Annnnnd we’re off.. Nice, the first stop on weeks of travel goodness. While I wanted to maintain some spontaneity throughout my trip I had a bit of a route plan. Nice was my first protocol. I got into Nice Airport and hopped in a taxi. I got a taxi into the hostel I was staying in, in central Nice. The set me back €40 which gave me a bit of a shock. I think it was the only taxi trip I took throughout my interrail trip. On my first night I was staying in a cramped room, listening to screaming drunks outside my window with a swelling deep pit in my stomach.
Thankfully the next day turned my mood around. The people in my room were nice and were over to go to the Monaco Grand Prix. The left early and I had the room to myself to ease myself into the day. I showered, had some breakfast and took to the streets. Nice is …well excuse the play on words, but it’s nice. The town is split in two; if you’re looking towards the ocean, you have the modern side on the right of the tram line and the old town on the left. I stuck to the left side as I loved all of the nooks and crannies of the windy French streets. From quirky little galleries to wholesome markets Nice has a lot to offer.
Just beyond the marketplace is Castle Hill. Halfway up the long uphill trek is an amazing viewing point where tourists can bask in the amazingness of the French Riviera. It was noon when I went up there so lighting was pretty harsh for decent photographs but I loved it so much that I decided to head up again that evening. After looking over the coastline for a timeless period I continued uphill to come across a small waterfall just beyond that was the top. There is a little park at the top with a lot of life and a great atmosphere. Would really recommend this part of Nice. If you’re not exhausted after climbing up the hill and seeing the parks I would recommend climbing down at the other side and catching a glorious sunset from the lighthouse at the bottom of the hill.
As Cannes was just up the road from Nice, I couldn’t not go, especially since it was the week of the film festival. I took off one morning from the train station just beside my hostel. The journey was great, panoramic ocean views all the way along the route. I got to Cannes, where it was hectic, the town was alive and bustling with film fever. I spent the day walking around, catching a coffee here and there and people watching to my heart’s content. In the evening I walked towards the film event and caught some of the red carpet event, although I can’t exactly say that I got star struck as I didn’t really recognise anyone taking to the red carpet.
Once I was satisfied to have seen enough of Cannes I headed back to Nice and grabbed some beers with my new hostel friends, and we went out to the fine establishment Paddy’s Pub (if only it was the Always Sunny in Philadelphia Paddy’s Pub). Oh well.
Overall I would say Nice is good for a day or two may three if you wanted to squeeze in Monaco or Cannes for a day, but I wouldn’t spend to long in Nice. Aside from the beaches (which I was disappointed to find out were rock beaches), and the trip around the old town I didn’t find that there was much to do in Nice.