Je Vais à La Plage
Le sable blanc et les palmiers…Avec ton meilleur ami…Où sont donc passées les starlettes ?…Le malheur sur la côte d’azur…C’est que jamais rien ne dure. -Barbara Carlotti “Cannes”
Becca and I have long had dreams of sunshine, beaches and the South of France. It may be the poster I had in my dorm room which proclaimed: “Le soleil toute l’année sur la Côte d’Azur. So we took a three day trip that was the perfect combination of seeing things and relaxing.
Nice was our base city and we flew into this airport. We stayed at Hostel Smith (in the heart of the Old Town) and as luck would have it we paid the dorm room price but there were so many people that we got our own private room. Quelle chance! The Old Town is nice and has lots of restaurants and bars for the evening. And most importantly ice cream stands!
We started the day by hiking up to the old chateau and there was also a beautiful cemetery with a nice view.
We went to the market where we had to get some herbs de Provence and of course lunch.
We sat on the pebble stone beach and had our lunch:
That afternoon we decided to go to the Matisse Museum which as it turns out is much farther from the Old Town than one would expect. I asked an older couple for directions and they pointed the way. Then a few minutes later they pulled up to us in a car and told us to get in because the museum is pretty far and they were heading in that direction anyways. It was my first time sort of hitch hiking. But they were nice and of course they were right: that would have been a long walk. The Matisse Museum is in the hills with some old Roman ruins.
Must say that the pace of life is slower and the people are generally friendlier in the South, granted it is March (so not tourist season yet) and I was speaking to them in French and not English. But I was left with a warm impression of the South.
There were a lot of people playing petanque (French lawn bowling, and a high school favorite for when no one wanted to stay indoors):
And as for the pastry update (yes, that’s what I am now calling it) Becca and I split a gigantic strawberry flavored meringue that had also been dipped in chocolate. It was super sugary and good, however, I don’t think it will become the other man in my relationship with macaroons.
MONACO and MONTE CARLO
For our second day we decided to go to the Principality of Monaco. Monaco is what you would expect: yachts, casinos and expensive stores. We climbed up to the fortress and watched the changing of the guards which takes place every day at 11:55 a.m. and then we wandered around the upper area.
The tropical garden is beautiful and we took our time strolling:
Then there was the Oceanographic Museum. Fish! Turns out Prince Albert I had a thing for ocean exploration.
And now I must recount what has become an infamous incident and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. If you are thinking we met royalty and they proposed marriage and we agreed, you are wrong. No, what happened was far more bizarre. Becca and I bought lunch and decided to sit on a bench looking down over the port from the fortress. I was engrossed in the beauty of the ocean and my own thoughts when all of a sudden something slammed into my head. And this was not a gentle slam, this was hard. Before I knew what had happened I was off balance and my panini was on the ground and the thing had full on slammed into my head (leaving behind a red mark and shit) was eating my panini. And what did I see? The biggest seagull you could ever imagine. It wasn’t a bird it was a beast! All the other people around me were in disbelief. I was completely in shock. I am from California. I go to the beach and never, ever have I seen or had something like this happen. In my overwhelmed and flustered state I was a complete wreck. On top of this two guys started taking video of me and Becca confused, me wiping bird off my face and then being really sad that my panini was gone. I am probably a European YouTube sensation now. Simply put, I was violated and attacked by a seagull. Just like the Hitchcock film. Becca thinks that becase we were in Monaco the darn bird felt entitled. All I know is I am now parnoid and the pigeons back in Paris are scaring me more than before.
Then we went indoors to a ritzy shopping center. It was a little sick to see it when the world is pretty much going to hell in a hand basket but I guess Monaco isn’t exactly a good example of an average place. Then of course the mandatory casino photo:
On the way back we got of the bus at Cap Roux thinking we were going to go to the Old Village of Eze. Well wrong stop. But we found a beautiful abandoned beach:
Our final day involved taking an hour and a half bus (all buses cost only 1 Euro) to the Hollywood of the French Riviera. Cannes has sand beaches and it was warm enough so that we lay out in bathing suits for a few hours.
We climbed up to the old fortress here as well (seeing a theme yet?) And we had to go see the theater and the walk of stars:
I really enjoyed Cannes probably because I got to lie on the beach and let my paleness get some light. I understand the myth surronding this area; it truly is beautiful.
As for Paris, it was sunny and beautiful today. And now I am going to sleep, this has been quite the post! Bonne nuit.