It’s Hard To Be Blue On The Côte d’Azur – A Jaunt in Nice, France

We were in London and had an available weekend. So, as an early birthday present to me, we went to Nice, France (the best birthday present is always travel).

France has always been one of those countries that I have on my ‘list’. My list is long (and getting longer) but France has long been a resident of my dream holidays. Ever since I was a child, I loved pizza, crepes, and pasta… and France seemed like a mythical elegant country, where people spoke a sexy-sounding language and drunk great wine.

Well.

It’s all true.

France Is Filled With Great Food and Beautiful People

France is the home of incredible shoes, immaculate outfits, seriously AMAZING food, and great wine. The women are slim, beautiful, and I have decided I want to be French. I suspect I won’t make the grade, being a bit rough-around-the-edges-kinda country girl who has a penchant for heavy use of the F word and whose French is truly appalling (and, I also like wearing leggings but suspect French women would eschew them completely).

Market france Nice
Market wandering in Nice
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Soap is a common item for sale in Nice, a locally produced item

Food in Nice, France is INCREDIBLE

Food met, and exceeded all expectations. I ate amazing handmade pasta, with ratatouille sauce and smothered in amazing fresh mozzarella. The most tender octopus, served tossed with olives and capers. Steak tartare served with crispy handcut fries. Huge wedges of pizza with vibrant sauce and dripping with amazing cheese. Crispy, buttery, flaky warm croissants served with strong coffee. Finally, the gelato, bursting with flavour and a delicious end to a meal. Yes, France is very good at food. I also (re) developed an addiction to San Pellegrino drinks.

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Not a great photo of me but I was NOT waiting for photos before I dived into this amazing pasta!
Gelato in Nice
GELATO – AMAZING. This is one of a few gelato desserts we had.

Things to do in Nice France

The ‘touristy’ stuff to do in Nice is somewhat limited. We spent a lot of time doing my favourite thing, which is wandering around the city on foot. The tourist ‘old town’ area is beautiful but expensive… then we wandered up to Parc du Château. It was home to a castle that burnt to the ground in 1706, and now is a winding staircase that leads to a beautiful park at the top. The park overlooks Nice, a great way to savour the red-tiled rooftops, bright blue sea, and crisp white buildings.

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The view from the top of the hill, overlooking Nice
Nice france
The view of Nice, over the other (less touristy) side
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Me at the top of a small hill in Nice
Nice france
….and what I was looking at!
Illia Pasta France Nice
A street in Nice, outside the best pasta restaurant ever – Illia Pasta

Take a Day Trip to Monaco

We took a bus to Monaco to have a look around. I was aware of Monaco’s tax status and the wealth there and I expected a beautiful city. What I got was somewhat less than expected. It was clean, but it felt like there was as many buildings (and boats) jammed into the space as they could. As a result, it’s this crowded hodge-podge of ugly buildings jammed up against each other. We visited the castle and I patted a cat, that was the highlight for me. I saw the Monte Carlo casino, Lamborghinis and Porshe cars lined up outside, the huge yachts and flashy materialism that I’m learning to hate… I think I’ll stick with cats.

monaco palace
Guard at the Palace in Monaco – nice moustache
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Cat and I in Monaco, at the palace
Monaco palace wall
In the fine tradition of ‘me against large walls’…. here is me against a large wall (Monaco Palace to be precise)

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