Monday, 19 October 2009

France - Nice

After a pleasant train ride, which was a welcome relief after crowded night buses, I arrived at Nice. I then caught the tram to where the hostel had told me to get off, and they would pick me up from there in a mini-bus, which they did. After sorting my bed etc out, I decided a productive use of the rest of the day would be to organise my next move.

So I went down to the bus station to enquire if I could get to Switzerland, but turns out it doesn't go that way, instead I could go to Austria - which I decided was the best idea anyway, due to things being put on hold a bit in order to get over my cold, I was a little behind schedule anyway. So I booked a ticket, for a trip 4 or 5 days later, as it didn't go every day, and I didn't want to miss anything, and also so I didn't bring my cold to my friend's place, as she had 3 young children, one who had just started school, another just started kindergarten, and a 1 year old.
After sorting out my ticket, I had a look at the beach. I am definitely keen to go back to Nice, simply because the water was so clear, it seemed the further 'inland' you get along the Mediterranean, the clearer the water gets. I then climbed a hill, which as you can see had some awesome scenery. I haven't been to Paris, but I have my doubts that it would be any better than Nice. Ladies, if I take you to Nice, be warned, I may be going to propose there. Subsequently I made my way back to the hostel, to enjoy a gourmet meal, at a reasonable price, although not quite an ideal portion-size, very nice.

The next day I spent checking out some of Nice's sights, including the Russian Orthodox church. You had to be silent in the church, but as fate would have, I ended up having a coughing fit, especially because trying not to cough makes you want to cough more, and also then makes you sound like you are about to throw up. So I ended up running out of the church several times, and ended up being offered a cough lolly by one of the attendant ladies.The following day I had decided to check out Monaco, and to visit a 'medieval town' on the way there. The town was interesting, basically old, and on a hill, but was a little bit of a tourist trap. After an hour of being there, I ran back down to catch the bus to Monaco, because it only came every hour or so, and I had seen everything.Some cars, Ala James Bond
It was at the bus stop that I met some English girls that I recognised from the hostel. I made the comment that great minds think alike, and for the rest of the day we hung out in Monaco. They made the interesting observation that despite living on opposite sides of the Earth, they could understand my accent a lot easier than a Scottish one, which was not much more than an hours flight from where they lived.Monaco was an experience, interesting to see the affluence and wealth of such a small principality. I've never been very impressed by pretension, so after walking around a bit, exploring the old town, and having an ice cream, we all headed back to the hostel - although we were going to have a swim at a beach on the way back, we missed our stop, so just carried on back to Nice.Monte Carlo Casino (below)No Undies! or at least don't walk around in your speedos you perv! The following day I went to Cannes, via Antibes. Antibes was nice, it had an old fortress, which was designed in a four-pronged star shape, as this allowed the best defense. It took a bit of getting around, other than that I checked out the old town and then headed for Cannes.

Cannes was OK. I did a miniature 'train' tour (as in a small tractor pulling a series of trailers) around the town as I felt bad I didn't make more of an effort with Monaco, however, it was rather lame and pretentious as well. I took a photo of myself with a cut-out of Chewy, and then tried to scoot (butt-slide) down the handrails of the famous steps at the film festival hall, but there was too much friction, so I had to abandon that idea.
The next day, before catching my bus in the late afternoon, I went and checked out some Roman ruins, and an art gallery.
I caught the bus, which then proceeded slowly through Italy (we were caught in a traffic jam for over an hour). I can say I've been to Italy now, as I contributed to the economy by enjoying Italian cuisine - a microwavable pasta dish from a service station/truck stop en route. Sometime around 2am we would have gone through Milan, but I must've been asleep then.

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