Song of the Post
Nice & Èze, France
- Beach bumming, night out
I flew from Genève to Nice and arrived around 11am. Because check-in wasn’t till 2pm at my hostel, I dropped off my bags and headed out for a quick trip to Èze.
2 things to consider when going to Èze:
- You must buy a ticket before you get on the tram in Nice. Usually, at every stop, there is a ticket machine that you can use coins or cards to purchase your ticket. There is no where to purchase the ticket on the tram itself and often, the transportation officers come on board to verify if you bought a ticket. I, for one, did not know this and was fined with a 60 Euro ticket for not having a ticket on me. It sucked, don’t get fined.
- I would recommend going to the bus stop closest to where the line starts. I took the 91 bus and waited at the 2nd stop in line and already by then, it was almost full. Considering how popular this destination is, I’m surprised that the bus only comes every hour of the day.
Èze is a small town just west of Nice and overlooks the whole French Riviera from the cliffs of where it sits. Known for its rustic French charm and medieval small-village vibes, it was a wonderful little town to spend a few hours in.
I used a proper map for about 2 minutes before somehow losing it. Regardless, with my heightened sense for wandering, I walked up the stairs of the village and lingered between the walls and paths of this quaint little place.
I originally wanted to walk Nietzsche’s Path which is a hiking path that Nietzsche took often while pondering all his wonderful revelations and philosophies. However, with having worn jean shorts and Stan Smith’s, a hike was not an ideal activity. With a bit more planning ahead, this would have been a pretty productive day. However, I decided to go to Èze on the first day instead of the next day on a whim so I didn’t have much chance to figure out what I wanted to do once I got here.
There was a little spice stand near the entrance of the village where I bought Sel Mediterranean for my small and erratic attempts at cooking. I really do enjoy cooking but it comes in waves which is a bit disheartening. And with the limited spaces I have lived in during university, along with the piles of assignments and studying, cooking was never on my list of priorities. Hopefully this spice will remind me to take some time off my routine and do something I genuinely enjoy.
Beach bumming & night out
Having travelled alone for a little bit can be exhausting. Especially with my genius mind that decided to move every other day to another country, I dedicated this day to finding a private beach and lying in the French Riviera sun for a good 8 hours.
I went to Opéra Plage since it was the first beach I saw once I got off the tram. It had a 17 Euro entry fee which included the umbrella and sun chair. I arrived around 10am before it got too busy so I had a front row view of the beautiful crystal blue French Rivera sea.
Despite a very rocky and not at all sandy beach, the ocean was so beautiful to swim in. No weird seaweed plants that give you mini heart-attacks when they tickle your leg or muddy waters where the end of the ocean is far past your imagination. The ocean was so clear, so wonderfully warm that I never wanted to leave it. Floating amongst what felt like a big warm bath with the entirety of the sky above you was so wonderful. I would often just let my body float with the current and heard the waves mute the outside world as it flooded it’s own sounds into my ears. My eyes shut and felt the sun wrap its hotness around my face, caressing every curve. I loved seeing my legs and arms ripple with the current and be submersed into a glassy finish. As someone who has a soulful connection to water, especially the ocean, this was a very therapeutic day for me.
The most differentiating thing I have noticed here with what I’m used to is how comfortable the French are with nudity. Women were sun-bathing topless and men were wearing those very small speedo type swimsuits. Not one blinked an eye about seeing a woman’s breast and not one blinked an eye about seeing tiny swim-shorts on men. It was quite a liberating moment to experience, especially with the body positivity and feminist movement going on these days. Everyone just had one goal for that day it seemed…to enjoy the beach with their friends, by themselves, with their loved one. Regardless of age, women and men seemed to embrace their existence at a beach and to get that last summer tan glow in before the fall came.
This was definitely a shorter post and likely because of the little activity I actually “participated” in.
To be honest – I could have been OK with not visiting Nice and spending a few extra days in either Amsterdam or Geneva. Maybe because I already spent 6 days in Paris, I was pretty done with seeing the cathedrals and museums for the time being. My whole trip has included seeing much of these sorts of attractions so I think my mind was already set for not seeing more. I didn’t feel a great connection to Nice as I did with some of the other cities so there was no true ambition to see “everything” there was to see.
This is a city very much for leisure-travelling and those who have a higher spending budget. I aspire to have travelling days where I can just relax on the beach all day and spend money on luxury goods and activities and truly enjoying the night life. However, this time was not the case.
On another side of things – this was a good city to stop in before a very busy 2 weeks of a Contiki tour. It was a mind and body relaxation period that focused on my comfort and needs in that moment. When I travel, I push myself to get the most of everything without sacrificing my overall health. However, Nice was the perfect city to just sit on a beach for a whole day, swim in the Rivera, and be fully mindful of the seconds I spent in this city.
I’ll be back for sure…when I have more money and usable energy!