Looking back through my photos, I realised I’d totally forgotten to write about Green Ranger and I’s short trip to Nice, France (shame on me). So I thought I’d best do a post…
Feeling a little glum post-new year, I spontaneously booked a short break to the French Riviera city of Nice. EasyJet were offering a deal so I thought ‘why the hell not’, in all honesty, we soon found out why it was so cheap.
Day one was spent largely exploring the city, whether we wanted to or not. We jumped on the ‘local’ bus to the hotel but after travelling for a while, were told to get off. We did wonder why… it turned out we’d gone too far and missed the hotel by about half the city! Cue a Google Maps jobby. To be fair, The Grand Hotel Le Florence was not what made this trip one to forget, it was actually rather quaint and the staff couldn’t have been nicer to us. If you’re ever in Nice for a little break, I’d recommend it.
As soon as we dropped our bags we were out again and soon made our way down the main high street, past Place Massena and its fountains to the coastline. Being a lover of kitsch beachfront trains, I saw one and bolted. It did prove helpful though. Being the only ones on it, we got a longer tour including more time up at the Chateau de Nice. You could not fault the views; they were exceptional – perfectly showcasing the blend of French and Italian architecture, as well as the turquoise sea. It reminded me of my time in Florence.
Next we walked along to Nice’s Port and gawped at a few luxury speedboats moored on the edges of its walls, wishing that we may have one ourselves one day (pah!). When we walked a fair distance, we treated ourselves to afternoon tea at Emilie’s Cookies in the older part of town – I had a Nutellaccino (exactly what you think it is) and a white chocolate Blondie – both were scrummy.
Day two began in Place Massena taking pictures of the beautiful fountains, splashing one another and looking at the town’s architecture on the way to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Definitely one of the best art museums I’ve ever been to, it had a very different collection to what I’ve previously seen, very much inspired by mainland Europe – it was colourful, quirky and opinionated – just the way I like it. These were a few of my favourite pieces…
Feeling a tad peckish and having noticed a ice cream parlour the previous day with a ridiculous number of different flavours, we headed there in the midday heat. I had a tutti fruity, salted caramel and lemon sorbet scoop, it was some of the yummiest I’ve ever had but then again, in somewhere so largely built on Italian heritage, I expected it. When we’d finished scoffing, we needed to burn it off and the scorching sun wasn’t going to do that!
We rented Velo Bleu bikes (a bit like London’s Boris bikes) and rode the length of the coastline, from the main resort all the way to the harbour and then back again all the way around to the port. It was the most enjoyable part of the whole trip, especially since Green Ranger and I hadn’t ridden bikes together before; it was funny singing along to one another and goading each other into a little race. Just wish I hadn’t worn a dress (teehee!). Riding a bike was the best way to see this town, including it’s War Memorial built into the cliff face – a magnificent structure that surpassed a lot of the war memorials I’ve seen in Belgium.
Day three was our last and was also one of the MOST stressful days I’ve ever had abroad. It took us 4 hours just to get back to the airport, with rude bus drivers continually sending us in the wrong direction and kicking us off their buses. I also had an odd Frenchman laugh in my face in the street – it’s fair to say by then I’d had enough!
We visited Parc Phoenix to relax and kill an hour or two before our flight, spotting cute giant tortoises, flamingos, lizards and scarlet macaws, then happily waited in Nice’s airport for a few hours for our flight home. Not the send off we’d hoped for! Maybe I’d just had higher expectations…
Have you ever had a holiday nightmare? Or have you had a different experience in Nice?