Current ultimate life goal: be able to summer in Nice. My time in this little paradise of the French Rivera was pure bliss. Every second of it, even when I was crashing my bike into things like curbs and fences and getting laughed at… (in my defense there was a lot of construction on the boardwalk bike lane). Regardless, something about this place filled my heart with so much joy. Our hostel room, once again for 4 but made private for the 3 of us, was effortlessly chic with a chandelier and giant shutters opening up to our own balcony. Even though it was technically a hostel I woke up, opened our windows, and felt like I was a movie star here for Cannes Film Fest or something. The owner was so sweet giving us a french breakfast of croissants and baguettes, mapping out a perfect route for the day (Day 8), and telling us the best places to go. The streets were absolutely stunning, shutters on every window, pastel colors, palm trees, random orange trees, cafes everywhere, elegant shops, mountains in the distance, and the sea breeze filling the air.
Following the route to the shore we found the amazing flower market. Along with every flower imaginable, they had fresh fruit, vegetables, spices, bread, homemade soaps and artwork. The smells, the sights, the sounds – I could’ve spent all day in this market taking it all in. Instead we spent about an hour before taking our fresh fruit and more baguettes to spend some time laying on the famous pebble beach. Not just known for its beauty, but also for the nudity – so luckily it was no problem we did have our swim suits. Don’t worry mom – we kept on our bras and underwear, but unfortunately the old ladies and men did not have the same modesty. Besides that eyeful the water was perfectly blue, even if it was a temperature only the crazies of the beach dared to get farther than knee deep in. We soaked in some sun (obviously a little too much when you see the pictures of our – Mads especially – sunburns) and hunted for the perfect colorful pebbles to take home. After I tried Sex on a Boat, and Arianna had Sex on the Beach… THE DRINKS, duh. Madison also had a lynchburg lemonade, all were delicious. Making our drinks and lunch even better though was the view from our second story patio bar: the perfect people watching lookout to the boardwalk. I loved seeing how everyone was dressed here, how they were getting around whether it was a Ferrari (bc this was obviously the street to drive your nice car-repeadately), rollerblades, or a Segway, and just watching interactions because literally everyone here was just radiating happiness.
After lunch we rented bikes for an hour and road all along the Promenade, and as mentioned before I may have wiped out once… with a couple other close calls. Then we climbed up the steps of Bellanda tower on Castle hill. I went all the way to the top and along the way there was waterfalls, lavender, an old church and palace ruins of an archeological site, and a beautiful cemetery. We ran into some interesting other Americans who were still in high school, let loose by their teacher, and slightly lost. We helped them out then headed down to Old Town to check out some unique shops and grab some dinner. On our way back we had to have French crepes one last night, even though I don’t think any will ever compare to Paris. The walk back was just as beautiful as the route we took that morning, convincing me of how perfect Nice really is.
The French Rivera is absolutely stunning, and the atmosphere made it my favorite spot for a true vacation. The next morning (Day 9) we had to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and once again I was torn between saying goodbye to France and setting off to Italy for the next week. France really stole my heart and I would feel so lucky to someday return to keep exploring the charm it has throughout.
À plus tard,