Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Côte d'Azur

    I was so excited to take a weekend trip to the French Riviera. I had done a mood board on the Côte d'Azur earlier in the year, so I was already familiar with what it represents. Though I was familiar, I did not except it to be as beautiful as it was. Gabby and I took a train from Paris to Nice, France. It was a very long way and there was not much to see in the beginning. At one point the train was stopped and an announcement was made in French, we asked a fellow traveler what was said and he told us that somebody was down on the tracks! We were so shocked and found it very funny that they were so casual about this. A few minutes later we kept moving as normal, I assume the person moved off the tracks, I hope. Anyway, as we reached closer to the coast line, the view was insanely beautiful. It was like nothing I had seen before. I did study abroad in Greece last summer, so I have seen beautiful beaches, but there is something different about the South of France. The colors are very earthy and the homes have more of a California feel. The sun shined the entire time as we passed through each little town, making our way to Nice at the end. We went straight to our hotel to drop our bags off and head to the beach. I was very surprised to see the little town of Nice because it was more advanced then I'd expect. It's so small and far away from everything else, yet they have McDonalds, Zara, and Starbucks. Greece was much different in this way because the towns are not advanced, consisting of mostly family owned, small businesses. The beach was all rocks, no sand, which also surprised me because I would expect such a famous beach town to be beautiful, soft sand. I do not really prefer rock beaches because they are sort of uncomfortable. Once you get down to the beach and look around though, you realize the view makes up for the rockiness. There are beautiful mountainsides filled with flowers and scattered with magnificent houses. The water is a crystal blue color and you can tell by looking at it that it is so clean and crisp. We relaxed on the beach and enjoyed the sunshine before we walked to roam the town a bit. The town consists of adorable streets of shops and restaurants. A very unique detail in Nice are the streets being made of stones or bricks. It is not like walking around a typical city with black roads and sidewalks. People are out and about everywhere, enjoying ice-cream or coffee and shopping. They were also street performers which surprised me as well, but I guess it makes a lot of sense since tourists are swarming the city. We went out for a nice meal and night on the town, overall it was very relaxing and the people had a happy vibe. Nice definitely was different than what I had expected, it was much more of a town than I thought it would be. I can definitely see why people love Nice so much. I hope to go back one day for sure!

When I learned my professor in London lived in the South of France, I expressed that we spent a weekend in Nice. He immediately made a face and said he doesn't like it there. I was surprised because Nice is so famous and beautiful. I asked him why he did not like it and he said that most Europeans do not like Nice because it has no soul. He also said, in true British fashion, that the beach there is rubbish and so small. I asked why it is so famous if people do not even like it and he explained that it is just "in fashion". It is close to Cannes where the Cannes Film Festival is each year. It has also just become a destination spot for people who are not European, but Europeans themselves do not enjoy Nice. It was an interest perspective to hear.
A typical street in Nice.

Beautiful fountain and statue in Nice.

The gorgeous beach of Nice.

Typical street performers in Nice.

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