French Riviera Day 4, Nice

Continued from French Riviera Day 3, Monaco Part 3.

This is my last full day in Europe. How the days have passed by just like that. As much fun as I’ve had, it’s time to go back home to my family and my friends. It does get a little lonely traveling alone after a while. In a way, writing in this photo blog is for me to feel connected with the people back at home.


How fitting. The mural in my hotel room. The room itself is called Meditation.


Slept in and just moseyed around the room. Today shall be an easy day of just walking around Nice semi aimlessly.


Whimsical interior of the hotel elevator. It’ll actually play a count down sequence of a rocket launching when it starts moving up from the ground floor.


The empty streets of Nice. When I asked my hotel front desk the reason for so many shops being closed, they looked at me with a confused look. They didn’t think any more than the usual amount of stores were closed. I guess it’s normal for half of the stores in town to be closed and opened on a whim then.


I did have one thing on my agenda that I wanted to check out. Walking towards the Chagall museum, way on the other side of town.


Cross the highway ahead and then take a right.


Love the buildings on this street. So much of Nice reminds me of the French Quarter in New Orleans.


Getting closer.


Up and up we go. Something about Nice. There are a lot of dog owners in this town, and none of them seem to have the mental capacity to pick up after their dogs. There is shit everywhere. Watch where you step in this city. I can deal with stepping on the discarded cigarette butts that’s so prevalent here, but accidentally stepping in shit would make me blow a fuse.


I’ve finally arrived at the Marc Chagall museum after trekking across town and up a small mountain!


Of course! It’s CLOSED today! I actually did look up the hours on the website(it was all in French). I didn’t read the fine prints again until after the fact and found that it closes on Tuesdays. It’s Tuesday today. Ugh, walked all the way across town for nothing. Not going to wait around until Wednesday for it to open back up, so I decided to just keep on walking. The path of least resistance was downhill, which will eventually lead to the beach.


I wonder how many old buildings had to be razed in order to build this highway?


Matte cars, over played. Matte Vespa, cool.


Did I mention that everything here is always closed? This is the norm? How do any shops make any money?


I haven’t had anything to eat all day, trekked halfway across town, uphill, so I finally broke down and bought the breakfast of champions.

Then not 5 minutes after having my banana, I was walking down a street and I kept on smelling this alluring smell. Smells like baked butter!


Found the source of the smell.


So colorful.


So wonderful.

The register lady was mean to me though. A bitter soul selling sweets, how bittersweet. No amount of me smiling at her would chill her out. She seemed like she was not having a great day and also annoyed at me because I spoke no French and she spoke no English. Since when did it become offensive because one did not speak a certain language? I wish she would travel somewhere abroad and get a dose of her own medicine. Perhaps she’s never traveled abroad to a country with a foreign language and that’s why she’s so inpatient with a non-French speaker. She was the first one to be visibly annoyed at me for not speaking French. Everyone else I’ve encountered thus far either spoke some English or were more than nice to help me out however they can through the language barrier. But truthfully, 80% of the people I encountered in France spoke well enough English for us to communicate in some form or another.


Found myself a nice bench in a park to sit down. I was actually wandering around this area two nights ago after having that raw seafood dinner.


Yup, I’ve been walking nonstop for an hour now.


Life is unpredictable, eat dessert first. Trust me, I know better than most right now that life is unpredictable so I am eating my fucking desserts first. Yup, they tasted as awesome as the smell that lured me in the first place.


Washed it down with some Orangina.


Then I’ll have some breakfast after dessert.


All that downhill walking did eventually lead me to the beach!


They’ve brought in sand from other places to cover certain parts of the beach so if you are only a fan of sandy beaches, you can get your fix.


Chillin’ and letting my dessert digest. The weather is beautiful here. High 70s, Low 80s with very low humidity. It feels like California. They have it good here.


The Naval Museum during the day time. You can climb up onto it during the day time to get a great view of Nice. It’s my duty to make that climb and get a photo from the vantage point.


Couldn’t they just share some of those dishes?


The Naval Museum is part of a larger complex called Chateau de Nice.


My reward for the short climb. Very Nice.(I know, I should stop those Nice puns….no pun intended)


How many breasts can you spot? I am guessing probably less than 2.


That’s the area with the whole seemingly endless array of outdoor restaurants. I shall try to have lunch there today after I take in my view from up here.


Look at the dome in the photo. Then from the very top of the dome, draw an imaginary line to the left and you’ll see an elevated highway. Yup, I had to cross that highway(It’s so far away, it’s probably a suburb of Paris) to get to the Chagall museum, which was closed. Did I mention that it’s closed on Tuesday? That was too easy. How about I say it in French then? Ouvert tous les jours sauf le mardi. Ok, got it.


Trash elevator for the beach bars. I thought it was cool since the elevator system is portable.


Playing frisbee in the water.


Chillin’ again. The beach is nice and all, but I think the nice dry weather is really what ties everything together. Sorry, no puns intended.


