Sometimes, you just need to stop and smell the roses! Which is what I did in Nice, France.
We arrived, rather uneventfully, to our final country – France. One thing I have to say about Europe that continues to surprise me is the beyond-relaxed attitudes to border control. After being quite seriously grilled trying to enter Amsterdam (apparently “sightseeing” isn’t a believable excuse for visiting – next time should I say hookers and drugs?), I have silently slipped through Germany, Italy and now into France without showing my passport to anyone. Seems a bit shocking and also anti-climatic – I want stamps for my passport!
At any rate, we switched our brains from Italian to French (which thankfully I have a much better handle on thanks to university – here’s hoping I can remember all of it) and made it to Nice.
Nice was a nice detour from our original plans. Yes, it’s flashy but not in a Monte Carlo-kind-of-way. And boy was it hot! 32 degrees the day we arrived, which when you’re wearing half your pack to lighten the load (and then carrying said pack) equals about a million degrees. So we went down to the rocky beach, soaked our feet in the cool water, tried to ignore the almost-nude sunbathers and said a collective “ahhhhhhh”.
The next morning we awoke early to find some brunch before heading to the beach. Have you ever noticed that often the best things come out of no planning whatsoever? We had no idea there was such a great market mid-week in Nice! Vendors from all over Provence and the Riviera bring their produce and goods each week and despite my allergies which went a bit nuts, it was amazing. Everything looked like it was taken from a page of a magazine, I have never seen such beautiful-looking produce in my life! Thanks to Megan’s fancy pants camera, we got some nice shots:
I GOT A TAN!!!!
For four months, I have not tanned, save for my feet. I have the most wicked sandal tan from trudging around for hours on end in my Birks. So I wanted to even things out a bit, and sat out (yes Mum, with sunscreen, sunnies and a hat) in the sun, basking in its toasty warm goodness. And no word of a lie, I got a bit of colour that wasn’t fire engine-red. Granted, I wasn’t looking like the Donatella Versace knockoffs sunning their chests next to me, but that’s fine with me.
But then I realized how burning hot the sun was and ran into the drink. Which was ice cold but glorious.
P.S. So, what’s in Genova? We didn’t find the aquarium…and as the city is surprisingly massive and we received several warnings to avoid certain areas (all conveniently located around our guesthouse), we abandoned the idea of exploring and watched a movie instead. Sorry Genova!