Monday, May 18, 2009

This is enough adventure for me for one day! Nice (Part 1 of 1)

So, we landed in Nice about 10:30 at night, after the buses quit running, but our hostel was awesome and came to pick us up at the airport.  This was completely the best hostel I've ever stayed at (better than Florence, even!).  Free breakfast, towels, internet, and ...hello? Its in NICE!

Because we'd been so busy in Paris, we just wanted to sit by the beach and be, well, bums.  Tuesday morning, we asked reception where a good beach was and they told us Villefranche, a short train ride away.  The girl behind us was asking the same question, and she asked if she could come with us.  Of course, we said she could and she is possibly the most interesting person alive (after Thomas Jefferson.  But that's a long story.  And he's not alive, anyway).  Sophie is from Quebec, so she speaks French (horray!) and she is in Europe just traveling for a few months.  I can't wrap my mind around doing something like that, just traveling for a few months or even a year.

We went down to the nearest super market and got food and booze.  Carly is from Southern California, so she knows how to be a beach bum.  Whereas for me, the nearest beach is...Land Between the Lakes? Yeah.  But we got vodka, orange juice, and pineapple rum.  I won't lie.  It was tasty.

That day, I made the egregious error of not putting on enough (or in some parts, NONE) sunscreen.  I had a spectacular sunburn for a few days that was quite painful (especially the back of my legs).  Here are the pictures of our extremely lazy day on the beach in Villefranche.

The view from our hostel, Villa St. Exupery.

Beach at Villefranche.

Toes in the sand...and rum.  Eeeeeeeexcellent.

YAY BEACH!  Look how clear that water is!

Charming medieval town of Villefranche.

Feet in the gorgeous clear water.

Sophie, me, and Carly.  You can begin to see how fried I am.

Cruise ship on the beach.
After toasting on the beach for a good 8 hours, we headed back to the hostel and COLD showers.  It felt really good.  We went down to the "Chapel" which was the common room at the hostel and drank some more and chatted.  It was nice. :o]
Carly had booked a scuba diving adventure for the next day (Wednesday) and Sophie and I wanted to go to Monaco, which was about an hour bus ride away from Nice.  Monaco, as you might suspect, is quite glamorous and ritzy.  I saw more Porshes and Lambourginis in that teensy little municipality than I've seen in my entire life.  Seriously.
THE Monte Carlo Casino.  James Bond, anyone?  We couldn't go in...because we had shorts on.  I kid you not.

Birds of Paradise!

We got some great sorbet in Monaco (and it wasn't expensive, actually!).  That's Sophie.  She's so cute.

The Prince's Palace is up there.

We basically sat around and read all day (I was definitely in the shade!).  We walked around some, and then headed back to Nice to meet up with Carly.  She had a good time on her scuba diving, even though it was short.  We walked around the Old Town of Nice for a while, and then headed back to the hostel.
Cute shops.

And cute little apartments.

And, the beach again.  In Nice.  :o]

It turns out that we were in Nice at the perfect time of year.  Its before the main tourist season and we were there a week before the Cannes Film Festival (Cannes is about half an hour from Nice) and two weeks or so before the Monte Carlo Grand Prix F1 race in Monaco.  Awesome!
We went back to the hostel and finished up all the alcohol.  I might be a fan of rum, lol.  I slept really well that night.
When Carly was in Barcelona, she rented a bike and rode down Las Ramblas and along the beach, and she thought it'd be a good idea to rent some and ride along the beach in Nice.  It was a good idea, and the view was spectacular.  She got some cool pictures while we were riding, so I'll have to wait until I get her pictures to get those posted.  So that is what we did Thursday morning.  Rode bikes and walked a little more on the beach.
We then went back to the hostel, got our stuff, and set out for the Nice airport.  Nice has two terminals, one for the main airlines and one for the budget airlines (that's us, hehe).  We assumed that the bus stopped at both terminals.  WRONG.  We quickly realized that it only stopped at the first terminal, and got off at the next stop, a good mile away from the airport.  We timed it so that we'd arrive 2 hours before the flight (like you're supposed to), but that walk with all our backpacks and such made it a little tight. Too close for comfort (hence the title of this post).  But we got to Geneva (our next stop) perfectly fine, so no harm, no foul.
But, as you can tell by the length of this post, we didn't DO a whole lot in Nice.  We just basically bummed around, which was the idea in the first place.

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