(Cass)Is This Real Life

So my initial lack of interest in France has quickly changed to a deep seeded love of the south of France- especially the French Riviera. No wonder there’s so much hype about it BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME.

After spending more time in Spain than initially planned (not that I’m regretting it), I was trying to push my way east, but when a friend insisted that I stop (if only for a day) in Cassis, I took his advice. This guy is a world traveler if I ever met one, so I knew he knew what he was talking about.

Cassis is a little town outside of Marseille that you would never know about if someone didn’t tell you. It’s a typical port town with yachts, sailboats, colorful restaurants, and apartments with verandas lined with vibrant flowers. It seems difficult to be unhappy in a place like that.

Thus began my 27 hours in Cassis.

In the hostel, I met Diana, a German girl who would hike Les Calanques with me. Meeting her wasn’t difficult seeing as we both had 8 bed dorms to ourselves as we were the only ones there. Before even getting to Les Calanques we met two other Germans guys, and thank god for English being a universal language because we could all communicate in English.

For those you know me, even slightly, you know that I’m not the most nature-y of all people. I grew up in the biggest city in the world and wasn’t exposed to many things in the “nature” category. However, when I travel I’m a whole different person (that I wish Meli and B could see). You should also know that I’m petrified of heights. Like, sat-down-in-the-middle-of-the-stairs-and-started-crying-because-it-was-too-high scared (and this was last year).

First off, let me try to explain the blueness of this water. It’s like it was colored in. And not shaded in, but like someone took the prettiest shades of light and dark blue they could find and pressed hard to color in the ocean. And once they were done with the ocean, they kept on coloring to fill in the sky. You know when water is so clear that you can’t really tell if a boat is floating in the middle of the air or in water? That’s Les Calanques for you.

Right before the second calanque (there’s three), the boys and I found a perfect place to cliff jump off of. This is where my fear comes in. Now hiking (in flip flops..) and being that high up scared me to death in the first place, let alone JUMPING OFF THE DAMN THING. But in accordance to my “just say yes” rule, I knew I had to do it.

After checking the depth (you know, we didn’t want to die), we took the first 5 meter jump, which we were freaking out about. But nope, Nathan and I did the 9 meter jump and Julian did the EIGHTEEN METER JUMP WHAAAAT. Mid air he just starts flapping his arms as if trying to fly back up onto the ledge. But he did it!

What I’ve learned from all this cliff jumping experience (this one paired with the one in the Mons hiking trail) is that you can’t think about it, and you definitely can’t count. You just gotta do it. There’s this moment when you’re standing on the ledge looking down into the water that your gut just says “k Erika go. Now or never” and you do it. Like I told Julian before he jumped, if you die, at least you’ll die doing something cool/seeing beautiful sights/being happy. And isn’t being happy what it’s all about?

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