NICE, MONACO, SAINT PAUL DE VENCE, and the CÔTES D’AZURE

Posted by on Jun 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

                                         NICE

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Arrived in Nice on a bus from Aix En Provence, and headed to what would become the worst hostel in which I had yet to stay. Regardless I had good roommates, a couple of giggly Asian girls on holiday and a quiet young Chinese fellow. The bunk beds were flimsy as hell, kind of like a really crappy swing set your wife would make you take back for fear of killing the kids. In fact I was grateful the Chinese guy on the top bunk was skinny or I would have spent the night in fear of being crushed. As it was, none of us got a good nights sleep anyway since the mini fridge kicked in every half hour and woke us all up. Of course, the crummy beds would have kept us up if the fridge hadn’t.

The reception, kitchen, dining, computer, and recreation area took up about 300 square feet so things were very cramped. You could barely hear yourself think with all of the goings on, from people checking in, cooking, watching TV, yacking, and of course, let’s not forget the douche with his hair in a man bun trying to get laid singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. It seems every hostel in Europe has some man bun toting nimrod playing or practicing this song. Must be a new aphrodisiac, but for me, it has turned into an ipecac anthem. It’s getting so I start to cringe when I see a guitar.

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Thankfully I had views like this and other distractions to offset the hostel in question.

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The main square in Nice.

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At night the guys on the platforms around the square glow in different colors.

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The Old Town

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The daily flower and farmers market.

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For those of you who were unaware, there are three Statues of Liberty. The large one in New York, the life-size one in Paris, and the 4.5 foot one pictured here in Nice.

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Le Negresco Hotel – This hotel uses furniture from the 18th Century in its rooms.

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                                        EZE

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A perfectly delightful Medieval village perched on a hill between Nice and Monaco. There are numerous galleries and shops on its winding streets as well as two five star hotels with Michelin star restaurants.

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Le Chateau de Chevre d’Or – One of those five stars I mentioned.

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It was breakfast time so I had tea & croissant on the terrace, and what a terrace. Note the hand-painted china with goats on them. The Chèvre d’Or is the golden goat in French. I got off very easy for 11 euros. I have it from a good source that a basic glass of champagne will set you back twenty-five. Good thing I don’t drink……..

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But the view is intoxicating, nest-ce pas?

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A wonderful little interlude.

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                                                   MONACO

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Hotel De Paris – Monte Carlo

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The Grand Casino of Monte Carlo

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The Côtes d’Azur is so awash in extreme wealth that I splurged on an Italian, magnetic, crocodile money clip from a deluxe casino shop. It was less than half the price of an LV money clip, and theirs is synthetic. There is an area nearby called Cap Ferrat where the real estate runs 250,000 euros per square meter, so I figured my 110 euro purchase was a bargain. I have to say that I dislike Cap Ferrat on principle since Bono and the Edge have property there.

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Oceanographic Institute – A place where Jacques Cousteau spent a lot of time.

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One of Jacques toys collecting dust in a parking lot. This was built in the Sixties. I think the Beatles ripped off the Yellow Submarine idea from old Jacque.

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The Church where Grace Kelly married Prince Ranier. A little known fact is in the movie “To Catch a Thief”, Cary Grant complains about the speed of her driving on exactly the hairpin turn where she had her fatal accident. Contrary to some opinions, she was not driving hazardously but suffered a stroke in the middle of the turn causing her to catapult off the cliff.

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Changing of the guard at the Royal Palace.

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Park by the Sea.

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                                 Antibes

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My Tour Group and Guide

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That triple line of red bricks was built into the wall as a shock absorber for the many quakes experienced in the ancient world.

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Sorry, they wouldn’t let me take pictures of Picasso’s work.

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This is a nice piece by someone else.

 

                                                   CANNES

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Grand Auditorium Louis Lumiere – That’s where the red carpet is placed for the Cannes Film Festival. There is always some kind of event or festival going on in Cannes. That’s why you see this ugly piece of machinery in my photo. Other than that they have three of the most expensive hotels in Europe here with people throwing around obscene amounts of money.

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You can’t park your boat here unless it is at least 70 meters long. There were about ten of these monstrosities parked here. I wonder how many of them were bought with dirty money.

 

                                       ST. PAUL DE VENCE

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St. Paul de Vence shot from the bus. Another amazing Medieval village beloved by some of the greatest artists of the last few centuries because of the amazing light by which to paint. Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, and Chagall lived here to name a few. The town is the second most visited in France after Mont Saint Michel.

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Café de la Place – Grabbed a bite here, and learned that some scenes for a movie with Richard Gere was shot here recently.

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The stonework was so pleasantly artistic.

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The signage also had a nice flair to it.

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Art Galleries Everywhere

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The Outer Wall

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Jams for every occasion.

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The bus stop back to Nice.

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One last look at the Negresco and the beach, and I’m out of here. It’s been hot for over a week.

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I’m ready for some cooler weather in the Scandinavian zone. See you in, Stockholm. Funny that the yellow and blue on the beach are the colors of the Swedish flag. Swedish meatballs here I come.

8 Comments

  1. Jason B.
    June 16, 2015

    Another wonderful round of pictures and commentary. Really enjoyed it. Think I might save stockholm for later. So fun to see it all. awesome! That hostel sounded pretty lame. Do you ever get tempted to splurge on some expensive hotel?

  2. The Travel Zealot
    June 17, 2015

    Oh yeah Jason, I do splurge from time to time, but I’d rather spend the money on good food. I stayed in a nice four star in Biarritz, but it only ran me $90 per night.

  3. Jason B.
    June 17, 2015

    Thats not bad at all. The worst hostel I ever encountered was in Amsterdam right next to the train station. Steer clear! Hope that Stockholm treats you well.

  4. Jason B.
    June 17, 2015

    I hear you on the food thing though. Is the food a lot better there in general?

  5. The Travel Zealot
    June 17, 2015

    Oh it was bad at that hostel, there was a punk kid with an attitude working there that I won’t even get into. My hostel in Stockholm was fantastic. I paid for a four bed dorm, ended up with a private room my last two nights.

  6. The Travel Zealot
    June 17, 2015

    It is always fun to indulge in international foods in their country of origin. New York pizza is always at its best in New York, and nobody does a better baguette than the French. Had some great pastry today in Denmark. Every place has its speciality, and some have many.

  7. BigD
    June 28, 2015

    “I wonder how many of them were bought with dirty money.” haha. Good question, probably a large majority. I wonder if its possible to afford a yacht like that without being involved in some morally questionable activities.

  8. The Travel Zealot
    July 1, 2015

    Some of our best customers at the watch store were involved in nefarious activities.

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