After our little stint in Italy, travel buddy Umi and I had the privilege to visit what was perhaps the nicest town on the south-eastern coast of France – Nice!!
Sorry I had to.
In general, Nice is pretty
nice easy to navigate around; just off the main train station Gard de Nice-Ville, there’s a really long road called Avenue Jean Médecin, which is probably the Nice equivalent of Orchard Road. We’d booked an airbnb on one of streets just off this avenue, and every morning we’d take a long, lovely stroll down the avenue straight towards….
There was EVERYTHING you’d need (or think you need) along the avenue and at the plaza. Hugeass retail chain Monoprix? Check. High end Galeries Lafayette Nice? Check. ZARA? Hell yes. Even frigging McDonalds was there.
We spent a great deal of time darting and dancing about the Paillon Promenade’s gorgeous water fountain feature as though we were three years old and rolling through the Bugis Junction fountain. There was also this super awesome and lovely old bubble busker there, and he patiently taught us how to make these big giant bubbles filled with all the colours of the rainbow and also he scolded us when we couldn’t do it because we sucked but eventually we did and this is just a wonderful story of never giving up because you never know what you can achieve if you give up too easily and it was absolutely beautiful and this old man is THE BEST.
I am Cheryl Tare, resident bubble busker and all-round magic maker.
Did I mention we went on a walking tour in almost every city we visited? These things are free – “free” being you could pay any amount
and get away with it.
Ideally, you’d pay more if you particularly enjoyed the tour – and we do try to tip the guides more when the crowd is particularly stingy – but I distinctly remember being off-budget (yes… already and we’re not even 2 weeks into the trip yet), so Umi and I pooled our money and paid the equivalent of one persons’ worth and tried to look as innocent as we possibly could as we skipped away. #SHAME
I don’t know why I attached the above illustration to photos of the Old Port at Nice, but… there you go.
ANYWAY port Lympia is about 0.8 to 1km east of Place Massena, and the two locations are conveniently linked by (another) long road which leads straight to the famous Promenade des Anglais.
Promenade des Anglais was stunning. The walkway towards the beach was a lovely white, and you could just lean over the parapet and watch the beautiful blue waters glistening below.
A little off-topic, but the Promenade is the site of the July 14 truck attack during France’s Bastille Day 2016 celebrations. We visited Nice a year before the attack (2015) and never actually walked the entire promenade, so it is difficult to picture the atrocity that happened just 2 months ago despite having been to Nice before. It’s terrifying, yes, but… may the world be a more tolerant, loving and peaceful place. Life is already so short, it’d be a waste not to love abundantly while we still can.
Also: useful read. Don’t be haters y’all. Seek to understand ❤
THE BEACHES WERE VERY PAINFUL OK.
It was more like sun, sea and STONE. Frigging STONE. Also the waves were monstrous. We waddled shin-deep into the water, and I immediately tried to run back out but NOPE. Too late. The waves came crashing down and I almost got the wind knocked out of me. Landed on my knees and bam, bruises.
We then paid 16 euros for a parasol and beach chair and spent the next two hours getting tan, but also trying not to get tan.
Yes, I don’t know what we were doing on a beach either.
The Old Town of Nice:
Maison Auer and open-air market Cours Saleya
The Maison Auer chocolate/sweet shop has been around since the 1820s; freaking Napoleon was still alive when this shop opened. It’s located near the open-air market of Cours Saleya, and it’s just basically a French version of a pasar malam and an art gallery combined hahaha. Fruits and veggies and art stalls at every turn!!
Btw this artist has mad skills man. Absolutely sick. I asked him if I could grab a picture of him painting and he just grunted and posed as above. Artist skills AND modelling skills!! I promptly bought a small painting from him.
Had brunch at this adorable cafe, and I just cannot for the life of me recall its name. But the owner was this adorable French girl who studied in TAIWAN!! We tried asking her to speak in Mandarin but she was too shy. I promptly bought an overpriced dessert from her.
And thus concludes this extremely overdue post! Next stop, BARCELONAAAAAA