I always meet lovely people on the flight to Nice – this time a father and son were seated beside me. Such a nice story: the son (late 20s) had paid for everything for this weekend as a gift for his father’s 60th birthday. Now this was not an ordinary weekend in the south of France – the Monaco Grand Prix was on! The father was so excited – you could just see it in his eyes. I must’ve come across a tad bit deaf, the man was Welsh and had a very thick accent, so I had trouble understanding him… But the three of us were super psyched for the big race! Both father and son were a little disappointed when I told them that I wasn’t particularly fond of Hamilton – the son even said that I was possibly the worst person that they could be seated next to! HA! they were ofcourse joking…
I love arriving in Nice – the airport is just by the sea, and the view is AMAZING! Seeing as though I was here last year around the same time, I kind of knew where I was going… I caught the bus into town and settled into my apartment that I booked from Airbnb. I was staying right in Garibaldi Square above Cafe Turin (Nice’s most expensive seafood restaurant). The next morning, I realised that staying on the square was a HUGE mistake as it is so so noisy! The waiters of Cafe Turin begin to take out the tables and chairs at about 7am! I mean who eats fish for breakfast….?!?!
I explored the old town, I love the winding streets full of cafes, restaurants and shops. I was very impressed with my memory as I remembered where I was going and didn’t get lost at all! Last year my friend Refika and I found a very nice homely restaurant called Restaurant du Gesu – so for my first meal I wanted to go back there. I found it and I was seated, but I couldn’t remember for the life of me what the Nice onion pizza thing was called! And the waiter was very rude this time – he ruined the whole experience! BUT the Italian couple next to me were very friendly and we had a nice chat. In fact, the man was adamant that Australians spoke another language… he was hilarious!
I went to Nice Port and saw that the same row boats that were there last year. It was just nice seeing how some things don’t change… The familiarity of it all was lovely. I hiked up Parc de la Colline du Château (make sure you have good shoes on) on a sunny day and the view from here was spectacular! Make sure you go right up to the top – the signs aren’t too good (abit misleading actually) but when you eventually make it up the top, it’s definitely worth it!
There are markets on the inner street parallel to Promenade des Anglais (the end that is furthest away from the airport) and they sell everything from flowers, to fresh produce, to olives and sundried tomatoes. Really good value! I bought cherries from here and they were amazing!
Place Massena was nice as usual, and at night there are various street performers. There are also fountains here – and there is even a fountain show in the evening. During the day, the fountains become misty…
Every morning I would go to Paul (the bakery) and ask for a baguette, croissant and a cafe latte. For dinner, besides my first night in Nice, I usually got something to eat for takeaway and sat by the seaside. Nice is thought to be very expensive, but you can easily get by on a budget – you simply have to be travel smart.
Gelato: don’t be fooled by the long line of people waiting to buy gelato from this place in the old town (near the justice building I think). I didn’t get a chance to have it last year, so I was curious this year. I bought 2 scoops and it wasn’t that nice…
As I waited for the airport bus, 30mins later I find out that there is a strike. The bus never came. Luckily a group of 3 people were also going to the airport, so I shared an über with them. In fact, 2 of them were on the same flight as me back to London! They were a great bunch of people and I was lucky enough to share a ride with them to the airport =)
Nice was simply Nice, I could easily turn this into a yearly pilgrimage….