Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Nice is really pretty

Nice, France: "I thought you were just saying
France was nice but I got it now."
This past Saturday, a coworker invited my roommate (another MIT student, course 16), a friend in the same area (course 18), and me to visit Nice, France, which is about an hour bus ride from where we live. She was extremely nice and served as our host/tour guide and showed us around her city.

Even before we got off at the bus station, driving along the beautiful cerulean (maybe that's the right blue?) ocean was quite the treat. Usually, I live right by the beach, so I prefer mountains. But the beaches by the Mediterranean sea have the clearest waters, so you can even see the tiny fish swimming.

Look at that blue. The beach is rocky though, so hopefully
the people lying on their beach towels weren't uncomfortable.

Nice is a pretty big city. Compared to the much smaller and much quieter city of Sophia (where the university I research at is), Nice is like a paradise. If you don't feel like swimming or chilling on the beach, you can even go parachute sailing! That is something I definitely plan on doing before this summer is over. My roommate plans on jet-skiing, which is equally adventurous.

Also, if you're not that much of a beach person (like me), there's a small mountain with a man-made waterfall within walking distance. Our little tourist group hiked up an incline and a couple of stairs, but it wasn't that bad since I'm used to living on the fifth floor in New without elevators. It was quite nice. Although there were several tourists, the mountain wasn't too terribly crowded, so you could enjoy a relatively peaceful view of nature and scenery. You could even hear the distant music from a parade/band playing in Massena square.
To the right of this waterfall you can catch a glimpse of
a group of ladies having a bacherolette party.
From the peak of the mountain, you can see all the cool
roofs on the buildings below.
Below in the city, there's many shops and restaurants. It felt like a maze, travelling through the seemingly endless supply of narrow streets. But the great thing about France is that these streets are quaint and picturesque, even if they are for the tourists, complete with boulangeries, brasseries, and gelato places. The cobble pathways and specialized stores are something you don't see often in the US, and the pastries are not too sweet here. My roommate and I made a pact to visit a boulangerie and/or gelato place in every city we travel to. So far, we've kept our promise.

Massena Square
Although, to be honest, I think the famous gelato place in Nice is okay. Yes, it has tons of different flavors (like apricot and guava), but it's a little overpriced, and the gelato is not amazing. I forgot to mention, Nice is near Italy, so that the city has a mixture of both Italian and French culture. This is very apparent in the architecture and cuisine. Namely, there seems to be gelato and pizzeria places everywhere you turn. The course 18 guy even found an Italian wine that he's been searching for ever since he arrived in France three weeks ago, thanks to the help of our local tourist guide.

Yummy veg pizza
In any case, I highly recommend visiting Nice if you ever come to France. Of the cities I've visited so far in southern France, including Cannes, I think Nice is the one that I would make multiple trips to, since the city is rather large so that there's a number of things to do that you can't finish in a weekend. Next stop: Monaco.

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