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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon

Viewing blogs tagged Nice

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nice and Monte Carlo, France - 2012

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 13/09/2012 06:41:22

I really only knew about the French city of Nice because it forms part of a hilarious high school joke, whereby you alternate between pointing at Nice and Brest on a map while giggling uncontrollably. Upon a further review I noticed that Nice was very close to Monte Carlo and figured it would be a good place to start a road trip up to Paris. I originally had 14 days set aside for France, but with the addition of Edinburgh each town on the way to Paris would have to be to only one or two nights. Fortunately Nice ended up with two nights.

After a very early flight I arrived at the airport and picked up my hire car - where I was met with a confluence of issues. I hadn't driven in a month, hadn't driven a manual for a few years, only one week experience of driving on the left side of the road and was met with a bunch of French street signs in a strange car. I didn't do too badly and managed with make it to my hotel without issue. Nice itself was great, my hotel was just up the road from the shore and directly next to a pedestrian road that goes right into the centre of town. Completely spent - I had a long nap, woke up with just enough time to have dinner, and went to sleep again.

Nice
This scene reminds me of that 80s romance movie Weekend at Bernie's

I had already planned on driving to Monte Carlo, but a friend that I met in Barcelona (thanks Sigrid) suggested I check out Menton as well. Any initial hesitation towards hiring a convertible (instead of a sensible car) were quickly abandoned after driving between Nice, Menton and Monte Carlo with the top down. It was amazing - certainly the kind of terrain and views that would have been criminal to hide under a roof. This is another case where my limited vocabulary would not be able to describe the beauty I witnessed, but unfortunately I don't have the backup of my amateurish photography either (it was hard enough driving without trying to take a good photo).

Car
Even if this was to be the only day that afforded a bare roof, it was easily worth it (due to the views and also because I could make transformer noises while the roof was moving)

Menton was a great place to stop off for a bite to eat and a quick tour of the beautiful city, but before too long I had arrived in Monte Carlo. It is pretty much as you would expect it, a city full of amazing sights which ever way you look. Beautiful cars, amazing architecture, attractive people and water features everywhere. Mixed among this was a bunch of tourists wearing their birkenstocks with a map / camera combo in tow which makes for amusing contrast (I know I am in the tourist group - but I will never purchase birkenstocks). I had a quick walk around, lost some money in the casino and made my way back to Nice.

Casino
Monte Carlo Casino - no neon signs, no towers of flame and expensive cars parked out the front. It's the second classiest casino I know of

Water
A local nightclub - apparently they charge 60 Euro for a water here!?! For 60 Euro I'd like it to be served at exactly Pi degrees in an authentic 13th century clog carried by a roller skating monkey smoking a cigar. Or, you know, with a slice of lime in it

Dinner for my final night in Nice was just going to be a simple affair - I decided to just walk around the city and see what took my fancy. I noticed a burger joint that had quite a few patrons so I figured I'd give it a shot. I now wish to have Quick Burger Restaurant's illegitimate son - what a delicious meal. It was a perfect mix between a lower quality but convenient Maccas offering and those fancy burgers that are difficult to eat. I had the Giant Max Cheese - three types of cheese and countless types of satisfaction. After an ice cream from the many interesting flavours on offer, I went to sleep a happy man.

Quick
Unsuspecting facade, hiding the deliciousness that is about to unfold

Cream
All the crazy flavours you can get here - including Jasmin (presumably tasting like a tiger curry, a homage to Disney's Aladdin)


This is the 16th in the EuroJoel - 2012 series
City 1 - Lisbon, Portugal - 2012City 2 - Porto, Portugal - 2012City 3 - Madrid and Toledo, Spain - 2012City 4 - Valencia, Spain - 2012City 5 - Barcelona, Spain - 2012City 6 - Naples, Italy - 2012City 7 - Rome and Vatican City, Italy - 2012City 8 - Florence and Pisa, Italy - 2012City 9 - Milan and Bologna, Italy - 2012City 10 - Venice, Italy - 2012City 11 - Prague, Czech Republic - 2012City 12 - Dresden, Germany - 2012City 13 - Berlin, Germany - 2012City 14 - Legoland, Denmark, 2012City 15 - Edinburgh, Scotland - 2012City 16 - Nice and Monte Carlo, France - 2012City 17 - Lyon, France - 2012City 18 - Dijon, France - 2012City 19 - Provins, France - 2012City 20 - Paris, France - 2012City 21 - Ireland - 2012City 22 - London, England - 2012City 23 - Killarney - Ireland, 2012City 24 - Amsterdam, Netherlands - 2012City 25 - Brussels and Bruges, Belgium - 2012City 26 - Warsaw, Poland - 2012City 27 - Krakow, Poland - 2012City 28 - Vienna, Austria - 2012City 29 - Budapest, Hungary - 2012City 30 - Bucharest, Romania - 2012City 31 - Nile Cruise, Egypt - 2012City 32 - Cairo, Egypt - 2012
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