05/26/2013 - 05/27/2013 68 °F
Surprisingly we made it to Nice with no problems! It was already dark though and we had traveled by train for well over 12 hours. We were exhausted. Then we walked about a mile to our hotel and we were a little discouraged to find that Nice was so quiet. Of course nothing is quite the same at night as it is during the day. We arrived at hotel Cronstadt, a rather creepy bed and breakfast run by a French couple. Joanna reminds me of a grouchy grandma. She had so many rules and is quite controlling. There are creepy oil paintings of her and her husband in the main room. We ventured out and found an average Italian meal, then went back to sleep.
The next morning we woke up to breakfast made by Joanna, once again disappointed. We had to sit under the creepy oil paintings silently while we drank bad coffee and ate a hard boiled egg. She is such a strange lady, it was an awkward breakfast to say the least. Casey and I were considering getting on a train to anywhere at that point. We decided to venture out anyway and were pleasantly surprised. We walked down promenade du anglais to old town. There was a market set up in the middle of the street with tons of fresh fruit and flowers. The street is also lined with restaurants with almost all outdoor seating.
From the market we went to Chateau du Colline, an old fortress/castle/park that towers above Nice. We walked up to the very top and had a breathtaking view of the entire city, we even caught a glimpse of the French alps. Finally, after all those stairs, we hit the beach, and ordered a mimosa!
After our ritual siesta, we got ready for dinner and headed back down the promenade which was transformed from the market to intimate outdoor seating for all of the restaurants. It was beautiful and romantic. So Casey and I had ourselves a little date at a magnifico little seafood place called La Grande Voile. We had caprese, seafood linguini, creme brûlée, and wine. Now when I mentioned intimate seating I really mean it. You are literally brushing elbows with the people next to you. When we finished our first bottle these older Russian men who had been at the formula one races all day ordered us another bottle. We had no idea what they were doing at the time because we don't speak Russian or French. A bit of a disadvantage. One of them claimed to be a race car driver, I'm still skeptical. We had our obligatory glass of wine and made polite conversation then corked our wine, paid, and ran before they knew what hit them. We took the almost full bottle down to the beach and finished it on the shore, quite a few other people had our same idea.
We made it back to the creepy hotel and are still alive so that's a plus. As for today, we did almost exactly the same thing except had a much more pleasing breakfast of omelets, croissants, and lots of coffee. And we rented chairs to tan on instead of just towels on the rocks (I forgot to mention that the beaches don't have sand but tons of smooth rocks instead). The market that was full of flowers was a flea market today. We also got some delicious macaroons on our walk home. We are about to head down to dinner and hopefully we don't run into the Russians again.
Overall Nice was very nice and relaxing, but it was well covered in our two days here. We've decided to leave creepy (but well meaning) Joanna and head to Cinque Terre a day early. Out train leaves at 10 tomorrow morning!
Until next time!