Scaredy Cat and the closed gates of Nice

Our last day in Nice was another adventure for Scaredy cat, or rather grumpy cat, when we got locked in three times in one day! Our first day, we had explored the seaside and our second day, we spent at Cimiez Hill before heading towards our second hotel. When booking our vacation, we had planned to stay in Nice for four days and I had found this beautiful apartment that looked out over the sea. I fell instantly in love with it and we arranged our week so that we could stay there.

Two days before we would leave for France, I got a phonecall: my grandfather had died. Now I wasn’t close with him but I still wanted to attend the funeral, to support my father. Only problem was, the funeral would be on saturday, and we would leave Nice on Sunday.

So we had to change our plans. I still wanted to go, because that day we also had our covid tests and I didn’t want to have a stick pushed up my nose for nothing. So we quickly decided to leave a day early, which would be the following morning, and stay in Nice until Friday morning and then drive back in one go. Plans were changed, we had to change dates for our catsitter and of course had to change the hotels – which we did in the car driving towards Dijon. The beautiful hotel we booked wasn’t available a day earlier, but I didn’t want to cancel it, so we decided to stay in two different hotels in the city. The first hotel, Villa Saint Hubert was fine. It was spacious and clean and we could have stayed there the two nights we spent at Nice, but I had fallen in love with the pictures of our second hotel. Which wasn’t a hotel as much as an apartment that was rented out. It was gorgeous, had everything we needed – I forgot to take pictures of anything else than the view – and the view was magnificent.

My heart still cries a bit for the lost vacation. It was supposed to be a relaxing trip where we would explore the city, do some swimming and lounge and read in our beautiful apartment. Instead, it was kind of a hectic trip. Booking hotels while we were already driving towards them, walking 25 kilometers in a day to be able to see as much as possible in the day and a half we had now instead of the four days we should have had.

Anyway, after exploring Cimiez Hill, we went to the apartment, checked in and rested a bit before we wanted to explore again. We had already walked far, our feet were tired and a heavy sunburn was coming up. I was also feeling sad we had to leave already the next day.

After taking a hundred pictures of the apartment’s view, we decided to visit Vieille Nice, the old city center, and grab something to eat.

Locked gate number one

Which is when we got locked in the first time. One of the differences between France and the Netherlands is that France has hills and mountains, while The Netherlands, as we would say, is as flat as a penny. We went downstairs and found the door locked. Of course we had been given keys but whatever we tried, we weren’t able to open the door. The key simply didn’t fit. We tried and tried but it wouldn’t bulge. Then, while Boyfriend was calling the landlord, I walked up a flight of stairs and saw another door that led outside. We tried the key and it fit perfectly. Apparently, if you’re in a city that’s on a hill, an apartment can have front doors on multiple levels. Who would have thought. We felt very dumb…

When we were finally free, we saw a bunch of cats so naturally we had to pet them. So far we hadn’t seen a lot of street cats in the city, but someone left cat food and water out for them, so of course they got together here. It made up for us feeling dumb and being locked inside.

Locked gate number two

We walked the city and Boyfriend really wanted to go up Castle hill in the city center. The night before it had been closed already so we took our chances now. We walked up the 3654821156672 sets of stairs (rough estimate) for a beautiful scenic view over the city. I was already tired from our walk in the morning, but as we would leave tomorrow, I wanted to see as much as possible, so we pressed on. When we were finally at the top, we rested for a bit, drinking some water before exploring a little further. But then a guard came and said the hill would close, so we had to leave. No sign of the beautiful waterfall I had seen on pictures, but alas, the view had been beautiful so we walked down again. Feet hurting and all.

The guard had pointed us to where we should go, back to where we came from, but when we got back at the gate, it was closed…

That guard had closed the gate before we had the time to walk down and go through it. And we were so close too! But the gate itself was also on a hill and it was too high too climb over it. There was a sign at the front saying it would close after 9 pm (that of course, we only noticed now), but there wasn’t a phone number or anything we could have done to let someone know we were still inside. Lucky for us, some people that lived in the city saw we were locked in and came to help. They didn’t have a key, of course, but they knew another way we would be able to go outside. Guess what? It was all the way up again. I really had had it at that point and I just wanted to sit down and not move anymore, but of course we couldn’t stay here.

Putting one foot in front of the other, we stumbled back up the hill again, towards the other side where we would find the car entrance to the hill. I was exhausted but finally we made it to the other side. We did see a beautiful sunset, but I was too annoyed to appreciate it much. Luckily Boyfriend took some pictures.

When we finally arrived at the opposite side, we saw another gate. I felt my hope sinking and my annoyance rising, for it looked closed as well. When we got closer, we discovered that it was, indeed, locked, but there was a door at the side that opened when we pushed it. We were back at the docks.

At this point, we were tired and hungry and the blisters on our feet were far from happy. We googled sushi restaurants nearby, found a place, stumbled towards it, and found it closed. I just wanted something quick at this point, it was getting late and I wasn’t in the mood for a fancy dinner. There were no fastfood restaurants in the area and after looking and looking we found a bar that had fish and chips and nachos. We went in, sat down and only then noticed why it was so loud inside: there was a pubquiz going on. All around us, drunken people speaking loudly and I was in no mood, so I left again. We decided to just go back to the apartment and order something.

Locked gate number three

We stumbled further and of course, the apartment was on a hill too. After what seemed like hours, we finally saw the gate to the area the apartment was in. I sighed in relief. Boyfriend punched in the code and then… nothing happened.

We had been given the code to open the car gate. The row of cars in front of the gate should have been clear enough. Apparently the car gate locked after some time. And we didn’t have the code for pedestrians. I could have cried at this point, it all felt so ridiculous. Our last day in Nice and it was such a disaster! We tried calling the landlord again but it was too late and the company had closed off. There was nothing we could do.

Boyfriend tried to climb the fence and he sat on top of it when a man walked towards us. Of course, this day wasn’t crappy enough and we had to get arrested for breaking and entering too. We tried to explain, Parlez vous anglais, I asked, do you speak English? And the man said Non.

In my best French I tried to explain while boyfriend still sat on the top of the fence. Nous louons un apartment mais nous n’avons pas le code… I stumbled and I have no idea if I made sense and if he understood. But he shrugged, typed in the code and opened the gate for us. I have never been more grateful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.