This past weekend Steve and I were in Nice, France for a short weekend break. We also took a short hop over to Monaco to see what it was like.
Steve was ill the first day, and I took ill the second day, so there are not a lot of photos and we didn’t rush around trying to see everything, but we were still happy to have the chance to go see the French Riviera.
Our flight left Gatwick at crazy o’clock, so after a 3:45 wake up call we were in Nice able to start sightseeing about 10am. We wandered around the flower market, which was nice, but not really as fabulous as people made it out to be.
We grabbed brunch then headed over to check out the beach.
At the beach we quickly realized that our pasty-white English skin shouldn’t really be out at noon (even with a generous portion of 50+). The other beach deterrent is the topless sunbathing. It must be written down in the ‘topless sunbathing code of conduct’ that only middle-age and older, slightly overweight women can sunbathe topless and only old men and men with really hairy backs wear speedos. It is really sort of disturbing. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. One interesting feature of the beach at is the small ‘sandy’ area. The beaches at Nice are quite rocky and look quite uncomfortable to walk on (judging by how gingerly people were walking in and out of the surf). They have created a sandy area, roughly the shape of a sand volleyball court and twice as big right across the quay from the old town. This patch was quite busy, with young people, most of whom were speaking English and I would bet were students visiting Nice on break from semester abroad. There seemed to be no locals on the sandy bit. They laid on the uncomfortable rocks as a badge of honor. (they were also prepared with nice padded mats…)
After our encounter with the beach, we decided to grab a bus up to the Matise museum. Our €4 bus ticket used to get from the airport to the hotel was good all day on all Nice public transport, which was quite convenient and efficient. Nice has several interesting looking museums and all but a couple are open free of charge. The Matise museum was small enough to be digestable, but big enough to be worth the trip. A 90 minute visit felt about right. It was located in a park planted with olive trees, which are always beautiful and interesting to look at.
We could check into our hotel at 3pm so we headed there for a much needed nap, which we tore ourselves away from just in time to enjoy a bit of the sunset. It was a beautiful eveing, absolutely perfect temperature for strolling, which it seems everybody in town makes sure to get out and do.
Dinner was at a small restaurant/cafe. I had a very good steak and steve had a three course meal of foix gras, duck and peach tart. We both had buttered, herbed new potatoes as an accompaniment to our main course, and they were heavenly, especially the ones at the bottom of the dish or pile, that were slightly crushed and absolutely soaked in butter.
On our way home from dinner we stopped for a bit to watch a Michael Jackson impersonator on one of the squares. He was a good dancer.
Will post again with photos from our Saturday afternoon trip to Monaco.