Nice is nice

Bonjour (again)!  Amongst all the craziness of exams and getting ready to leave in a week, my trip to France was a lovely break and a fun way to practice before my final exam this Monday.  Four of us flew to Nice Monday evening, and we had a couple of days to explore the south of France before flying back home Wednesday night. Nice is a beach town in the south of France close to the Italian border.  Of course the weather was amazing, and although on the chillier side of the week, it was much warmer than Dublin.

Monday night after we arrived we checked in to the hostel.  We originally had opted for the ten person room since it was the cheapest, but when we arrived they offered us a private room instead, so that was a bonus.  The hostel is only for students (and rated the best hostel in Nice) so it was a very friendly and fun play to stay. The receptionist spoke to us in French since we were French students, and thankfully none of us had any problems.  Our room was on the fifth floor, so we had a lot of winding stairs to walk up. We could have used the lift, but it was only big enough for one to two people and looked like a closet from the outside. The rest of that evening we walked around and, went out for drinks, and explored the city.

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The next morning we went to a supermarket to buy breakfast then went to go eat it on the beach. It was very sunny, and the water was some of the clearest and bluest water that I’ve ever seen.  Like most European beaches though, it was very rocky, so walking into the water was a bit of a painful adventure. (Even though it was warm and sunny, the water was freezing, so only one of us was willing to actually go swimming.  He lasted about five minutes). Afterwards we climbed up a zillion stairs to get a nice view of the city. We didn’t realise until we got there, but because we’re students we get to do a lot of stuff for free, so afterwards we went to Nice’s modern and contemporary art museum.

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That evening we took the train to Cannes to see what was going on for the film festival.  Using the train was definitely an adventure for us, and it involved a lot of false timetable information, machines eating bank cards, and not being able to find the right platforms.  But it was all well in the end, and we ended up taking a 30 minute train right to Cannes that evening. The city was all set up for the festival, and everyone was all dressed up (and so many fancy cars everywhere).  We walked to the beach where everything was set up and got to see the tents for each country and the stages. We saw a large group of people over at one end of the beach so we went to check it out. Turns out it was the red carpet, and we got there as they started introducing the cast to the most recent Star Wars film.  We also saw a few other actors, and some from Game of Thrones as well. We took the train back that evening and collapsed at the hostel because we were so exhausted.

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The next morning we checked out of the hostel and went to have crêpes for breakfast.  Afterwards we took a bus to the Matisse museum and spent some time there. There was a large monastery garden nearby that we walked through as well, and we got another spectacular view of the city. We also stopped by the archaeological museum next door.  They had a bunch of artifacts and old ruins from when the Roman were in southern France.

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Later that afternoon we took a 20 minute train to Monaco, which is its own country within the French borders.  Monte-Carlo (basically the city in Monaco, since Monaco is just the size of a city) is famous for its casinos and where lots of rich people go to vacation and gamble.  We felt a bit out of place walking around, since almost every shop we saw was for a famous designer and pretty much everyone was wearing a suit or fancy clothes. The city was very mountainous, and the roads winded tightly around the buildings.  Monaco is also famous for its motor races because of this, and we were there when they were in between races of the Monaco Grand Prix, so there were gates set up all around the city. We ran into so many dead ends and had a difficult time finding out how to get places because it seemed like the entire city was blocked off.  But we figured it out eventually, and had enough time to explore the city for a bit before taking the train back to Nice. Once we got back to Nice we say au revoir and got a bus to the airport.

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Even though we were there for just a few days, it felt like we did a mountain of things.  It was definitely a fun way to practice our French before our exam. We spoke a mixture of French and English with each other during the trip and obviously French with the locals (unless they detected our accents and wanted to speak to us in English).  But now that I’m back in Dublin I’ve got a bunch to do before leaving next weekend. Packing, more apartment viewings, etc. Thankfully one of my roommates offered to store my stuff over the summer, so I don’t have to coordinate with a storage company (Thank you so so much!).  I also want to say congratulations to my sister, whose graduation is today. Sadly I can’t be there to see it, but I know it will be lovely ceremony. Can’t wait for her to be joining me here at Trinity this fall!

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4 thoughts on “Nice is nice

  1. I love seeing and hearing all about your quick trip to France; it looks so beautiful there! What an opportunity! Glad you got to go during such a festive time. Also glad you got to watch the graduation today–you’re right, it was a lovely ceremony. I know you have a lot of hurdles to clear this week, what with finishing up your last exam and packing up your apartment (oh, the kitchen stuff–I’d forgotten about all that too!). Good luck getting it all done! Can’t wait to see you next week! Love you and see you soon. ❤ Mom

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What wonderful opportunities you have had !! And what an amazing future is ahead for you. However, we here in Texas will be happy to see you back again for a little while !! 😊 We love you. PawPaw & Nana

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So, my niece thinks Nice is nice :), I think my niece is nice. Wonderful experience for you. Sounds like you were in Cannes and Monaco at the right time:)
    Looking forward to seeing you this summer.
    Love you,
    Aunt Laura

    Liked by 1 person

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