Europe: Nice, France

I tried to think of the best way to share our recent adventures and figure that it might work out to write a post for every Friday for every city, in the order of our travels.  So up first is the place where we landed:  Nice, France.

It's over there somewhere.
I knew the trip was going to be epic when our Uber driver, an Asian-Frenchman named Vladimir, pulled up with a black Mercedes minivan and promptly turned on the radio to a station playing American hits.

The view from our window - a mix of modern and ancient.
We stayed at the Best Western New York, which might seem a little incongruous to our desires to be as "native" as possible, but which had the best spot on the price/location graph.  Economics in daily life.  So we walk in and I finally, after approximately eight years of classes, get to say to a legitimate French person, "Bonjour, nous avons reservations."  And then she asked the name and I replied with D's.  With an English accent, because the dude's name is in English.  Have you ever thought about that?  It's like.. How would you say your name in French?  (I've since figured it out, thanks.)  Thus began a reoccurring theme:  my French inspires the French to respond in English.

We dumped our thirty and forty pound hiking bags on the beds, freshened up, and hit the streets.  We'd planned this out and succeeded pretty well.  Sleep as much as we could on the flight and get cracking immediately once landed, doing our best to ignore the six hour time difference.

Much of the day in Nice was spent wandering and eating.  We walked to the beach to admire the fact that it wasn't composed of sand, but rather rock.  We bought a painting on the boardwalk of Paris in shades of gray.  We climbed a bajillion steps (roughly) to get to the highest point of Nice and took a ton of photos.

Food consisted of gelato (which was my first completely-in-French transaction), Italien for dinner (because how could you not, so close to Italy?) and pain du chocolat for breakfast.  The gelato was amazing.  I ordered salted caramel (caramel au beurre de sel).  The Italian was delicious and we had our first bottle of red wine.  The ordering of the pain du chocolat was another adventure, because I actually gave the order too quickly in French (D was impressed).

I was so proud.
First bottle!

We left Nice by train to Geneva, which'll be next week's post.

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  1. So impressed you can speak French. I'm an above average traveler, but I suck at foreign languages. I haven't been to Nice so this was fun to read :)

  2. So, so beautiful! I can't wait to read more of your travel adventures.

  3. Such a fantastic vacation! I'm suitably jealous!

  4. Absolutely stunning photos!!!!
    French Pain au Chocolats are the absolute best - such super tasty times and that Gelato sounds amazing.
    Your French is awesome, I heard it firsthand - i knowz *nod*

  5. gorgeous pics!!! and now i'm craving pain au chocolat.... haha gee thanks ;)

  6. Thanks for taking us along with you :D
    Nice looks nice! (sorry, I had to)

  7. So cool! We almost went to Nice for our honeymoon but changed our minds (and opted for a boring tropical vacay, which was okay but I think Nice would have been better!) :)

  8. I've never read your blog before but since you're visiting and I live in Germany....Hey, you drank Montepulciano! My favorite "not messing around" wine. My regular wine is Austrian, called Blauer Zweigelt. Maybe if you're still here you can try it. Only a 6 hour time difference? How nice. I also detest anything you can buy at a Patisserie (sp?) and I honestly tried everything on my first time in France. Same problem where I live - there is nothing at the bakery that I like, really, it's all lacking in butter and sugar. Or MSG, whatever makes American stuff taste so good. It sounds like you enjoyed some good Swiss chocolate - my favorite chocolate on earth (Caillers). And you guys liked the coffee I think? It sucks to be answered in English when I talk German, cuz they are so proud to have a chance to speak it, but eventually they'll exhaust their vocabulary and we'll have to speak German again. When we visit Belgium we get a chance to speak the 2 or 3 words of French that we know, and it's fun to order off the menu and be totally surprised when the food comes.

  9. What, no topless sunbathing on the rocky beach? ;) (We appreciate the tasteful long-distance shot in case others weren't so considerate, LOL) I took French for four years in Jr High and HS before traveling to France, where I could read things just fine and navigate, but could understand maybe every 50th word of spoken actual French. Il est tres difficile, oui!