In order to shake things up a bit (ok, more like a lot), our group headed south to Nice, France. I started the weekend out with a bang by setting my alarm clock incorrectly and getting woken up 5 minutes before the cab was going to take us to the train station by someone banging on my door. Somehow I managed to grab everything and get changed in those 5 minutes while only forgetting my face lotion. I might have super powers.
When we arrived in Nice, the temperature was at least 15 degrees warmer and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Lush, green mountains surrounded the city on 3 sides and the darkest blue ocean water was on another side. To make things even better, our hostel was an older european-looking building that had recently been converted into a hostel. It was the nicest hostel we have stayed in so far. We immediately put our stuff down and set out to go find “Old Nice,” the older more central part of the city. We walked down to the ocean so we could look at the scenery some and as we walked further and further down the coast, the more we realized we didn’t really know where Old Nice was. Well, we saw a rather large and steep hill so of course we decided that Old Nice had to be at the very top. It wasn’t. But of course we didn’t realize that until after we had spent about 20 minutes straight of climbing hills. Instead we had somehow made it into the very wealthy part of town with gorgeous flats and houses, so I suppose it wasn’t all for nothing. Eventually we found Old Nice and ate dinner in a small Italian restaurant.
The next day, we all wanted to go to the beach. Well, the beaches in Nice are rocky. Like super painful to walk rocky. So instead we took a train to Cannes where rumor was there was actually sand. The sand was a little dusty, definitely not what I’m used to back home, but at least it was soft and comfortable to walk/sit on. The water was COLD. I’m slightly embarrassed to say that I only made it up to mid-thigh before quickly vacating the water. But, the weather was nice and it was good to be able to actually sit and relax instead of frantically power-walking through cities or, ya know, climbing the tallest mountain in Europe.
We left pretty early so that we could all get back to our hostel and clean up because that night we were headed to none other than the Monte-Carlo Casino in Monaco (yes, the one that’s in the James Bond movie). So we got dressed up all fancy like, ate dinner, and headed over to Monaco. Unfortunately you can’t take any picture once you go inside of the Casino because the ceilings and the walls were probably the most gorgeous things I have ever seen. Most everyone was dressed in nice clothes and it was almost like walking into a movie. I exchanged some money for some chips and played black jack for a little bit just so I could say “I played black jack at the Monte-Carlo straight up James Bond style.” Definitely worth it.
The next day we hiked back up a trail in Nice to see the waterfall (if you can call it that because it was man-made) and see some gorgeous views of the city. After that we just relaxed on the beach until our train at 7 pm. We took an overnight train and didn’t get back until 8:30 am the next day. Super rough. Next time I’m investing a few extra euros so I can get the little bed because those seats just weren’t cutting it. The overnight train was definitely worth the extra day we were able to spend on the beach, but it was definitely a good thing that I had invested in a coffee maker at the beginning of the semester :).
It’s weird to think that it’s already been a month since I’ve gotten here. Time has flown by, but at the same time I feel like I’ve been here for so much longer because of all of the traveling we’ve been doing. Well, I suppose that’s how it goes… I have to fit it all in while I can!
The rest of my pictures can be found here. Enjoy!