Travelling to the French Riviera was filled with much anticipation. Finally we would rid the pastyness of the winter in NZ and aquire that golden glow everyone desires. Obviously like everywhere else in Europe, I had never been to the French Riviera. We decided to stay in Nice, central to all the places we wanted to see. Airbnb it was for our three nights stay. Small little apartment, cooking facilities and a separate bedroom, it was easy. Cheap too. I’m going to rattle off 10 ways to do Nice, focusing mainly on that essential vitamin D.
ONE – Get your bearings. Like all places we’ve been to so far, we set out on foot to get or bearings. Feeling fresh from the long sleep, we guessed our directions and headed for the beach. Sun shining bright like a diamond, I had sweat dripping down my neck and it was only 10am. Yuss, this is what we came for . We hit the promenade down by the water, looked right and turned left. After being in big cities, far from the ocean, I felt content after seeing the bright blue Mediterranean Sea. These water babies need water. We followed the road and just walked, enjoying the sunshine and taking in the view, clear blue skies and already feeling like 30 degrees air temp. Walk either way down the promenade in Nice and see for yourself why so many people flock to this part of the globe for the loooong summer days.
TWO – Walk the promenade. Walking east down the promenade enjoying the sun, our feel good attitude quite quickly disappeared. We had reached a part of Nice which really puts your life in perspective. At one of the parks on the promenade, there is a large memorial for the Bastille Day attack, filled with flowers, teddy bears, letters and flags which continues down the street on the beach side aswell. It’s very real. I’m not one to get all emotional on it, but this was definitely an eye opener. 14th July, Such a horrible event for an awesome city. One positive through all this was the spirit felt throughout the town. Everyone seemed to be getting on with their lives, coming together as one. Respect.
THREE – Hire a bike. Like any beach town, bicycles, scooters and motorbikes are everywhere. So, naturally for me, I couldn’t resist the temptation. We hit the Holiday bikes shop and hired a scooter. Yes I know, a puny little scooter right? You wouldn’t catch me dead back home on a scooter but with our budget, a scooter is all we could afford. If my pockets were full, trust me, I’d be hooning round on a Harley like the rest of the badass motherfuckers in Nice. Instead we had to make do with a 50cc Honda fly. Nothing better than getting some solar rays while cruising the streets right? €38 euros for 24 hours and we were off.
FOUR – Explore the Coast. Once again we winged our way through Nice, this time on the fly and headed east for Ville Franche. Another coastal village, which seemed to be the resting place for cruise liners. As we came round the cliff, sun beaming down, we caught a glimpse of two mammoth looking cruise ships. Being higher than these massive structures floating on the med was so damn cool. We hoped onto a road that wound down to the sandy beach of Ville Franche. Thousands of people took up all the room. We parked the scooter and weezled our way into a space with our two dirty bath towels. Travel life. We lay here for a few hours, Leah got all European on it and got her boobs out for the boys. Yeeeew!! We chilled until feeling like a couple of shrimps on the barbie, then gapped it back to Nice.
FIVE – Hit a beach club. Late arvo and we were getting thirsty. Along the promenade there’s various beach clubs/restaurants to eat and drink at. We decided to revive the fluids with a few cold beers and some rosé. Leah’s all about the rosé after Cazouls. Loungers, couches and tables. Take your pick, get comfortable and enjoy the smell of the fresh sea breeze after a hard day of frying in the sun. Ahhhh, the serenity. Next we hit a restaurant along the promenade and scored ourselves a deal with pizza and mussels. They even had a tv showing the olympics, sitting there thinking… Life’s good.
SIX – Morning workout session. Fitness freak Bryn set in and after all the baguettes and pizz, we decided enough was enough. We needed a workout. We decided a 6am wake up fitness session was in order. Having not a lot to work with, walking east again, we found the Nice viewing point. Around 200 stairs up, it felt like Kennedy Park, except not so much Nike apparel and already 20 degrees. We raced up, squat jumps every few steps. Got to the top and realised how fucken unfit we were. HOLY SHIT!! Kill me now. We recovered, took in the view and smashed out a few press ups and crunches. Not a bad spot for a workout, and a photo of course, overlooking the long coast. Get the chance, kill two birds with one stone like us. Make fitness fun.
SEVEN – Be a baller in Monaco. Serotonin levels peaking, we jumped back on the scooter, and headed for the ballin country of Monaco. Yup, we were ready to mix with the rich and famous. It took us close to an hour to ride there, maxing the scooter out at 58km per hour, downhill that is. Coming in hot, we came up to a police stop checking passports. Oh shit, it must have slipped our minds that Monaco is a different country. Lucky for us it was a random check…we slipped on through. We must have looked like homeless people on this scooter, surrounded by the prancing horse… (Ferraris). Super yachts, casinos, gold bling and huuuuuge mansions, it felt like a scene from the godfather. Most of the flash houses had security on the gate. Must be a drug lords humble abode. Not bad. As amazing and flashy as it was, the scene wasn’t for us. Losing all of the feeling in our ass and legs from the scooter isn’t nice, so we turned back and headed home. This time getting up to 63km per hour. Sicko!!
EIGHT – Swim in the Med. Coming round the cliff, into Nice, we were due for a swim. The beach at Nice is covered in small rocks instead of sand. Interesting. More boobies and still not complaining. Nice. Swimming, it literally drops off within a few meters of getting in. The minimal tidal flow means you can chuck your towel down right by the waters edge, crisp up like a potato chip and just rollie pollie into the water.
NINE – Lunch on the beach. Having to drop the scooter back, I got us lunch on the walk back. Found a €5 kebab. Easy as right.. Wrong. I’d rather do another plumbing exam than go through that again. I wasn’t even sure I was getting a kebab but surprisingly it was, and a damn good one at that. Here’s a tip: just point at the picture, gesture the amount and don’t say a word… Much easier. A stop off at the supermarket for some fruit and water and the feed was done. Got back to the beach and ate the €8 meal (between us), happy as larry.
TEN – Treat yourself. After eating a shit load of pizza, pasta and platters since being in Europe, we were on the hunt for some Asian food. We had seen a group of restaurants a few blocks back from the promenade so we went for a wander around this area. The first few restaurants, pizza, pasta, mussels. We kept moving. Restaurants everywhere we kept walking with literally every restaurant showing pictures of every Italian food on your normal menu. Jeez, it was looking bleak. As we rounded a corner I looked up in excitement, Asians, I see Asians which is usually a good sign. Eyes took a bit to adjust and all we could see was… Italian. There just happened to be a family of Asians In front of us and I got excited. Dam it!! With no luck, we settled with another €20 Italian feed (between us) on the waterfront, even with a few beers it wasn’t priced too bad. After this experience we deemed it impossible to find Asian cuisine in the area of Nice.
After a short stint in the French Rivera with sun, boobs, scooters, Italian cuisine and a whole lot of rich people, we say peace to Nice.
Hungary for a festival, we boarded our plane feeling relaxed and refreshed, ready to hit Sziget, the island of freedom, hoping to come out alive. That was Nice, now to hit Budapest with a BANG!!
Bryn | free & addicted
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