Happy ‘Murica Day! Jes and I won’t be seeing any fireworks; we’re en-route to Venice after spending a couple of days in Nice (pronounced ‘niece’), a town along the French Riviera.
Little did we know when we arrived that the Tour de France was taking place! Odd coincidences and stumbling-upons are all a part of life. So at first, we thought it was really cool, but then we ended up stuck on one side of it, crammed in with a huge sweaty mass of people all looking for a way around it. Then we were really done with the novelty of the Tour de France. But hey, after all, we both have the same amount of medals of Lance Armstrong! Too mean?
Anyway, as we explored the brightly colored buildings, we came upon the open-air fruit and flower market. It was tucked into an alleyway of salmon and orange peel walls on either side and we wandered down the cobblestones oohing at all the spices, lavender sachets, and fruit so bright it looked plucked from a rainbow.
Jes haggled a lovely wooden turtle figurine down to half price! I don’t think I could do that! We bought a basket of strawberries and ate them next to the cerulean water, red juice running down our chins and sticky fingers. The beach isn’t sandy, but instead made up of flat oval gray stones. But it was still pretty! Refreshed, we then walked up about a billion steps of La Tour Bellanda, which gave us a beautiful view of Old Nice and the water. A man played the accordion for tips. To my delight, he played one of the songs from Amelie, one of my favorite movies!
We also took a trip to Monaco, but I have to confess I didn’t care for it. It was just exorbitant and gaudy… Like a foreign, super rich version of Atlantic City. But we did see some amazing views along the cliff edges getting there. We passed through the village of Eze, which is perched upon the mountain face. There were some Roman ruins upon the highest hill that were nice to see as we passed by.
Our hostel – Villa Exupery Gardens, was spectacular too. It is in a converted monastery and mostly staffed by university students. There was a mix of ages, but everyone was so friendly! They had both a clean kitchen and available dinner provided, and a big lounge/bar area for hanging out and meeting people. This little gray cat would wander inside and meow expectantly at us for food. Jes and I always ended up sharing stories with fellow travelers and having a laugh.
We have two weeks of travels left but we’re on the last country of our journey. Italia. We had a layover at the train station in Ventimiglia, or Vintemille (depending if you’re looking at it from France or Italy), and it also had Roman ruins just chilling on a mountain, like Eze.
Already we’re slightly relieved to be able to speak the language again. Although, nearly everyone we talk to answers us in English! But that makes our lives easier, I suppose.
Anyway, happy Fourth of July to my loves back home! Though I’m loving our trip and the delay of reality as a college graduate, I miss you all!