Saturday, July 18, 2009

bonjour, comment allez-vous?

Today is one such amazing day that I'm super glad I made the decision to do this backpacking thingy. We're in Nice, our first stop in France. We departed from the last station of Ventimiglia in Italy, crossing the border over to Menton in France.

Can't believe I'm in the playground of the rich and famous. Situated in between Cannes and Monaco, Nice is a lovely beach town which boasts of brands such as H&M and Esprit. Our host's apartment is just 15 minutes' walk from the Nice Ville station, and a bit more to the north from the beach.

We made a day trip to Monaco, making that the 4th "country" in my list of European countries after Italy, the Vatican City and France. Feels kinda surreal, coz that was where the older James Bond movies were based at, and I could already see for myself the luxury cars whizzing by the winding roads across the coast and the world's richest parking their yachts at the docks of Monte Carlo.

Since the sun sets relatively late in this part of the world, that meant we had more hours to play with. Like today, the sun only started setting around 8pm, and by the time we walk back to the apartment, it was still not totally dark yet. And that was just a little after 10pm.

So after coming back from Monaco after lunch, we walked along the Cote D'Azur beach, taken in by the azure colours of the sea. Walking from the end where the lighthouse was to the other side, we seemed to be a minority, as we noticed more than 90% of the people there were Europeans, or at least non-Asians.

Paragliding into the horizon, women sunbathing in the nude, walking on pebbled beach, dipping our legs into the sea waters of the French Riviera, watching a class learning African drums, rollerblading on the side curbs, owners and their dogs playing in the beach, smell of grilled seafood wafting from the beachside restaurant. (I didn't do all of these though!)

Memories of this beautiful town will stay with me for a very long time to come.

Later today we ride the train for Lyon, where our host Guillaume await us. Bonne nuit, signing off at 2:55am July 18 2009.

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