Ah, France, the gorgeous country of cheese and bread, the language of Molière, the endless fields, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Côte d’Azur.
Many will know it all from TV or movies, the Cannes festival on the Croisette, celebrities on their yachts, tourists meandering along the Promenade des Anglais…
Well, if you’ve never been, you’d better go! Nice is a lovely town, quite near the Italian border and Monaco, and it offers everything you expect from a town in Southern France: the picturesque old town with tiny streets where people hang their laundry out their window and you can look into the neighbours living room and watch their TV, bakeries releasing the smell of freshly baked bread in the early morning, countless restaurants and bars and brasseries where you can drink the cheapest wine and order the cheapest dish and it’ll still taste better than in good ol’ Blighty.
It’s also very hip, there are countless gay bars and clubs (we lived near something called “Bar B*itch Bar Butch”), groups of youths drinking and chatting by the sea at night, restaurants and bars open until midnight or later on weekends and whatever else you expect from a vibrant town.
While we were there, we visited Cannes, the town famous for… well… the rich and famous. Every year during the Film festival, the stars of Twinkletown descend on the city and make it the place to see and be seen. To be fair, to me it looked just like any other beach town down there. A “sandy” beach (not pebbles like in Nice, but not smooth sand like in Hendaye either), old looking buildings on the beach front (here of course housing expensive restaurants and Prada or Gucci shops) and a more lived-in part of town a little behind, where the “normal” people can shop and eat.
We also took a day trip to Monaco. And yes, it’s as extravagant as they say. The train station alone is shiny and clean and a far cry from any station in France you will have left from. The buildings, well most of them are just ugly bar-type houses crammed full with flats, but of course there are some nicer ones near the museum and the Palace, as well as near the casinos. The main attraction of course is the many yachts and other mahoosive boats which are lining the shores. Most are bigger than a house! And they’re staffed. I know some of them are corporate, but most I’m afraid, belong to families with nothing better to do than to literally coast along. We did a lovely tour on a small train, that cost us 8€ and it was definitely worth it.
We rented a flat through Wimdu, and in case you didn’t know about that pretty little website, it’s worth checking out. We were very central, and the only drawback was being on the 4th floor and the lack of hot water/internet/soap. But hey, no flat is perfect.
It was also my third and fourth flight… And it went much better! It turns out sitting by the window solves all problems with travel sickness. Just make sure you watch outside when the plane rises, falls, turns and Lord knows what else. So yay, flying not so bad anymore. I took so many pictures I couldn’t even think about feeling unwell.
Plus, I’m definitely jumping on the ‘holidays with friends’ bandwagon. Because they’re fun. They’re even more fun if you all get along, if there are no couples (unless it’s ALL couples) and if it’s an even number. We will definitely go away again somewhere, we just need to scrimp and save!