Sunday, August 17, 2014
Summer Vacation 2014 – Riviera
So from Turkey I flew across to . . .
The French Riviera! (Nice, to be specific.)
First impressions, pretty city, beautiful weather, but . . .
The beach is entirely made up of rocks! There's no sand. I thought that was a bit strange. Turns out if you go to other parts of the Riviera, such as Cannes, there's more sand at the beaches there but as for Nice it is all rounded rocks. It wasn't that uncomfortable to sit on since they were all rounded but I was expecting a bit more sand. It was neat to hear the waves hit the shore to the sound of hundreds of rocks, it sounded like a rattle.
I also explored the town, had food at markets, and ate a local specialty called “socca” which is a slightly thicker crepe on which a number of toppings are added. It's not quite like a pizza, more like a dinner served on a thin, savory bread that you can eat.
Nice has a number of museums and other attractions but for the most part, given that it was the peak of summer, people were more inclined to just relax in the summer heat.
One day I took the train over to nearby Monaco, home of the rich and tax-dodging.
It was a beautiful city, and certainly only for the rich. Why, for the low, low price of just 635,000 Euro (~US$850,000), you could have a 30 m² studio apartment. Ummmm, yeah I’ll get right on that.
I went up the hill to where the Prince’s palace was. It was in a really nice neighbourhood that looked like everything had been kept fixed up and freshly painted. Maybe it has something to do with the wealth but I'm also guessing that His Highness doesn't like the neighborhood looking shabby.
The view from the hill was great too, I think this picture shows about two-thirds of the entire country.
I also stopped by the famous casino but I didn't go in as there was a huge throng of tourists. By the way Monaco is very hilly which can make wandering around in the summer a bit of a challenge. One of the easiest and most economical ways to get a tour of the country is to take the #1 bus for a full loop. Easy way to see most of the country and it'll take about 40 minutes.
I was also happy to find a rare treat at an ice cream parlour -- licorice ice cream. It's been years since I've had this, it's one of my favorite flavours. Back when I was young I used to enjoy an ice cream called tiger (licorice and orange) but I haven't been able to find it now.
Anyway I enjoyed my three days at the Riviera. It was expensive for sure but worth visiting.
Where did I go from there? The vacation continues next blog post . . .