Cote d'Azur, France

I arrived in Nice in time to socialise in the cosy hostel common area with a few friendly people from the hostel, including Canadian Gillian, who was staying in my room for the same time as me, and doing a solo trip about the same length as me, and was at about the same point along. At midnight everyone was ready to call it a night and that suited me fine.

The next day, at the suggestion of 2 German and one South African guys from the hostel, took a train to Cannes. I went to the Michelen stared restaurant they recommended – Rendez-vous – and enjoyed a decadent 3 course meal for 25 euros, plus 8 euros for what basically amounted to a bottle of wine, and very fast and fancy service. The pasta entree (I didn’t know what the word for the particular type of pasta – Tagliatelle – was so just ordered it quickly when very rapidly asked for my order, as the menu was in French, but was relieved to discover something familiar) was more than enough for a meal in itself. And I probably did not need the creme brulee at the end!

Feeling way too full, I wandered along the dock and observed the line of fancy private yachts and people on the sandy beach – although it was a touch too cool for what I would consider beach weather. They were also setting up for the Cannes film festival.

Back at the hostel I squeezed in a 20 minute run along the promenade before getting ready and joining Gillian and some others for some card games before the 8pm organised pub crawl. A fairly large group from our hostel were led to a big fountain and given lary azure shirts before another large group – including two girls I recognised from the hostel in Lisbon – joined us.

A couple of cheesy group shots later, we headed to the first pub: an Irish one. The group of us who were staying at our hostel mostly hung together, drinking cocktails on special, and planned to head to St Tropez the next day. We also had the opportunity to cut our oversized t-shirts into fashionable 80s style arrangements and write silly slogans on them.

The next bar was a salsa bar but everyone on the pub crawl started playing a basic hand slapping game on a large table. I got bored of this quickly, but then it was time for the club. The club was much too small – many of these European so-called clubs are more what we might consider a bar with music – and way too crowded so I left soon afterward, at what I thought was midnight but was informed later must have been about 1am. I was happy that it felt like such a late night, but was only the time we would have started to go out in Barcelona!

The next morning I was considering just sleeping in and doing my own exploring of Nice, but Jillian asked if I was coming along with the group and I decided at the last minute to join her, a Sydney couple and two Americans in whateve they were doing that day so I was not by myself. Discovering St Tropez was a bit far away, they instead decided to head to Eze.

We hopped on tram that took us to the bus stop. On the bus, we realised we could have walked to a closer bus stop. Upon arrival in Nice, after some nice coastal views from the bus, we bought some baguettes, ham and cheese and headed up into Eze village. We found the only real place we could sit, eat our own food and enjoy the view, as most of the village was surrounded by high walls, having been a defence fortification. We then realised (I googled) that the view from Eze was famous and was accessed from the garden at the top, so agreed to pay the euros to get in. The American gentleman, Rhys, who spoke French, wrangled us all in as students so it was only 2.50 euros each. The view was indeed, spectacular.

We had then decided to go back to Nice and hit the beach, but when realising the bus to Nice was not for an hour, decided to take the bus to Eze beach instead. This proved delightful: the pebbly beach was in a nice little cove and the weather perfect that day. The water was even warm enough to swim, although the pebbles were uncomfortable and my thongs keep floating off! We played cards and had some wine and I finished off my bread and cheese.

Back in Nice we all got ready and I ate a slightly uninspiring chicken, cheese and walnut crepe at a nearby restaurant. We then met in the hostel’s common room, including some others from the hostel, and started to play games. The others from my group had been planning to take the train to Monaco that night, and I had nearly decided to go with them for lack of other options, when at the last minute some others from our hostel who were heading out in Nice arrived. I went with them instead and we went straight to the famed ‘Wayne’s Bar’, which was lively and packed at 11pm with people dancing on tables to a good cover band. We then found some tasty pizza on the way home.

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