Euro trip- French Riviera Day 1

Andy and I departed from Paris today and traveled to Nice, France via TGV train. It’s my new favorite way of getting around! It’s fast and inexpensive. Our trip to Nice was only $51 and we got first class. I booked through http://www.raileurope.com and found it very user-friendly. Another recommendation if you plan on traveling through Europe. Since the trip was about 5 1/2 hours long, first class is the only way I would have done it. You need room to stretch out when you’ve been sitting that long.

If you haven’t been to a train station in Europe, to me, it’s a little chaotic. Boarding platforms are not announced until about 15 minutes before your train departs. So you have a huge group of people standing in front of this screen, just waiting. Then everyone makes a mad dash when the platform is finally announced. But I digress…

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As we start to approach the riviera, then scenic views quietly change from the countryside and rolling hills to beautiful cliffs and clear blue water. It immediately grabs your attention.

When we arrive at Nice Ville, I am greeted by a driver that my mom so kindly requested, as a birthday gift. He whisks us away and takes us on a 5 minute drive to our hotel, whoop whomp. I felt kind of stupid only going around three corners.

We check in to our hotel at the Mercure Notre Dame Centre hotel,  and the staff is helpful, but something told me that this isn’t the hotel that I thought it was going to be. I will admit, I am a total hotel snob. I love new or up-to-date hotels, with nice bars and great views. Our room had the twin beds we had to push together, and there were cigarette burns in the carpet. This hotel/room clearly has not be touched in quite some time. I tried my best not to be a brat about it. I put a smile on my face and said at least we’re not spending a lot of time here, right? Deep down inside I’m crying my eyes out.

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Andy wants to walk around and find a place to grab a bite. So we find a cute Lebanese restaurant right next to Notre Dame. The food was fantastic. We had hummus with lamb, salad, falafel, and this fried cheese stick. Soooooo good!

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We walk down a promenade named Jean de Medecin.  Filled with tons of shopping and touristy shops, we break away to the side streets and find artisan shops and small cafes. We longer around for a bit then make our way down to the main promenade by the beach. Down the way, there are many public and private beaches. The ones with the umbrellas are the private beaches. The people laying on the sand/rocks are at the public beach. Little did we know, we should bring our own towel, as the cost is 6 euros each to rent one. I normally would have walked away, but we’re on vacation and laying on rocks really wasn’t an option. So we pay, find an open spot and order a glass of champagne. The weather here is still warm (around high 70s) even towards the end of high season. We laid in the sun for a few hours watching boats go past.
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