A runner with an appetite for adventure!

French Riviera March 20, 2003

Filed under: Europe,Semester Abroad — Kelocity @ 4:32 pm
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This past weekend I was in Heaven. No literally, it was heaven. Whitney and I went to the French Riviera. We visited Nice, Monaco and Cannes. Of all of them, Monaco was definitely my favorite. It was amazing.

We got up at 5am and learned that we bombed Iraq… perfect timing as we head into France. We grabbed a bus to Venlo and a train to Paris… I’m so tired.

In Paris, we take the metro, change stations and grab a 12 hour train to Nice. We get there at night and find our hotel: Hotel Astrid. It’s a bed and breakfast that Whitney found, it was nice (and cheap). We walked around at night for a while (in T-shirts because its so warm). Then we got dinner at a Chinese food place across the street.

The next day, we got up and walked down to the beach… 2 mile pebble beach!!! The water was blue and green, it was like Aruba!



We walked to La Chateau and climbed a billion and one steps to get to the top of this cliff. It gave us the most amazing view of the coast. It was really pretty. On the top was a waterfall that we walked around. We also saw the largest cemetery in France. The tombs were really elaborate and detailed.


We then walked to the Farmers Market and bought apples… mmmm…. Again.

We got a train to Cannes, the train went along the coast and it was so pretty to see the water. Here, we saw where the Cannes International Film Festival is held (it’s a pretty big deal to me!) We went shopping for a bit (window shopping since all the stores were Gucci, Versace or Armani). After that, we went back to Nice!


The next day, we got up and took a bus to a small suburb north of Nice.There, there was an Archeological Museum, that was apparently free for the month of March (BONUS!!!) It was a cool museum, it had ancient ruins from the Romans when they occupied France. It was a bunch of ancient baths and you could actually walk through and on the ruins, usually you cant do that, so it was cool.


Then we went to the Matisse Museum. He is my new favorite artist. He was great, I loved the colors he used and stuff (this museum was also free!) From here, we got a train to Monaco, the best place ever. It was beautiful, when we got off the train, the first thing we saw was the pier. We walked to the Monte Carlo Casino, it was right on the water. We tried to get in, but it was 21+ and there was a strict dress code, and I don’t think my jeans and T-shirt would have cut it!


Then we went to a Cactus Garden. It was a whole mountain side of just cactus plants, it was like a tropical jungle with all these cacti, and some of them were in bloom, it was so pretty. From the top of the mountain we saw Napoleon Bonaparte’s Palace. We took lots of pictures! Inside of this mountain was a cave, and we walked down 300 meters into the middle of this mountain and there were stalagmites that were hundreds of years old inside.




Then we got pizza and headed to the train station…..and then the fun began. So at the station we met 18 guys from the United Kingdom, some of them were Scottish, others British! They were so funny! They were all talking with their English accents and they called to Whitney and I “Ladies, come and join us, we are just talking”! Everyone was laughing and having a good time, so we did. We ended up on the train with them back to Nice. They invited us out to a bar with them and we agreed to meet them a half hour later. We waited a half hour for them and we figured they stood us up. We were beginning to feel stupid for even waiting there so long. But then, we turned and saw 18 Scottish guys, all dressed up like it was Halloween, they all had wigs on, some of them wore Scottish kilts. One guy had on oversized shorts on with a fake plastic butt sewn into them, so it looked like his butt was hanging out. As we walked down the street, he would bend over and pretend to tie his shoe and everyone was looking at him laughing, it was like Candid camera, it was great. We were laughing so hard.


Finally we get to a nice bar on the beach and the bartenders looked at us funny when we walked in.I had a wig on as well!!! They set up a tab and we drank all night for free!!! One guy told me that when I grew up and had my own company, I would take out some students too, but now it was their job to pay for us. They spent 400 Euro in 2 hours! We even had a Champagne toast. At one point, everyone was doing shots and the guy with the fake butt yelled Bottoms UP, as we all took them. It was the funniest thing ever. I told them we were from boston and one guy said “Tell me something, where did you guys put all the tea?” We talked about the Revolutionary war and I said, “Yeah, what was with those stupid red coats?” They laughed! At some point during our walk back to our hotel, they bought us roses. haha tacky but cute.Finally, after an eventful evening, we walked back to our hotel….

The next day, I had a nice 15 hour train ride—hung over…. Oh baby.What a weekend!