Nice, France, that is.
I’m skipping over Belgium and Amsterdam for now and moving on to Nice, France.
The South of France - French Riviera, if you will, was my favorite region we visited. From the food to the wine to the weather, everything was phenomenal.
We arrived in the late afternoon on New Years Day. Since we had spent the previous 4 days jumping from city to city, we were more than ready to call Nice home for the next three nights.
We stayed at another Le Meridien right on the water. We had a fabulous room that overlooked the Mediterranean Sea and that looked right out towards Castle Hill, which is gorgeous when it’s lit up. We also had a nice view of the Ferris Wheel that was part of the city’s Christmas Festival — I’m telling you, everywhere we went had a Christmas festival. Not complaining.
Views from hotel and from walking around the first night.
The wonderful thing about Nice is that it’s centrally located and there are many cities that are just a train ride away for a fun day trip. At dinner on New Years Eve, we actually met a couple who used to “summer in Nice.” Must be nice, right? (No pun intended.) He gave us a list of places we should go, which was super helpful.
We spent the first half of the day walking down the Promenade des Anglais (the beachfront), around Old Town Nice, through Place Massena and MARCHÉ AUX FLEURS (a great market of flowers, soaps, foods, etc).
Nuts, soaps and olives at the market.
Old Town, Nice.
Then we made the hike up to Castle Hill. We grabbed a late breakfast of Pan Au Chocolate and cappuccino and sat overlooking the beautiful coast. After walking the park for a few hours, we hopped on a train for our first day trip to Saint Paul de Vence.
Castle Park, Nice
Husband and me at the park.
HIGHLY recommend going to this gem. It’s about an hour bus trip into the mountains and as you get closer, it’s just sort of suddenly appears.
View driving up to the city
It’s a medieval town that feels like a fortress, with high walls, castle-like buildings, cobblestone streets, and lots of nooks and crannies. You forget that it’s actually a town that people live in, which is super crazy, but there was a nice mix of history and tourism. There’s a restaurant at the entrance of the town, Le Café de la Place, where we had some wine and shared a sandwich, just people watching.
Street views, a wine store and an above ground cemetary.
View looking at the city from the restaurant, a candy store and DRINKS!
We ended the day with a wonderful dinner in Nice at Luna Rossa, which was an authentic Italian restaurant. They served food straight from the skillet. To. die.
I’m going to cut this off right now, but I’ll be back with our second day in Nice, when we went to Menton, Monte Carlo and Eze.