Oopsie…I missed a couple days again. I’ll make up for it today!! 🙂
As I mentioned in my Eze post, while my mom and I town-hopped the French Riviera, our home base was in Nice.
I had had a hard time choosing between Nice and Cannes as our Riviera home base during the trip planning stages, but in the end, I had gone with Nice. I can’t really recall why I chose Nice, but I think it was because it was bigger than Cannes and potentially offered more to do. (Nice is France’s third-largest city!)
After our overnight train ride, we arrived in Nice around 10AM and took a 20-ish minute walk to our hotel. We literally walked RIGHT passed it and got a bit lost, walked in circles around the same place (Massena Square), and finally looked up to find ourselves right underneath the sign. Cool.
After checking into our hotel early (woohoo!) we headed down to the Cours Salaya Saturday market, walking through the clean, pastel streets of the city. The market was such a treat! There were flower and food and soap and craft vendors everywhere, with tons of free samples. All I had wanted since I had been in France was a baguette, and I finally got one! My mom enjoyed tasting the pesto! We spent about an hour wandering the market before heading about a block away to the beach!
The beach was fantastic!! I know my mom has been to tons of islands and tropical locations with gorgeous beaches, but I had never before seen water as blue as the water in Nice! I loved how it went from light blue to dark blue, and how the black beach stones contrasted with the glimmering water. I wanted to go touch the water, but the way the rocks sort of just dropped down into the water made me nervous I would fall in, so I just took pictures from the edge 🙂
After walking east along the beach for a bit, we did a hike up to to Chateau Hill, a large, scenic park in the middle of Nice, right on the ocean.
By this time we were starving, so we grabbed a cookie & then headed off to the train station to go to Eze! (Where we still starved because it was so late & we couldn’t find a quick bite. I ended up having just the baguette for breakfast/lunch and my mom had a Magnum ice cream bar lol.)
We returned back to Nice, that night at about 6PM. We did some shopping & sightseeing on the way back to our hotel, where we stopped quickly to grab our jackets, since the ocean breeze was picking up. Then we walked along the promenade toward Hotel Negresco– a Nice landmark– before we headed back to the Cours Salaya area. We had noticed during the day that there were tons of delicious smelling cafes along the street, and we were hoping to try out one.
We finally found a nice cafe that looked like it offered relatively healthy food. (Only five days into the trip & we already felt so gross from the lack of fruit & salad in our diets!) We felt like all we were eating was bread, bread, and more bread. Unfortunately, this dinner turned out to be the same! Since we were so famished, we munched on the delicious bread they bought us, while we waited for our entrees. We also continued to discuss how they always bring bread to the table, but no plates. We had a good laugh as we struggled to pour teeny tiny drops of olive oil onto our bread, from an open-top bottle, ultimately just spilling oil all over the table cloth. Multiple times. We’re so classy 😉
Afterward, we walked through the city and down along the promenade again, enjoying the sound of the ocean and the sparkling city lights. Then it was back to our hotel!
Back at the hotel, I gave my mom her Mother’s Day present! (I can’t say what it is because my dad needs to open his Father’s Day present first :)) Then we packed up & got into bed, excited for Cannes & Monaco the next day!
Overall, we both really enjoyed our time in Nice. Even though it was more of our home-base than an exciting destination, we were both surprised by how much we enjoyed it. It was obviously pretty, but also surprisingly relaxing. My mom said it felt like a place she could actually live in. I told her I could imagine exploring the area more on a week-long, stay-in-one-place (rare for me) vacation! We would both highly recommend it.