Travel Tuesday: Blue Coast

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | Stamp in My Passport| , , |

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Here's a post from my first week living in France. It was a magical time. 

February 2, 2012

After about 20 hours of traveling we arrived safely in Nice, France on the French Riviera. The city is GORGEOUS. I was wondering why we were coming here in the winter instead of later in the semester in April. Aristocrats and socialites have been coming to Nice since the 1800s in order to improve their health (supposedly.) I guess it’s like snow birds vacationing in Florida all winter. There is something special about the salt air, especially after sitting on planes for the past 11 hours. Now whether or not it cures tuberculous, is beyond me. 

We spent today with a tour guide walking around the city and this afternoon we were on our own to go exploring and finding a place to eat dinner. We walked up and down the Promenade, which was built by all of the British and European socialites who wanted to walk along the coast and be seen, but did not want to walk on the rocky soil. As the promenade expanded in the 1920s, art deco hotels and buildings began to pop up. It is a center for artists of the time to come and be inspired. 

Today I went to my first art museum ( there are MANY more to follow in the next several weeks), the Contemporary Art museum. It was very interesting to say the least. Some of the more abstract pieces I feel like I could have made myself and called it art, but maybe I was missing the big picture. The problem with going to museums when you do not speak the language is that you can’t read the captions and biographies of the artists to understand what you are looking at. This may become a problem later on. 

Nice is one of the few places that you can go to the mountains in the morning and ski and then go to the beach in the afternoon. Very cool. We also saw the hospital that Angelina Jolie gave birth to her twins. I’m glad my pop culture and Hollywood knowledge will serve some kind of purpose.

For dinner, Emily, Samantha and I discovered that restaurants in Nice close early (like 6 or 6:30ish) and we had to walk around for about an hour to find something good and cheap. We ended up going to a Cuban restaurant of all places and it was wonderful. There were salsa dance lessons going on in the back. I had some sort of beef, onion, and pepper dish covered in sliced banana and cheese. Sounds strange, but so good. So far I haven’t had much French food actually. For lunch we had a Nice sampler platter of specialty items from the area. They were all good on their own, but together it was like an explosion of rich flavors in my mouth and was a little much this early in the trip. 

Tomorrow we have an early train ride to Cannes. So excited for the rest of the week on the coast!

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