Nice Is Nice
While studying abroad most students set goals of seeing as much as they can in the short time they spend in another country. Often students will go from one country to another and to another after that. While settled in Paris many of my classmates have set a goal of seeing London, Rome, or Amsterdam since they are short distances and exciting new country experiences. Kiana Noble and I were lucky enough to see Amsterdam and London before arriving in Paris so we decided to do something a little different and visit a location within France called Nice. Nice is a beautiful little beach town and while visiting a beach in the middle of winter might seem like a bad idea, Kiana and I and the time of our lives in this beautiful place.
The aesthetic of Nice is completely different than Paris. The buildings are made up of all different vibrant colors like yellows, oranges, pinks, and greens contrary to the white and black (but still beautiful) colors of Paris. The beach is covered in white pebbles and locals can be seen enjoying bottle of wine on the beach even in the below 40 degree weather. We arrived in Nice just in time to walk along the promenade, take pretty daylight photos, and then enjoy a couple glasses of wine at a beachside bar while watching the sunset. Back at the hostel we were greeted by extremely friendly staff, who all spoke English and the hostel was equipped with a sauna, gym, bar, free towels, free Wi-Fi, and a ping pong table. What more could you ask for? We stayed at Villa Saint Exupery which was not only a clean and well equipped as I just mentioned but it was also only a few blocks away from the beach and a street over from the main road. We took advantage of the prime location and walked everywhere we went.
During the day we roamed the streets of Old Town where they have a flower and art market set up everyday from 8am-1pm and after we walked over to “Le Parc Du Chateau” which is a park high up on a hill that overlooks all of Nice. The view is incredible and the walk is surprisingly easy for how high up this hill goes. Kiana and I enjoyed a coffee on top of the hill with a great view before heading to our next destination, Eze.
Eze is a little town that is only an hour-long bus ride from Nice. It’s main attraction is a beautiful medieval style castle resting on a hill overlooking the water. We wandered through the castle alleyways and looked in various shops on our way to the top part of the castle where there is an incredible botanical garden. The garden is definitely the highlight of Eze for me, so many lovely cactuses, succulents, and other plants covering the hillside. The gardens also overlooked the ocean and we were able to find a bench within all the plants to sit on and enjoy the sunset in a beautiful place once more.
Kiana and I enjoyed our little mini vacation in Nice incredibly and it was a cheaper alternative to taking a flight to another country for the weekend. We got to know our new French home a little better and my love for France only continues to grow.