My first city in France
05.28.2014 - 06.01.2014
From Cinque Terre, Kelle and I took a train that took us along the cost to the French Riviera. Our stop: Nice. It was so easy to travel here that it was weird to me when the language all of a sudden changed.
Our time in Nice was just perfect. It's basically a vacation town - so equivalent to Americans going to Florida every summer. This was great for us to get some rest especially coming from our tiring hikes in Cinque Terre, and afterwards Kelle was going to Paris and I was heading to Madrid, both site-filled cities.
Day 1: Walk around Nice
Our hostel was so close to the water, we spent the day just walking around Nice and just loving the vibe. We walked up the Montee du Chateau (an old castle that has been turned into a beautiful park and viewpoint of Nice) and had amazing views of the beach and the port.
For lunch, we sat on the Promenade watching people go by and I ordered a Croque Madame. My new favorite meal. So it's basically just a ham and cheese sandwich with a sunny-side egg on top, but I don't know what they do or what type of cheese they use because it was the best lunch ever (Thanks to the mom and daughter we met in Florence that recommended it to me!).
Our hostel was a really social one. It had a bar in the downstairs with a restaurant and a lot of people around 18-30 years old. Kelle and I were excited to go out to a bar or club since we hadn't done that yet in Europe. We met some really cool people in our room of 8 on the first night and I thought it would be really easy to meet people after that. Unfortunately, those people left and we received new roommates. They happened to be 45-50 year old men that were cycling around Nice for an entire week! They weren't creepy but it definitely was a little odd that they decided to stay in an 8 person dorm in the hostel ranked #1 for youth backpackers in Nice. It thwarted our chances of meeting roommates to go with to the clubs. The first night that they were there Kelle and I returned at 1am (really early night for Europe standards) and tried to be as quiet as possible. But I guess it wasn't quiet enough because the next morning, they continuously were slamming the door and their lockers, and opened the window shades around 7-8am. Rudeeeee.
Day 2: Day trip to Cannes
We took a trip to Cannes. We had actually just missed the film festival that happens there, which is I think what made Cannes so famous. Alex met this girl that went to the festival and she said she saw 30 or so movies in the span of 5 days…What?!
Kelle and I had a really nice beach morning here. We didn't go to the beach in Nice because there is actually no sand there, just rocks. We saw people laying on them as if it was sand, it did NOT look comfortable but I guess they are used to it.
Then we just walked down this street called Rue Meynadier. It's a street that has these really cute 18th century homes and the ground floor has now turned into boutiques and bakeries. We walked into all of the sweets shops and just drooled everywhere. I'm not usually a sweets person but I wanted all the chocolates in that moment.
Day 3: Day trip to Grasse
On our last day, Kelle and I went to a town called Grasse (just pronounced grass haha). We were told that it is a really nice day trip to go visit the perfume factory. Grasse is France's leading perfume producer because it's location is ideal for a lot of the flowers used.
We visited the factory of Fragonard. They had begun making perfumes in 1782 and today they are a very exclusive company, only selling in their stores (so you can't go to Macy's and find their stuff) or online. They showed us how they currently, as well as how they previously, extracted the essences from the flowers and then how they make the perfume or eaux de toillete (body spray). Also, the person that makes the combinations of different essences are called a "Nose". Apparently, they have to study for 10 years. Two of those years are just theory and at the end of that they have to be able to identify 1000 different smells!
After the tour we pretended to be a "Nose" and went and smelled their perfumes. The tour guide would ask us what we smelled and people would shout out citrus, lemon, lavender, roses, etc depending on the perfume. I failed at this, I would just be like "Ooo this smells pretty" haha.
Hanging out with Kelle was perfect. I was glad to be with a girl after being with Alex for a while haha. (One reason is because Kelle and I both take a long time getting ready ). I'm so glad she was able to take this trip with me. Currently she is back in NY and every time I have to walk up a bajillion steps I think about our hilarious hike in Cinque Terre where we felt like dying.