If my soul was a city, it would be Nice. As soon as I caught a glimpse of the royal blue Mediterranean Ocean and the stark white yachts, it captured my heart. The peace of Nice washed over me like the Mediterranean washed over my toes – gentle and refreshing.
Nice first began to flourish back in the mid-1800s when the English decided to leave cold, dreary England behind and take their summer holidays here. Since then, it’s been a summer refuge for Europeans wanting to become closer friends with Serenity. As I walked along the beach promenade and shopping alleys, I could easily imagine myself spending the summer in Nice riding about town on a vespa. Once that dream hatched in my head, I practically had to be dragged back to the Topdeck bus.
By this point on the trip, us Topdeckers are incredibly comfortable with one another. We actually enjoy spending our free time together, and we take our time in Nice leisurely exploring parts of the city. It was a great time to relax and just breathe.
The beaches of Nice are unique and something I’m not used to. For starters, it’s actually a pebble beach and not a sand beach. Upon hearing this, I became slightly concerned. Their pebbles sounded large (about the size of your palm) and super painful. But once you adjust a rock here and there, it’s not half bad. I just imagined it was some fancy, expensive spa technique.
Another unique thing about Nice was the nudity. It’s definitely not something I’m used to as an American. It’s very common, however, for locals to lay out au naturel. Once I came to terms with the fact that it’s just a cultural thing in France, I kind of just forgot about it.
As I was lounging on my pebbles and letting the warm sun kiss me, I saw a parasail fly by on the water. All of a sudden I sat up and said, “I need to do that.” I didn’t question it. It was just fact. I needed to go parasailing in Nice. Gabby and I signed up, and we got strapped into our parachute by a rather attractive French gentleman (always a plus). Parasailing was the best idea, and I highly recommend it. The view was incredible, but it was just the experience of it all that made it special. Make memories when you’re in cities. Don’t just see a city. Experience it. Embrace it.
If you’re thinking about traveling to Nice in the near future, make sure that you take time to explore Old Town for some shopping. The shops are pretty great, and the food options were my favorite. It was all summer/beach inspired, so I passed hats, sandals, dresses, smoothies, gelato… everything that makes summer perfect.
Later that evening, the Topdeckers dressed to the nines, and we headed out for a night in Monaco. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (right behind the Vatican City), but it certainly makes up for it in luxury. We were constantly surrounded by money. Just to give you an idea, I was introduced to the word “mega yacht.” Because you know, “yacht” is so causal that there obviously has to be levels of boat wealth. I saw so many high-end, luxury cars cruising through the Monte Carlo casino driveway that by the end of the night, I was almost desensitized from them. It was fun seeing how the other half (and by “half” I mean like .009%) lives.
What I ate in Nice:
- Italian beef stew and gnocchi – I’ve never had gnocchi before and didn’t even know what it was. Apparently it’s cooked mashed potatoes, flour, and egg. It was a bit chewy for me. I’ve had several versions at different restaurants now, and it’s starting to grow on me.
- Pizza and gelato – I have quite literally eaten pizza and a gelato every single day (or close to it). The addiction is real.
Ever been to Nice? I would love to hear about your time there in the comments!