Nice was our final city in France, a very lovely city that we really enjoyed. Having a population of roughly 345,000 we found it to be big enough to be exciting but still manageable to explore by walking. We spent 4 nights in Nice and filled our days mainly exploring the waterfront and old city.
Our apartment was a really fun one this time – our host Pierre, a well dressed and vibrant young thirty something entrepreneur met us at the train station and escorted us to his apartment which was only about 5 minutes away. We have really appreciated our hosts who have offered to met us when we arrive at the train station as it takes a lot of the stress out of finding our new temporary home in a new and unfamiliar city. Our apartment had real modern décor which we really enjoyed. Pierre did a great job with the remodel of this apartment. Most all of the apartments we have stayed in have been booked through Airbnb.com and have been consistently as advertised and for us way better and cheaper than staying in a stuffy, confined hotel.
It was very easy to get to the waterfront and old town area, as our apartment was one block off of the main street, which was long and straight and ended at the beach. Only the tram went down this street, cars were not allowed so it was always filled with a lot of people. The weather was still warm enough that people were sunbathing and swimming. The beach in Nice stretches the whole length of the city and consists of egg-sized rocks, no soft sand here! We spent time just sitting and gazing out over the beautiful blue water and people watching, very relaxing.
The old city was fun to explore, it had the usual narrow streets, vendors and stores of every kind. There were lots of restaurants just as in previous cities we visited in France which provided us with some familiarity as we wandered our way through this beautiful country. After exploring the old town a bit we trekked a large hill to a wonderful public park overlooking the entire city, the views were spectacular. It was fun to watch the planes come in for a landing because they were literally right above us and we could watch them approach the airport and land.
Our dining experiences were all great; we took a bit of a diversion from traditional food fare opting to eat out for Vietnamese and Indian food that was simply delicious. We did our usual shopping locally and cooking back at the apartment; baked rabbit was on the menu again for us and it turned out great – so fun to get fresh ingredients from the local markets, Nancy said she’s done with rabbit now even though it was as good as it was.
As we made our way down the main street we walked through a little plaza that had some very interesting sculptures, men sitting in various positions on top of what looked like a platform on top of a flag pole, the figures appeared to be slightly translucent. There was also a really fun open part of the plaza that was a “misting field” of steam that people would walk through, there were lots of kids having fun in this eerie looking environment, it was very refreshing to walk through as it was quite warm.
Nice was a great way to end our France travels, we would certainly recommend visiting here if you plan on going to Southern France. We are off now to explore some cities in Italy, starting in Genoa, so we will see you there!