surprised though that the neighborhood is filled with Filipino-run establishments. There’s even a Pinoy restaurant beside the building of our hostel.

Anyway, the hostel’s reception was manned by a guy who’s a dead ringer for Liev Schreiber. 😀 After going through the usual check-in procedure, we squeezed ourselves into a tiny old school elevator just a bit wider than a refrigerator. I don’t know how we managed to fit ourselves in plus my luggage and backpack, but that was the first and last time I used the lift. Never mind if my dorm was on the fourth floor of the building.

I arrived early evening, so there was not much for me to do anymore. I just strolled the area, and booked my Colosseum and Vatican Museum tickets online, so I don’t have to waste my time falling in line for hours.

colosseum rome
The iconic Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheater is the largest amphitheater in the Roman empire.

After grabbing a simple breakfast of cappuccino and sfogliatella from the hostel’s kitchen, I was ready to conquer Rome! LOL

First order of business: The Colosseum.

Getting to the Colosseum, or most of the popular tourist attractions in Rome, is pretty easy. The metro may not be the cleanest, most comfortable, and most efficient in Europe, but I appreciate they take out the guesswork of where to get off because the attractions’ names are written next to metro stops e.g. you can see Fontana di Trevi written next to the metro stop, Barberini.

Anyway, as expected, there’s already a throng of tourists outside the Colosseum even though it’s still early in the day. I’m glad I saved myself the hassle of lining up.

colosseum rome
The Colosseum’s south side collapsed due to earthquakes
colosseum rome
Underneath the Colosseum are rooms and tunnels that housed gladiators and wild animals.

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Everland Resort | South Korea

We went to Everland Resort, South Korea’s largest theme park, on our fourth day.

Just like Petite France and Nami Island, it is located outside of Seoul, so we availed a shuttle service. I was originally looking at Klook’s Everland shuttle bus service, but since they don’t have pick up in Myeong-dong, I went with Daesung Tour instead.

When we arrived at the park’s public parking lot, we just transferred to Everland’s own shuttle, and within 10 minutes, arrived at the theme park. I presented the Klook e-vouchers on my phone, and the staff just scanned the bar codes and issued our tickets.

everlandIt had been sunny the first 3 days we were in Korea, but it was gloomy the whole time we were in Everland, which was fine because it complemented the Halloween theme.

everland

We decided to explore Zootopia first.

From Global Fair, we rode the gondola called ‘Human Sky’. Its operation was temporarily suspended later on in the day because it was raining.

We really enjoyed our ‘safari’ ride at Lost Valley. We rode an amphibious vehicle and got to see camels, elephants, flamingos, zebras, and giraffes among others. It was a really fun experience! See video below.

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