Electric cars get no love. They were all parked, silently charging while they were silently hoping to be discharging.


Cours Saleya, this is the area with all the outdoor restaurant seating that I saw two nights ago. Not nearly as crowded during the day time. Supposed to be a flower market here.


I call this one, Die Dutch Die.(It’s a Heineken bottle)


Found the flower market. I don’t know why I was looking for it, not like I was going to buy any flowers for myself or anyone else.


Lunch spot, after eating dessert first. There were literally about 20 different restaurants in this area, and I had no way of choosing one over another. I only wanted restaurants that served French cuisine though. Then finally I picked this restaurant solely because I liked the waitress more than the other waitresses. Yup, shallow like that. At least she wasn’t going to be a total bitch to me like the lady who sold me the desserts.


Steak tartare, seasoned raw minced beef. I saw a bunch of people eating this when I was in Paris last year, but I was too afraid to try it then. Carpe diem. What the fuck do I have left to lose. It wasn’t too bad actually. Definitely an acquired taste, but it’s not too far away from a rare steak that’s chilled. I think it’s the chilled part that makes it tougher for me than the raw part. On the other hand, warm raw meat….no thanks.


To keep the heart going for the rest of the day.


I couldn’t find the post office in Monaco. Rather, I knew of one in a general area, but I was too tired to walk around for another 20 minutes looking for it so I had to mail my Monaco postcards in France.


Back strolling along Promenade des Anglais. There were many seats that faces the beach, and the great majority of them were occupied by the elderly who were too old to let it all hang out, even just in swim suits. It just now occurred to me that I saw essentially no children or families at the beach. There were the young 20-35 crowd. Then the Orange People 35-50 crowd, where you once in a while will get one topless woman. Then the 50+ crowd sit here on the bench looking on towards the younger generation reminiscing back to their younger days.


I am an old man.


Hotel Negresco. I prefer the look better at night.

Didn’t do too much today, but that was mostly planned. I just wanted to wander around Nice, look at the city and look at the beach during the day and get a feel of what the vibe was like. The beach here is just so calm with about 99% of the people doing nothing but sunbathing.

I called it a day early, went back to the hotel room to catch up all of the photo blogging that’s been piling up. I amazed myself by taking over 600 photos in Monaco and that’s a lot of diary writing! There is a strange phenomenon about the last day of vacation where you just want to take it really easy. It usually happens to me when I am on vacation and I can see that I am not alone. The last day that we were in Prague, before all of my friends flew back to the States, there was this lethargic feeling in the air where we spent much of the day just sitting around with not much on the agenda. Relaxing to build up energy for the long flight back home?


Back at the pedestrian zone in search of dinner. I asked the hotel front desk to suggest a seafood restaurant. They suggested two, one far away and cheaper, one closer and more expensive. I walked around a bunch today, and it’s my last night on vacation, time to splurge a little. Closer and more expensive it is.


Found it.


This semi crazy lady parked herself right across from the restaurant I was eating at. I can say, with much fanfare and confidence, that she’s the single most atrocious violin player I’ve ever heard in my life. Her playing was bad enough already, but it wouldn’t have been like killing puppies if her violin was actually in tune! I wonder how many marriage proposals she has ruined over the course of her street musician career?


Too fancy of a place for beer, even for me. The dress in Nice is pretty casual though, which worked out well for me because I didn’t bring anything even semi resembling nice in my luggage.


Got to love the small half bottles.


Got this complimentary. Looks like caviar to me, but part of it doesn’t. Couldn’t be sure, still ate it though because it was free.


Seafood salad. This thing was huge. I think I got full already after eating this.


Sole to be stuffed after being full.


Dessert goes into a different part of the stomach. Yes, it’s been scientifically proven.


Yes, please.


It was expensive alright at roughly $140. But in my defense, everything here is expensive, so this would have probably only been the equivalent of a $70 meal in Austin. Was this the best meal I had in Nice? No. I would actually say that the meal last night at the Kebab place was my best tasting meal. I love Kebabs like I love BBQ.

I got back to the hotel, started packing, and then about a couple of hours later, something went wrong. Ironic how I get food poisoning from my most expensive meal while on vacation. Well, it could have also been the delayed action of the raw beef during lunch. Or it could have been the combination of the raw meat and seafood. Regardless, you try new things, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. No regrets though….well, I say that now, we’ll see how I feel about it tomorrow when I have to be traveling for close to 20 hours. That’s 0-3 for the recommendations from the hotel front desk.

To be continued at Home, Sweet Home.

One thought on “French Riviera Day 4, Nice

  1. The Olsen’s have really enjoyed this blog!!! Your pictures have been awesome, and the places interesting! Last time I was in Nice and Monaco was 1988 and I can see it has not changed much :-) Neither had, Venice, Rome, Prag, Vienna or Munich! It’s interesting but to me it looks like it is mostly the cars and hair styles that have changed over the nearly 25 years since I was in those cities!
    Welcome home!

    Shawn

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