Fairytale View in Nice

One of those views you don’t easily forget: people-watching from a vantage point.

On a hot day in Nice, France, 2006

I once spent 5 months in Nice, France during the summer. It was an endless loop of hot and sunny days; in fact, I don’t remember much rain, if any. Having just spent 7 months in the French capital, I was in the mood for some Mediterranean colors and waves.

I had a cheap supermarket bike which I rode around downtown, until I almost had an accident when a parked car suddenly opened its door right in front of me. I walked the promenade, tried every boulangerie I came across, hosted visiting family and friends and also met up with friends in nearby towns.

On two separate occasions, meeting up with a friend led to us going grocery shopping in Italy’s San Remo, neither of those times by my initiative but I’ll never turn down a chance to visit Italy. A French friend bought tomatoes from there and ate them later as lunch in my flat in Nice, adding nothing but salt! She claimed they were much better than the ones in Nice. As for me, I adored the apricots available in Nice. Local or imported, they were so much tastier than what passes as apricots back home.

How did this post turn into a food memoir? To be honest, my life in France revolved around those tiny daily indulgences, and Nice was no exception! I’m not a fancy foodie either: I’ll be equally enthusiastic about a great pain au chocolat as I will be about dinner at the latest trendy spot.

Near Nice – Villefranche?

When my brother visited, I talked him into renting a car with me, since I don’t drive. I’d planned for us to drive via Menton to Ventimiglia in Italy. Trustingly, he agreed. I have fun memories of us riding the narrow mountainous roads and nothing but Ferraris passing us by. Ferrari after Ferrari. We were driving towards Monaco but maybe that’s coincidental. Even though I now look back on our little road trip with fondness, if you’ve ever driven in Italy, you’ll know how nerve-racking it felt like at the time! We really hadn’t thought it through! Ventimiglia’s roads were busy.

The amount of pretty towns scattered along the Côte d’Azur is amazing. Right next to Nice, there’s for example Villefranche-sur-mer and Beaulieu-sur-mer, both of which I visited a couple of times. I’m pretty sure the second photo is from Villefranche. Ah, the days before iPhoneograhy! When photos didn’t come geotagged.

We all have our summer memories and lovely travels we look back on. This post was inspired by the first photo. I wanted to post something summery and the photo seemed right, but I felt like it needed some text along with it to give it context. Most photos I am happy to post without an explanation, but not this one.

I also just wanted to write. Don’t you ever get that feeling? At moments like this, I’m so happy to have my blog!

54 responses to “Fairytale View in Nice

  1. I love your memories, in pictures and in words. ❤ I know what you mean about blogging, sometimes a post feels like a hug, to oneself as much as to others. I remember crystal clear how we were driving in the opposite direction, from Italy via Ventimiglia towards Nice where we stayed the night. We didn't stop in Ventimiglia but the town looked so pretty in the rearviewirror and I felt a pull. Little did I know that I'd land 300 km or so to the south. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This reads like a long postcard. I do know what you mean about wanting to write, since I write more than I photograph 🙂
    Personally, I love the foodie bits. Even when we don’t agree on foods, we all agree that food is a great part of life, travel, experience, pleasure. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Good point! Food plays such an important role to me when I travel. And I mean the daily small stuff, I love visiting the supermarket abroad. Happy you liked my postcard, I felt like I was writing to an old friend! You know, my blog’s tagline used to be “Postcards from my trips” so that fits well 😊 Have a great Sunday, Joey, and thanks for writing back 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It must have been amazing to have spent months in Nice and Paris, and to side-trip to Italy. Your pictures tell a pretty story! And yes about the blogging: sometimes you just HAVE to write, to tell stories and make word pictures.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Perfect post! A picture that entices you to write and us to read and dive deeper into the view and what you were up to at the moment you took it.
    Always love reading about your time in France…
    Wish you had a lovely although somewhat tiring summer (I would guess..) and a great month of September too 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great memories! I am afraid there are crazy drivers everywhere in the world. Spain comes to mind as drivers there seemed to ignore just about any traffic rules. And then there was Bali. It didn’t appear that there were any rules at all. The traffic there was incredibly chaotic, but our driver weaved and bobbed through it all with grace and determination. Exploring new foods on the road is fun too. In South Korea we survived as vegetarians with the help of a young woman who spoke English and wrote us a little note that we didn’t eat meat. Still, there were a few times when we found something floating in a bowl of soup. We fished it out, and enjoyed the rest.
    Being able to travel is a treat, and being able to share these adventures is a treat as well. Thanks for sharing yours with us! 😎

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sabine! 🙂 I’ve experienced crazy driving around the world, too, but also super polite drivers. Aruba was the best: they’d stop well in advance to let you pass (as a pedestrian) even if there was no crossroads anywhere nearby! That would never happen over here at home! 😀 …And it’s definitely a treat to be able to share these travel stories!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely post and the photos are just gorgeous! I never eat tomatoes raw (except in specific Nepali salads) but I think in Europe it’s considered more of a fruit than some vegetable? Your road trip sounds like such a fun memory and those villages along the way – ah just gorgeous 🙂 How far is the nearest Italian town from where you lived? I am not too familiar with the geography of that area.. grocery trips to another country sound special hehe!

    Liked by 3 people

    • In Finland they put tomatoes in every salad, always. I’m quite bored of them 😊 The drive from Nice, France to Ventimiglia, Italy is about 40km according to a quick google search. But driving there felts slow because of the narrow, winding mountain roads. Beautiful views though! 😊 You should definitely tour the Mediterranean if you’re not familiar with it! Rural areas in France and Italy are so beautiful! (Portugal, Spain and Greece too!)

      Like

  7. What a fun trip down memory lane and your photos make it look like a lovely area to visit! We love to try out the foods when we travel somewhere, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t tell the difference between a pastry or meal at one price or one that cost 3x as much…as long as it tastes good, I’m in 😉 I am a fan of tomatoes and salt though, but I am particular about the ripeness of a tomato as I come from an area in Florida where they are grown.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much! I agree, as long as it tastes good I don’t mind if it’s something locals think is very mundane. Tomatoes with salt was a new combination to me back then – actually I still haven’t tried it myself yet 🙂 You need really good tomatoes for that, I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

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