Monday, January 18, 2016

Warming Up to Nice, France

Today was a pretty chill day but I made the effort to get out a bit more. I started off with a little walk on the Promenade des Anglais. It is so named because of the British people that used to vacation here. Lonely Planet talked it up quite a bit but I didn’t really get what the fuss was about. I mean it is a nice little strip right on the water… I wonder if you have to be a distance away on a boat or something to get the full effect.

The street just a few steps from the hotel.

The Promenade.

French awnings are so killer.

Le Negresco is a very classy hotel on the Promenade. I’d say it’s the most interesting thing to see here. It even had some really fancily dressed doorman but unfortunately their job is to keep nonguests out so I was forced to enjoy the exterior only.

Call me crazy but I think it is especially artsy and cool that the sign at the top wraps so casually around the building. From The Telegraph:

"In a hundred years, no-one has ever missed it on the Promenade des Anglais.The fa├žade rises white and imperious to the pink roof, and pink dome allegedly inspired by the breast of the architect’s mistress. (But they say that about almost every dome in France. This tells you more about the French than it does about domes.)"

I saw a random museum that looked cool. The book said it was free but when I entered it really cost 10 euro which was sad. Plus there wasn’t anything available in English so I felt kind of ripped off. It was a pretty cool place otherwise.

The Massena Museum.

So I had no idea what any of this stuff was, but I did get to kiss a lot of expensive statues when no one was looking, so I'd say it was a win.

Garibaldi, one of the "fathers of Italy" was born in Nice. At the time Nice belonged to one of the little warring Italian kingdoms. Nice was ceded to France in 1860 during Garibaldi's lifetime with the Treaty of Turin, and he was not happy about it.

Victor Emmanuel II had a righteous beard. Fun fact: I visited his tomb situated in the Pantheon while on my high school Europe trip. Emmanuel II stomped around Italy and became its first modern king, which involved taking a bunch of Papal lands. This pissed off the Pope, and so the Pope excommunicated the King. Well as one last F U to the Pope, the King was then buried in the largest, best preserved pagan temple in Rome. The end.

I picked some groceries to have a cheap little wine, cheese, and meat dinner. On the walk back to the hotel I came across a bakery. Score! I bought the most conspicuous looking baguette they had and walked home like a real French dude. I imagine French people don’t chew on them while they walk, but the end of it was like already practically touching my mouth. I’m only a man.

I passed a theater and considered catching the latest Tarantino flick, but... nah.

I got home and chomped on everything I bought. I think I’m travel weary plus I have near flawless internet so I’ve been very content to just chill at the hotel for long periods of time.

I think there’s only one other guest at the place as this is the off season, so that lack of activity just contributes to the coziness I feel when I’m there.

I had no choice but to buy some real Roquefort cheese after we were misled by that silly car rental man to that impostor town in Belgium. The cheese was blue, crumbly but moist, and oh so stinky. It wasn't bad but its taste was so strong that it didn't really go well with the meat.

After several hours of that I figured I should check out a little nightlife while I’m here. I popped over to a place that’s supposed to have solid live music: Wayne's Bar. It’s funny because not only is it like a British pub but all the people who work there seem to be British as well. I didn’t want to be that guy sitting alone at a bar like a creeper so I tried my best to initiate some conversations. If my experience in Africa has taught me anything it’s that every stranger in the whole world wants to talk to me, they want to know my age, marital status, occupation, life summary etc., and they want to know which hotel I’m staying at so they can show up there unannounced sometime in the future and wait for me to come out.

I talked to a couple from New York who didn’t have much interesting to say but they were amused by the fact that the only reason I’m in Nice is to go see Monaco and pretend I’m James Bond at the casino there.

Much more interesting was a table of three Italian girls who were in Nice because they renovate old churches and the church they worked on in town was having a kind of grand reopening ceremony the next morning. Europe is so awesome and full of old stuff that they must have to employ whole industries of people to keep it from all from falling apart.

They were obviously the history types and had some fun facts. They said Nice was a lot like Italy, because it used to be part of Italy. Story checks out. They and multiple other people I’ve seen around here roll their own cigarettes which I must admit is pretty cool. They even add these little nubby filter things to one end.

I believe this is Nice's city hall.

The opera house had cool light fixtures.


  1. I love reading about your adventures!

  2. Thanks! It's probably you and my mom at this point :)