Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 1 - Off to Nice

July 1st and the 1st day of our month sojourn across the Mediterranean Sea from France to Istanbul.  Our first leg of the journey was a walk through Aix to the SNCF train station where we boarded the train to Nice.  Caroline and Lucy came to the train station to meet us and brought us some yummy goodies!  Croissants and amazing pastries from Glacier.  We were sad to say goodbye, but excited to be on our way.

About an hour into the train ride it occurred o me to check on the status of our passports (Caroline had jokingly asked me "do you have your passports?") and at first I couldn't find them!!!  I was panicking and already making plans for going back to Aix to find them hopefully on the couch in Michal and Bruno's apartment, when I discovered that I had stored them carefully at the bottom of my backpack. 

We arrived at our BandB, Chez Josephine, with no problems where we were greeted by our Scottish hostess, Josephine.  She gave us some great ideas for where to go and what to see in Nice.  We headed straight to the Musee Chagall, which was free because it was the first Sunday of the month.  Chagall's work is interesting...beautiful colors and especially the blues.  His work is very religious and much of it was intended for chapels.  Interesting, with him being jewish.  I would like to learn more about him.

We then rented the blue bikes to ride back to the seashore.  Our ride was quite harrowing!  City traffic and not knowing exactly where to go.  Josie hadn't been on a bike in several months.  Riding along the Promenade des Anglais...the seashore "boardwalk"...was really nice, but getting there was stressful. 

We visited the Hotel Negresco, which is an old hotel on the sea from the victorian era.  The tea room/restaurant is like the inside of a carousel.  Complete with carousel horses and a bizarre animated show that starts every 40 minutes or so.  It was a little creepy...the music changed and this creepy mannequin of a young girl playing an organ starts to move. 
Then we headed up Chateau Hill (or Castle Hill...which doesn't have a castle anymore) to enjoy the communist party's party.  What a fabulous street festival!  Great live and drink.  We tried socca, which is a local pancake made from chickpeas...thin like a crepe, but greasy and salty....delicious!  Then we had a delicious plate of Palestinian food for only 6 euros...hummus, dolmades, taboule, bulghar, salad and tazitki...yum!  Then pesto pasta and a mojito from the Cuban booth.