The roadtrip continued when we left Dijon. Destination: Nice. I was so happy driving. The clouds slowly disappeared, the vegetation changed and the temperature didn’t seem to stop rising. We were driving south and we were so excited!
The drive from Dijon to Nice took another 6 hours but it’s one of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever made. Driving past fields of lavender (quickly opening the window to let the amazing smell fill the car), the alps but also the sea already visible in the distance. It was amazing! Driving inside the city is quite hectic and finding a parking space is even worse, but we made it out in one piece. We arrived around four so we didn’t wanna do too much on our first day, and decided to spend some time at the beach I’ve been dreaming about for years!
Our first hotel, Villa Saint Hubert was beautiful and spacious, though not very much in the city center. We had to walk through the city to get to the beach, but with a city as beautiful as this one, we were glad to. We saw lots of impressive buildings, such as Gare du Sud, the train station, but also a church that looked a lot like the Notre Dame in Paris: The Notre Dame de Nice, though without the rows of tourists waiting in line to get inside.
Next we walked through the shopping area with loads of amazing looking stores I wanna come back for. Instead, we walked on until we reached Place Massena, one of Nice’s well known squares. It has statues of men sitting on high poles that light up in different colors at night. I still remember these from when I first came to the city some ten years ago. It was one of the few things I remembered. It was supposed to be a temporary art piece, but it’s still there. It’s called Conversation in Nice. The seven statues depict the seven continents and the colors symbolize the conversation.
Place Massena is also where most gatherings are held in the city. When we crossed it again at night. there was also something happening, but it was too crowded too see what it was, and because of covid, we didn’t want to get too close.
When you’re walking towards the sea, you’ll find another artwork, namely La Fontaine du soleil: the fountain of the sun. The statue of Apollo in the middle immediately draws the attention but around it you will also see Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury and Saturn surrounding him. The fountain really reminded me of the fountains found at Piazza Navona in Rome.
Only just a little bit further and we were on the Promenade des Anglais, another Nice highlight. The promenade is a 7 kilometer walkway from the airport to the docks and was built in 1820. There were a lot of beggars in the city and some of the English expats thought it would be a good idea to give them some work and so they built the promenade. Nowadays it’s one of the highlights of the city. It’s a beautiful walk along the côte d’azur and also a great place for skaters.
The sea so blue, I had to spent some time there! Already wearing my swimsuit, I sat down at the beach and let the waves roll over my legs, The water wasn’t even that warm yet but it was so lovely as the sun was shining fiercely. I didn’t go into the water, however. The pebbled beach really hurt my feet, so next time, I’m bringing some footwear!
We spent quite some time, just sitting there, enjoying the sun and the sea. This is what I had been longing for all those years and I loved every second of it. Even the stones that kept hitting my legs with every wave…
After a while we got hungry so we decided to walk further, see what we would ran into. We didn’t really have a plan, only a couple of places we’d wanted to visit. And we still had another day after this one, so we weren’t in a hurry.
We walked the promenade towards the docks, keeping the sea in sight and walking past enormous hotels and some instagram spots such as the #Ilovenice statue. Me too, statue, me too!
It was a beautiful walk around Castle Hill, where we would go the next day. We wanted to enjoy the sea as long as possible so we only turned when we reached the docks, because we did want to stay in the city center to get something to eat.
We eventually ended up at Place Garibaldi, which is another square in Nice that you can’t really miss. There were some restaurants and we eventually sat down at Cafe de la place Garibaldi where I was very proud of myself to order a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in French, which resulted in a confused look by the waiter because who orders only a glass and not a bottle in France?
Anyway the wine was really good and the food was to die for. I had a pasta with creamcheese sauce, some mushrooms, corned beef and pistacchio’s and boyfriend had a vegetarian risotto. It was all so so yummy!