Nice is Nice!

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
Trip End Oct 19, 2007

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Flag of France  ,
Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I just caught my first glimpse of the famous Nice promenade and some of the most amazing colored water l have ever seen! The pebbles must help make it that blue color. I cant believe people are lying on the beach full of the biggest pebbles l have ever seen! Sitting on the steps of the Gare station in Nice lam trying to reflect on the blur of things that have happened since l last wrote. We spent a spectacular afternoon on the promenade des Anglais in Nice eating the fruit we bought at lovely Marche des Fleurs which we spent the morning strolling through the covered stalls, admiring and smelling the lavender, local artists handiwork and selecting fruits from the amazing fruit stalls which contained the most beautiful array of sundried tomatoes, olives and strawberries l have ever seen! I wont easily forget aussi (also) being told off by the French marketeer for touching the pears to see if they were ripe enough to eat! I got a massive telling off and she refused to serve any of us after wards! We moved from the lovely market, personally one of the best l have ever been too onto the beautiful promenade des Anglais where we did as any good Nicean would do- we sat and watched the water lap upon the smooth white pebbles as the tourists strolled by. We then walked along the promenade and passed Gypsy's camping on the beach and walked to the lovely Nice port admiring the million dollar yachts along the way. One was called 'The Secret Life' and l dreamed of hoping on board and sailing of along the Cote des Azur living the secret life! We then caught the bus to Villefranche Sur Mer along the stunning coastline and walked to the "sand" (not really it was small pebbles) beach along the way admiring the colorful buildings lining the harbor. Along the fort wall there was beautiful lavender colored flowers whose reflections were making the water a lovely purple color. The village was beautiful, as everything is in this amazing part of the world!
Now sitting on the rocky/pebbly beach in Menton l feel sun kissed and the most relaxed l have been for the past seven months! Its amazing the effect that the beach and sun has on me. Iam absolutely in loved with Frances Rivera. Arriving into Nice we were greeted with snow capped mountains and aqua blue water all in one! We soon caught a bus to where our hostel pick up service was arriving and one the way we met Lisa, a girl from Melbourne who was staying at the hostel with us and traveled with us some of the next day. We were soon picked up by the white Volkswagen can and taken up the hill to one of the most amazing hostel l have stayed in Villa Saint Exupery ( which has been voted top ten hostels worldwide fives times in the last five years. Of course l knew l had to stay here! We arrived in our Villa overlooking the Nice countryside only to find out that our dorm room had been overbooked so they had no where to put us but in a triple room with ensuite overlooking the garden- ohh poor us----what a great upgrade! We were in heaven in our Villa in Nice and it was fantastic staying in one place more than one night! Ohh and did l mention the amazing free breakfast, free highspeed Internet (heaps of terminals), amazing homemade Pizzas (5 Euro) or a French Provencal dish (6.50Euro) with dessert cooked by a Provencal chef- which looked like 5 star restaurant food rather than backpackers! And of course who can forget the 1 Euro glasses of wine or beer all served within a former chapel. Needless to say we didn't move from out Villa in the evenings and enjoyed the fabulous pizzas, cooking, the most amazing berry pastry tart l have ever had and of course who could forget the wine Janette! We played Yatze and "I never", met new friends and checked our email to our hearts content! We didn't want to leave of course, but we had booked another hostel in the center of town nearer to the train station so that we could be more central. This hostel was probably the worst l have ever stayed in- and thats saying something! Mold everywhere, terribly bedding, everything smells, a shower that overruns, a elevator you cant get our of and something doesn't want to work when you are stuck in it and who can forget the Pink Lady that runs the place! We were mortified and decided we would stay away for as long as possible during the day and night! Our gay roommate Billy (it was supposed to be a female only dorm!) kept us pretty entertained though! 
I awoke on Easter Sunday and gladly checked out and made my way to the main bus depot to catch the bus to St Paul de Vence (ticket costs 1.30 Euro one way). I had 45 minutes spare so l walked into the bustling Vieux Nice (Old Town) which had markets galore and was full of Easter Sunday energy. I strolled through its quaint cobblestoned streets, watching people watching other people from their window balconies, catching glimpses of the waterfall overhanging the promenade and strolling through fish, flower and fruit markets. Starving l made my way to a large courtyard with a Cathedral where people were streaming out after Easter Sunday mass and taking one step into the Cathedrals neighboring outdoor cafes. I selected a Sucre citron (lemon sugar) crepe and sat down on the courtyards steps next to a lovely fountain and people watched- especially the overly charismatic waiter at one restaurant who ran everywhere and looked so stressed until he settled his face upon the next customer and broke into his song and dance. I finished my crepe and returned to the bus depot saying my last goodbyes to beautiful old Nice- which l hope to see again- hopefully not under construction and looking like a third world country! Note to self- Nice is Nice- but is actually a city not a small resort town- so be prepared for this and upon this realization- yes l could definitely live there! What can beat a city smack bang in the middle of the Cote d'Azur where lavender, soap, wine, aqua colored water and bateau's (boats) surround. Also to self must visit island off Nice- Corsca- perhaps even find myself a rice husband and get him to buy a house in Nice and a boat so l can travel to the island on my private yacht "the secret life." (Tell her shes dreaming....l know!) Ohhh but this places makes you dream big- is it possible- sure anything is but would l be happy???
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