Sunday, 22 September 2013

Nice: C'est si bon

gosh i really need to catch up on my travel posts!! just a few more to go and i'm doneeee ^^ it's been so many months after exchange ended already. haha. 

travelling to Nice marked the beginning of our Easter holiday (: actually it started with cinque terre, but i'm not gonna blog about that because we went there during the most unfortunate rainy season, where everything looked absolutely gloomy, and we ran into a series of problems like a train strike and didn't manage to eat at the good seafood restaurant :'( i'm sure many people would have a much better experience to share, so i shall just skip that and go straight to SOUTH OF FRANCE :)))

when you think of Nice, the first thing that comes to mind is...the beach! of course ^^ (as you can see, the sky was pretty threatening in South of France as well...but at least it wasn't a thunderstorm haha)

and the unique thing about Nice's beaches is that it isn't made of sand! but rather, lots of rocks and pebbles like these ^^ it's really interesting, and it makes this beach so special :)) i could spend half a day walking along Promenade de Anglais, just soaking in this view (it's a really long stretch of beach!) and sitting on the rocks by the sea. Nice is actually really small, and you can easily walk around the entire city/town (??). if you're in a rush, perhaps one day would be sufficient. but why would you do that do yourself?! spend some time here to enjoy the atmosphere :) being a really touristy city, the good thing is that the people are generally much friendlier than anywhere else in France. at least, that was my experience. 

the highest point in Nice is Parc du Chateau. quite a climb, to be honest! haha. then again, everywhere in Europe involves some form of climbing :p we spent quite some time hiking up the hill, and were rewarded with this view :))) i'm really amazed at the expanse my camera managed to capture! it looks so beautiful doesn't it? :) i wonder how much of it is Nice, because it's supposed to be really small actually! and if you've been there, you would probably be able to identify the main areas in Nice from this bird's eye view! pretty cool ;) love how the beach looks from here as well!!

at the expense of sounding very lame, i have to say that every part of Nice is a favourite of mine ^^ it's really hard to identify a particular spot, because each has its own charm, and Nice is so small that there really aren't many places to choose from. but i really loved each and every one of them :) Cours Saleya is an open market that sells all sorts of things, with different markets on different days of the week! there is an antiques market on Mondays, and i was surprised at how much i enjoyed it! never thought i was interested in all these old stuff, but there were really a lot of gems in this market, and i actually bought something! a gorgeous vintage postcard to add to my collection :)

most of the other days, there is a flower market going on! so prettyyyyyyyy :)))

and i get my own flowers! courtesy of the sweet boyfriend ^^^

there is also a fruit and vegetable market on most days, and that means...foooood ^^ hehe. we totally went crazy over madeleines on this whole france trip!!!! :) starting right at Cours Saleya in Nice :D omg they are SO AWESOME. sam does not understand this hahaha. the madeleines sold here were really pricey, because they're supposed to be 'gourmet' ones. but we managed to find some really good ones in the supermarket (at a much cheaper price) as well! only one brand was good though, and i can't remember the name unfortunately!! :( can only recognize the packaging. but try those in bakeries as well! they should be good too :)

you can check out the schedule for the markets here!

Vieux Nice (which means 'Old Nice' in French) was another favourite of mine too. i just loved waltzing down the quaint streets and popping into random shops which sold all sorts of interesting products! oh, a must-buy when you are in South of France is their soaps! it's a specialty there and you can find it in many many shops ^^ lavender is also a specialty! you can find virtually anything related to lavender here.

we found this most delightful-smelling store in one of the little streets! Péchés Gourmands sold all kinds of local sweet things! they're edible!!! haha they totally looked like soaps (and according to the boy, tasted like soaps), but i loved eating them! the mantecaos are these powdery biscuit-like things which were super yummy, at least imo ;) try the almond one!! and the violette one was super interesting. i thought it was nice! it has a really strong lavender taste if you like flowery-tasting foods ^^ haha. to each his own i guess!

Péchés Gourmands
15 Rue Pairoliere

the new area of Nice is at Place Massena, and that's where the big shopping street is! with Galeries Lafayette and all.

just half an hour train ride from Nice is Monacco! where all the yachts and high-fliers reside ;) it's so cool to just BE THERE. revel in the luxury for a bit eh? ;) haha. it's pretty boring there though. unless you're planning to gamble at the casino, otherwise just exploring the place would take you, say, half a day? i didn't even have any meals there because i heard it's really expensive! it's gorgeous though :) plus we had the most amazing sunny skies while we were there. adds to the whole ambience :D 

at the back of the casino/palace or sth! haha. anyway, the train tickets cost €1.20 for one way if i remember correctly, and there are many timings, so you can just buy the tickets at the train station itself!

heh yep, so that's about it for Nice :) it's really small, so there really isn't much to talk about it. but you have to be there to experience it! :)) it's worth it. next post will be on the food! we had the BEST PASTA in Nice (and yeah, we came from italy. ironic, but true story. haha). look out for it! :D

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