Monday, October 27, 2014

Nice - Cote D'Azur

Weddings seem to take me to places I wouldn’t typically visit. A dear childhood friend had invited me to be a part of her wedding in the South of France - Provence. So there I was, gearing up for another Euro trip within the space of 2 months. The difference with this trip was that I was going solo – something I had not done in years.  Oh the luxury! no hubby, no baby, no travel companion to have to compromise with, just  me, myself and myself! I had been craving some alone time, so this was perfect. I should add that this was not originally meant to be a solo trip but a series of events occurred that caused it to be so. 

Naturally, I started planning on places  to visit; For  a split second I considered going against my natural instinct and not plan… but planning won, it almost always does, I can’t help myself. Sigh
Some light research revealed that I would be visiting a predominantly beach city - Nice, a place synonymous to Miami with more shi shi. Since I do not value getting half baked in the sun or wearing a bathing suit, the plan was to embark on a cultural adventure of sorts - visit the 2 villages I had read about on tripadvisor – Eze and Antibes.

At this point, I will skip any facts about Nice that you can find on google. One, because I hate when bloggers regurgitate Wikipedia  and Two, because it’s boring.

 Nice was my main destination, I flew into Nice,  boarded there for a few days before heading out to Provence where the wedding took place.

Before I delve into how epic (slight exaggeration) my trip was, I like to give a budget breakdown of my travels. I do this because I think this is a very important factor for interested travelers. Yes, it is nice to see the pretty pictures and amazing activities, but for regular people like me, what I want to know once I have established an interest is, can I afford it? And not a lot of blogs show a cost break out.

Airfare       Delta roundtrip JFK – Nice - $1387 (worst food everrr)
Lodging     Airbnb, Nice - $246 (3 nights)
         Airbnb Contignac - $145 (2nights)
Pocket Money – 500 euros (with a goal not to spend it all –feel free to judge me)  

I arrived in Nice in the afternoon and was completely unprepared for the wave of heat that engulfed me. It was October and the temperature was bordering the 80’s - my iPhone temperature forecast obviously did not do its job, because I did not pack for summer.

I stayed at the cutest little airbnb right off  Promenade de Anglais (the main strip along the beach front) couple of streets behind the Negresco hotel (famous people stay here). I highly recommend this airbnb, Emmanuelle who runs the place is a sweetheart. The ride from the airport to her place was 16 mins busride, this is a plus plus if you’ve had a long journey down. One more thing, if you ever stay here, no need to waste money on a taxi (35 euros); the bus 98 right outside the airport terminal will take you straight to her stop for 7euros.

A quick shower and I hit the streets to explore the beautiful town where the rich and famous journey to frolick in the sun. 

Figured i'd stick my feet in the Mediterranean sea
I strolled down to the Vielle Ville (Old town) where there are tons of restaurants, little shops and an open market. 

South of France is known for its Lavendar

I later ended at Place Massena the main square; here, you see 7 men seating in different positions on poles. I was told that these men represent the 7 continents; at night, they are lit in different colors signifying the different conversations being had, at some point during the course of the night they all change into 1 color symbolizing that an agreement  has been made and they stand as a united front. Isn’t that beautiful? Only if the world would work that way;  I loved the idea of this that I of course returned later to take pictures.  

PS: You can see the whole of Nice, or at least all that is worth seeing in 5 hours. 

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