Friday, March 27, 2009

Nice and the Côte d'Azur

I would definately recommend a trip to the Côte d'Azur if you get the opportunity. We spent two nights at the Villa Saint Exupery hostel in Nice. It was absolutely great. Ask for room 313, 314, or 315 if you can get one of them. They open onto a shared vernanda that has an unobstructed view of the city and the Mediterranean. The food is great, the beer is cheap, and the hostel is beautiful. It had a nice mix of older and younger travelers, and very cool activities: you can ski the Alps for ~€36 including transportation, lift ticket, and equipment rental.

Nice itself was pretty and the locals were very friendly. That may change during July-August, but they were still smiling in the early Spring. We missed the Matisse and Chagall museums when the bus ate Tim's day pass--no big loss. The former fortifications on the east end of the waterfront are well worth the trek up the stairs. You have amazing views of the coast; all the way to Saint-Tropez.
We spent part of one day at Eze-Village, about 30 minutes east of Nice. It is a little touristy-cutesy with all the shops. However, the garden at the top of the town was well worth the €3 entry.

Then it was off to Monte Carlo. Not much to say that you don't already know: the Casino, the Bentleys and Ferraris, the mega-yachts in the harbor: yep, it's all there. At least it was a very nice Mecca-trip for me: I got to stand at the hairpin of the Monaco Gran Prix. You can keep your damn Mona Lisa, the GP is what it's all about.