The South of France: Nice, Monaco & Cannes
Trip Start Feb 06, 2011
44Trip End Sep 15, 2011
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One of my favourite things to do is to visit the markets early in the morning before the tourists swarm the stalls. The Cours Saleya is one of the most charming markets in all of Europe. With everything from fresh flowers to fruit and vegetables to olives and cheese, the market is one of the top attractions in the city. As I walked from stall to stall, I couldn't help but notice the juicy peaches and nectarines yelling "buy me! eat me!" to me. And so I did. They were straight from the orchards in Provence and they were DELICIOUS. After enjoying an amazing almond croissant and cappuccino for breakfast, I walked up to Castle Hill for the stunning views of the French Riviera. Now I know why so many people decide to vacation here!
I managed to make a last minute reservation for lunch at Chez Palmyre, one of the hidden gems of the Old Town. My only warning was that I would have to sit across from some random old guy at a table for two. Otherwise, the restaurant was fully booked. For good food, I was willing to sit with random old guy. I arrived at noon, and old guy was already there enjoying a glass of wine. He spoke very little English and I spoke very little French but we somehow managed to communicate! There was a lovely German couple who sat next to us and joined in on the "Frenglish" conversation
I went on a day trip to Monaco and Eze Village. All the restaurants in Monaco were overpriced so I just went to the supermarket to munch on a baguette sandwich for lunch. I visited the Old Casino in Monte Carlo but you couldn't even look inside the gambling rooms unless you paid a 10 euro entrance fee. There was no way I was paying for that! The fancy cars parked outside the casino were much more interesting anyways. Monaco was a bit of a bust and I think most people go just to say that they've been there. Eze on the other hand was a cute medieval town that is definitely worth a visit.
The next morning, I took the train to Cannes to visit their sandy beaches. Nice's beaches consists of uncomfortable pebbles so most people head south to Cannes. Unfortunately, only a small area of the beach is designated for the public. The rest of the privately owned sections are pay for use (up to 30 euros a day for a sunbed and umbrella). I decided that it was too crowded to sunbathe, so I treated myself to a Maison du Chocolat (possibly the best chocolatiers in the world) chocolate mousse for a snack. I couldn't help but notice 3 young girls sitting a couple of tables from me enjoying their desserts. They all had designer bags and were resting after a tiring day of shopping. They even had some guy whose job was to accompany them and carry their shopping bags! Cannes is definitely a popular destination for the wealthy.