Nice is Nice
La Costa Azzura – The beautiful place where beautiful Italians, and French, and Americans love to vacation. I think that should have been our first clue. Oh wait … *fine* … I’ll let you decide for yourselves before I give you my opinion.
We went to the Azure coast with our friend Michelle (of Scotland fame). We chose Nice as our home base, and made a long weekend out of some cheap Easy Jet flights.
Nice is known as a (stony) beach town with a cute old town section. We chose to take day trips our first two days, and enjoy Nice in the evenings, and on our last day. Our first night we wandered from the hotel and found a Mezze place (middle eastern-style tapas) where we people watched & enjoyed some good snacks.
On our second night we walked the beach-side promenade, poked our heads in the famously opulent Negresco hotel (After Ryan was stopped at the door, and buttoned his collared shirt … they allowed us in.)
On the last day of our visit to the Azure Coast, we actually checked out Nice. By this point we had become so thoroughly frustrated with the sub-par quality of the Nice pastries (really, aren’t we in France?? How can it be so hard to find a good pastry and a good cup of coffee?!) It turns out that the reason is that Nice used to be part of Italy … and we finally realized that that’s why we didn’t like Nice very much – it had all of the disorganization and inconvenience of Italy, and none of the luxury and easy amazing pastries of France. “We’re too close to Italy… nothing makes sense”. So on our last day we tried ‘Socca’ for breakfast – a crepe like bready item made from Chic Peas.
During the day we went to the Chagall Museum. Chagall is a name I had heard before, but didn’t know too much about. The audio guides actually succeeded in making the art a lot more interesting. The exhibit had a lot of references to turning the world upside down – because Chagall’s stuff is a little all over the place. But there were a number of heaven/hell religiously related paintings that I hadn’t expected.
For our last dinner in Nice we went down to restaurant row (where Ryan humored me while Michelle negotiated a good price for a Trompe l’Oeil bracelet for me – it likes like 3D cubes, but it isn’t!) and gorged ourselves. We had an amazing Paella – complete with every kind of whole seafood. And an appetizer that included snails and whole shrimp. (For seafood lovers only)
Overall, Nice was nice (ha!) … but not as amazing as I always hear. Not quite sure what we missed … but read on to hear about Canned and Monaco.