Down By The Ocean
Perfect weather? Beautiful beaches? Unbelievable sights? Okay this is starting to sound a like a Disney song, but honestly Nice made me feel like I was in a whole new world. I didn't want to leave, and I am so grateful that this trip was included in our study abroad program. But enough about me, what about Nice?
Yes, before you even ask, our plane was delayed. If you have ever flown before, or even if you have ever been just so excited to go on a trip, you know the feeling of utter dread when you hear that your flight is delayed...and ours was delayed for three hours. This is all due to the fact that we wanted to fly to Nice on literally the only day in history that it decided to rain there. Ridiculous right? But no matter, we hunkered down with food and prepared for a long wait. But the best thing happened, I remembered that I had a deck of cards smuggled into the deep recesses of my carry one (Because I always try to come prepared with everything). We then played multiple rounds of almost every card game we knew, from old maid to spoons. I think we played them all. Because of this (and about 10 packs of Oreos) the delay went by relatively easily.
Good morning nice!
We begin our journeys in the south of France with a breakfast of croissants and pain au chocolats, courtesy of our program. Luckily I had two of the delightful pastries because we had a long trek to the bus stop that would take us from Nice to Èze Village.
The bus was packed and I was shoved into the door, and forced to stand the whole bus ride to Èze next to some pretty rowdy people (I think they were there for a game or something, because they were wild). But don't feel bad for me, because I was shoved into the door of the bus, I got to see just how beautiful the south of France was. The view was so breathtaking, and much needed after spending weeks in the city. Between the mountainous terrain and the blue sea, I was in complete awe. (More about Èze and Monaco to come in later posts!)
Down by the ocean
After spending the day in Èze and Monaco we were all on the verge of sleep. We still had a dinner to get to though, and so many big plans for the night, so we decided to tough it out and stay out until it was time for our dinner reservations. Because if we went back to the hotel, I don't think we would have the energy to leave. We walked down to the famous rocky beach of Nice and just sat down and looked at how beautiful everything was. The sunset was to die for and the weather was honestly perfect. I couldn't help but marvel at the vivid pinks and oranges of the Nice sunset. All to soon we had to catch our dinner reservation.
The next morning we all dragged ourselves out of bed (it was a long night, and definitely a story for another time) to begin our trek across Nice to see the Roman ruins that were there. These were actually the Roman Bath Ruins from a city that is now long buried underneath Nice. The only major excavation to recover these ruins of a city long forgotten, brought about these ruins that represent the bath/spa complex of the ancient Roman city of Cemenemlum. I was surprised that Roman ruins were a thing here in Nice and I as even more taken aback by just how large they were. It was amazing to see this ghost of the past in a city that now has so much history itself, and I could have spent a lot of time exploring the ruins, but alas we had so much more to see on our last day in Nice.
Mad for Matisse
Our last excursion that we did during our trip to Nice was visiting the Matisse Museum. For those of us who may not know of Henri Matisse, here's a nit of a history lesson for you. Henri Matisse was a French painter who rose to prominence during the Post-Impressionist art period, and he then became a leader during the French movement of Fauvism. He was known for his use of color and the way he used it to express feelings through his work. He spent much of his later life livin' it up in Nice and when he moved on, this museum was created as a sort of tribute to him and his amazing contributions to the art world.
The museum was some ind of amazing. Not only were we able to see the process of how Matisse would begin his pieces (literally seeing his early sketches of some of his most famous works) we were also able to see the pieces from his home. There were trinkets and chairs and multiple other pieces that served to represent this man and who he really was. I was in love with it! I think it's amazing to ave a place where you not only know the artist's works but also to know the artist himself. To get to know this man on a deeper level through learning about his artistic processes, childhood, and other things was truly a privilege.
Do I have to leave?
Our marvelous trip to the south came to an end, and we ended our trip with a little shopping, some quality gelato, and some intense lounging on the beach. I was so unwilling to leave Nice, and I could have stayed there for a week just soaking up the sun and exploring the city. In the end, we ad to leave, because unfortunately I had school, and I couldn't just drop out and buy an apartment in Nice (I thought about it though!). The trip provided me with some much needed relaxation and I will make it a point to go back in the future.