Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Discovering the Riviera: Nice

My first day trip during this vacation was to Nice (insert joke about Nice being nice here and get it out of your system... I'm talking to you, mom). I remember really enjoying this city when we spent the last week of our Paris study abroad here back in 2010. It has a different feel from other cities in France due its history of going back and forth between France and Italy- kind of similar to Strasbourg and its German influences.

Nice was an easy 35 minute train ride away from Cannes. From the train station I hopped on the tram to Place Masséna, the main square of the city. It's a little hard to capture what it actually looks like since you can't fit the whole 360 view into 1 picture. I love the symmetry- reminds me of the big squares in Paris.

I might have cheated a little bit and stolen those 2 pictures above from the internet. All of the rest are mine ;)

From Place Masséna, I started walking through the old town, or Vieux Nice. It was busy with tourist crowds and beautifully colorful.

One of the fun places to walk through was the Marché aux Fleurs, or flower market. I bought Provence lavender-scented soup and sachets. Is there a word in English for sachet that sounds less pretentious? I can't think of anything better than "little bag that smells good" so I guess I have to go with the French.

My next stop was to walk down the Promenade des Anglais, which goes along the beach. It's a little sobering to think about the scary attack that happened there just over a month ago. Increased security was evident all over the city. My favorite part was that I heard 3 different security guards speaking Hebrew- looks like the French are hiring Israelis haha. I really surprised one of them when I said thank-you in Hebrew as he gave my bag back to me after checking it.

The water is actually this color- no editing.
Here's a picture of people doing something that I will never be caught dead doing.

After a little relaxing by the water, I made my way over to the castle (more like a fortress) that's up on a hill overlooking the city. 

The views:

After enjoying the views for a while I made my way back to Vieux Nice and did some more wandering. Place Rossetti was my favorite area I discovered- it reminded me so much of an Italian piazza.

I walked all the way back to the train station, popping into my favorite European stores along the way. I came away with a skirt from Zara and a shirt from a French store that I used to frequent back in Strasbourg. To avoid dying of the heat I also took an air-conditioning break to sit in Brioche Dorée and have a crepe and chug an entire water bottle.

I've got one last picture, for those of you that watch How I Met Your Mother ;)

"That's the puzzle." haha
I anticipated visiting Nice for 2-3 hours, but it ended up being more like 6! And I still want to spend more time in a lot of these places, so I sense a return trip or two in my future. The great thing about this vacation is that I didn't have to be stressed about seeing everything since I'll be in the area for the whole next year. I'm looking forward to going back when it's not hot and crowded!

Next post: my spontaneous trip to Italy.

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