1st Break: Ghana to stormy Nice...not so nice

Trip Start May 04, 2011
Trip End Feb 20, 2014

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Flag of France  , Provence,
Monday, June 6, 2011

Nice did not have a nice welcome for me – one of the wildest thunderstorms I've been in. I was sheltering in a burger place and heard the loudest thunderclap I’ve ever heard. So much for a warm, sunny time on the French Riviera. But then on day 2, I am a bit sunburnt! Talk about extremes.

My journey here started with the 4.5 hr bus journey from site to the Guesthouse in Accra. Then a bit of work and waiting until I was picked up by 3 people (not sure why there were 3, maybe extra security because it was night?) to the airport. The protocol is collection for airport 3 hrs before flight, which is typically excessive, but this time it took the full 3 hrs to get thru the over-the-top security at the Accra airport. There is even full finger printing and photo at immigration. Crazy.

First time flying with Alitalia (Italy’s national airline). Very old fleet of planes and they played not-so-soft background music the whole overnight flight, so it was a bit hard to sleep. I did get a few zzzz tho, so when I hit Rome 6.5 hrs later I was feeling semi-ok. Had a couple of hrs stop in Rome airport to get some breakfast and magazine. Lucky I still had 70 euro left from my previous European trip. [Don’t remember much from my previous time at the Rome airport except my panic and rush when I nearly missed my flight to Egypt!] Then a 1 hr flight to Nice. So strange to fly such a short flight. Good views of the French Riviera and then landing on runways that feel like ur going to land on water. Caught a bus to the main train station and then walked down to my hotel. Not as unique feeling as the first time I landed in this foreign continent, but an awesome experience nonetheless. I kinda forget I’m somewhere else until the waiter or receptionist talk to me in French – I even got asked by someone for directions...at least that’s what I think he was asking when he stopped and yelled to me from his car.

Hotel is great. Central and a bit artsy with each room decorated by a different artist. Little balcony to peer out onto the Nice streets. It’s a biggish city, but short distances to get around. From the hotel to beach it is a quick 3-4 mins. Nice is not somewhere I ever had aspirations of visiting. It’s really a transport hub for this region and as far as I can tell, a Margaret River style equivalent for the French. Not much to see, so it is good not to rush around to cram in all the sights. So Day 1 (arrival day) was wet and horrible, ended up in a casino and then back at the hotel to watch the French Open Tennis Final (at this point I realised I was actually in France for the final!) and get annoyed at Federer. Day 2 was walking along the boardwalk in front of the stone beach (when you’ve swum at Cottesloe or Scarborough, this beach really is laughable) and explored the Old Town. Really is picturesque when the sun shines and lots of hot bodies and winding alleys with markets as well as boutique shops. Much busier place than yesterday when the rain was belting down.

About to head out to a bar and get some food. Picked up a couple of beers from the deli down the road (I love that about Europe, not so hung-up on selling alcohol as we are in Australia). Think I will catch a train to Cannes and St Tropez tomorrow.

PS – happy birthday to the twins! I still think of u as 30 or less and then I remember that I’ll be thirty next year...gosh.
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Melissa on

Awesome photos Ross! Soo beautiful, will have to add Nice to my To Do list :)

Jesse on

My only question is who is the mystery person you photographed you on the balcony? Is there a special person you have not told us about?

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