Picture
    Last weekend, I went to Nice, and then to Monte Carlo, Monaco. After visiting Monaco, I went to Eze to tour Fragonard, a perfume factory, and to tour a quaint Medieval village with which sits Fragonard. This post focuses solely on Nice and its gems. This trip was IAU’s first group outing. It was a BLAST! I felt very fortunate to be seated on the same bus as Professor and Historian, Mark, because from him, I learned a great deal about Nice and Monte Carlo. Before this trip, I knew very little about both cities; however, after listening to Mark’s “lectures,” so-to-speak, I feel as if I know everything about them now.
    The first stop was a 7-11 replica on the way to Nice. I felt bad for people not part of the IAU group because we pretty much  took over the place. With about ninety-something females attending IAU, just imagine the line for the bathroom! At least most, if not all, of us purchased something to eat and/or drink. I bought Nutella on the Go, which is actually sold in the US, but it was small and not exactly candy, so I bought it anyway. It was a great purchase... Très délicieux! By the way, my housemate and I have an obsession with Nutella. After this stop, the bus took all of us to Nice.
_

Picture
__    Nice is a beautiful city with many gorgeous gems. From the magnificent Mediterranean Sea to the busy open market to the beautiful rues and cathedrals, Nice has a lot to offer. It’s a very hilly/mountainous city, so naturally it was love at first sight since I'm used to prairie-flat land cities. First, there’s the beach. It’s a pebble beach, so in order to refrain from destroying your feet, when you visit someday, keep your sandals on. It wasn't until I was ready to put my feet into the Mediterranean Sea, when I took off my sandals. The Mediterranean Sea is extremely beautiful! It’s crystal blue, and it has very relaxed waves. It’s probably not the best water for surfing, but it’s great for a relaxed day at the beach.

Picture
_    Second, there are many cathedrals, churches, and basilicas. Each of these is a gem in itself. Once a year, all of the cathedrals and museums that are not normally open to the public are open. My friends and I had the honor of touring these wonderful and magnificent places, especially with Mark, who taught us all there is to know about each of them. Even though there were a lot of tourists (aside from IAU’s student population), I’m glad that IAU scheduled this trip during this time because all of the places we saw were breathtaking. Most of these places did not allow photography; however, there was one place we toured that allowed non-flash photography. Yay! It took 3 days to upload all of my photos, so I'm satisfied that I wasn't allowed to take photos in most of the cathedrals/churches/basilicas. I don't even want to think about how much longer uploading all of those would've taken! The picture on the left was taken in one of the rooms inside the Palais Lascaris.

Picture
_    Third, there’s the open market. From soap and flowers to fruit, cheese, and fish, I was bombarded with many smells. The flowers, soap, and fruit offered the best scents. The scent of dead fish, however, was not quite as pleasant.
    Fourth, Nice is a city with a lot of narrow streets. Some people try to define the narrow streets by linking them to the lower class of people; however, this is not accurate. The city was purposely built in such a close fashion to enable the population to travel around in a more comfortable temperature setting. Even today, it is obvious that the further into the city one travels, the temperature drops a few degrees. This makes sense since Nice is on the Mediterranean Sea, so the weather tends to be on the HOT side. Whether or not the lower class inhabits this area makes no difference in the architecture and design of the buildings.

Picture
_Fifth, Nice is a city with a lot of cultural influences. The French multicultural festival was held on Saturday, which proved to be Fantastic! Sometimes, it’s easy for Americans to get wrapped up in the USA being the only country that consists of a melting pot of cultures. This is definitely false. France is also a melting pot of cultures, and I was able to witness some traditional styles of dress and traditional music on Saturday. In general, there were African-French, Caribbean-French, German-French, Asian-French, etc...Although I was unable to stay at the festival for long (since I wanted to participate in the tour of the cathedrals, churches, and basilicas), I absorbed the atmosphere and took note of the different cultures at the festival. There was one main difference between this cultural festival and cultural festivals in the USA (specifically Chicago). There are a lot of cultural festivals in Chicago, but none of them combine every single culture in one sitting. For example, Swedish Days consists of everything Swedish, Maifest consists of everything German, and the Chinese New Year festival consists of everything Chinese. Each culture has its own prospective festival; however, at the multi-culture festival in Nice, every culture comes together to celebrate. Seeing people in different traditional garments all along the place was awe-inspiring. Everyone was smiling and seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Picture
_    Although Nice has many more gorgeous gems, the five I listed above gave me a new concept of French culture involving the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to experiencing these gems, I also tried 1 scoop of gelato in a sugar cone. I’ve had gelato in the past; however, the gelaterie, Fenocchio, sells gelato and sorbet in all sorts of flavors including Jasmin, Thyme, and Lavender. I decided to stick to a traditional flavor because I did not want to have an upset stomach the rest of the weekend, so I opted for Strataciella. There are a few gelato shops in Aix-en-Provence that sell Lavender flavored gelato, so some day in the future I will try that. Nice was (and I imagine it still is) a beautiful city. I hope to be able to return someday with my boyfriend, family, and friends from the USA because they will love it! Also, I need to climb the hill/mountain to see the amazing waterfall in person and to see the breathtaking view of the city from that angle.
  




Leave a Reply.