Looking back on our time in Nice. I initially felt it was a rather small and relaxed visit. But after opening my daily diary and revisiting what our days consisted of, I’m reminded of the laughs, lounging & culinary feasts we shared with new friends.
WHERE DID WE STAY:
Only 12€ p.n. each for a 6 bed dorm with private bathroom and air con
WHERE DID WE EAT:
Panini at all panini joints… It’s all you can get at short notice.
McDonalds as the rest of Nice is too expensive
Croissants from Monoprix – supermarket chain.
Pasta nights at the hostel! 3€ p.p. for unlimited fresh popcorn, vegetarian spaghetti and rosé. Unbeatable value.
WHAT DID WE DO:
You can visit nearby towns and beaches via the regional trains. Less than 10€ for most trips. We visited Côte d’Or and Monaco in one day.
We spent a lot of time working on our Mediterranean tans. Beds and brollys are available for hire, I didn’t enquire to how much, we were never going to be able to afford it so we just basked on the pebbles
We watched sunset from the lookout over the southern end of the beach.
You can visit the castle (what’s left of it) on top of the hill and see the water falls, church ruins & grab some souvenirs up there also
We ate Gelato from the 99 flavours ice cream chains located in Old Town
Explored all the markets and gawked at the enormous prices at the restaurants in Old Town.
Watched drug deals and alcoholism in the laundromat
I came down with a severe case of tonsillitis…
Arriving in Nice after Marseille was quite the pleasant journey on the Regional train. We watched ‘Angels and Demons‘ and got ourselves thoroughly excited to visit Vatican City within the next month or so. Directions to our hostel were literally
“follow the street in front of station to the left for 2 minutes and turn right, we are on the right.”
So after checking a map and preparing some more thorough directions, we set off and still managed to walk 700 metres past our hostel! It was still rather warm in Nice at this time (mid September) and we couldn’t wait to swim and worship the sun.
Check in was easy with the gorgeous girl working in the hostel. So helpful & she told us that night was to be a pasta night!
So cheap & a backpackers dream when travelling along the south of France.
We had a hard time finding the common room where it was to be served as it was our first night in town. Turns out the place is an actual fortress, with maze like corridors leading to several common rooms under the buildings. The popcorn was fresh & both it and the wine refilled frequently enough to be full before the Spaghetti! When it did arrive, the serving was HUGE and we both didn’t finish, but we still enjoyed popcorn oddly enough…. Almost lost all of it after Tim thought it would be funny to get us stuck in the small elevator…
Our hostel was located alongside the Main Street for shopping, Jean Medicine. So it was super convenient. We headed off to the beach the next morning. The beaches are crystal blue and you need to pinch yourself to believe that you have made it to the South of France on your pathetic salary.
Although the beaches are made of large stones it is comfortable enough to lay on. The water is cool and drops off very quickly so no one is simply standing in the water. Short dips only for me! Some people buy inflatable beds to relax on the beach and to use in the water. It’s perfectly acceptable, & wished I could, but I wasn’t prepared to pay 11€ for a disposable bed.
We checked out the large supermarket and bought a big juicy steak, cut right in front of us by the butcher, for dinner. We recommend you don’t do this. It cost us 20€ for them! But my god they were tasty. Went down well with the cheap 4€ red wine.
I woke up the next day with the most excruciating pain in my knee. Based on the fact I couldn’t put weight on it and the exact times it shot me with pain, Tim and I concluded, it was ‘a bad knee.’ Lol.
We went back to the beach and Tim carried me across the stones. The unevenness made it painful for me to walk on them. Would of been quite the sight, watching a grown woman get carried from her towel to the water and back again, every time I went for a swim. 🙂
The previous day there was a pack of old women, age unknown due to their leathery skin, who were the ‘practically naked’ type I mentioned before.
That were there again this day & it was very difficult to keep your food down if you looked at them for too long, but one time I was watching them and saw something that has stuck with me ever since…
They started nudging each other to wake up and look over their shoulders, in the direction of a middle aged Lesbian couple frolicking up the beach, the leathery women were shaking their heads & spoke quickly at each other with little subtlety as to what they were saying.
I don’t speak a word of French, but I have always said on this trip, body language doesn’t lie. It was very clear this group were repulsed and offended by this lesbian couple flaunting their love.
These, elderly, naked, public area smokers were offended! They were tapping their skulls like
“What’s wrong with them!?”
“Their brains aren’t wired properly!”
But I’m sitting there like “I’m offended that all the children sitting on this beach have to stare at your naked body and breathe in your second hand smoke.”……
In Europe my take is considered the strange.
2 days left in Nice and I woke up feeling pretty ordinary. I suspect one of the cleaners had it in for me, she always took my towel off my bed and used it as a bath mat…
It was raining and rainy days are always a nudge for you to get the laundry over and done with. We had the pleasure of witnessing a putrid smelling alcoholic try to steal 5€ from us when the machine gobbled our money and spat it out when we went to get someone for help. Luckily we had witnesses, our lesbian couple from the beach yesterday, who argued with him til he gave it back. Karma was on my side there. Then we saw locals ‘hang out’ and pretend to put laundry on, ‘high five’ someone & then leave…. With their laundry. Hmmm.
There was enough of a break in the rain to check out the hilltop for the waterfalls and massive graveyards. We went with our new roomies, 2 guys from NZ, and read all the religion separated gravestones. The views from there were AMAZING and we could see the next big storm clouds rolling in. Some of the grave sites had ENORMOUS statues depicting grieving wives, family, pets etc. Some were just weird….
It begun bucketing cats and dogs so we hid inside the graveyards chapel and watched the lighting strike over the city. Was very ominous. So, naturally, the boys felt it was necessary to swim in the beach as the storm was happening seeing as they were ‘drenched already’. It goes without saying that I was worried.
We introduced the Kiwis to the hostel Pasta night & they, with my partners help,drank the place dry. All the activities from the day had left me feeling worse than I did in the morning so I gave up early and went to bed…..
I’m told I missed out on what was a big night. I am sure it was seeing i was awoken in the mid morning to a kiwi urinating in our grocery bag.
Seeing as Milan was the next stop…. And I’m not sure if readers who read my posts while in Milan remember…. But I was in for a bit of a battle from this point.
Until next time! Perhaps I will even bypass the stories of Milan (or lack thereof) and you will be reading of Oktoberfest next!