Marseille

Blablacar.fr. GENIUS. I got int he car with some stranger who drove me from Nice to a new city and omg it was awesome. Thankfully I speak the language and I had someone waiting for me at my destination so it was a little less stressful, but it is great. Online, you check from which city you’re taking off from tonwhere you want to end up and you car pool. As a traveller lemme just say you save a f***ton. 
So I left beautiful, clean, sunny Nice and took off for Marseille. Now don’t get me wrong, I hit up the beach, walked along the boardwalk and visited the harbour but mehhhh. It was a busy, dirty city. I guess after I was so spoiled in Nice I was a little bit on my high horse as well. Thanks not to say I didn’t enjoy myself though! Met up with a friend from home which was comforting. Got to be in a real bed with a kitchen and get my laundry done. Got to lay my crap around and not worry about putting all back in that damn bag and locking it up. 
✨when backpacking DO NOT use a bag with a top zipper, worst mistake I made. Even if there’s one on top and one at the bottom you have to empty all your stuff out because of course what you need is in the middle. No no. Get a bag that zips all around the front. What can I say, we live and learn.✨
My friend had recently moved to the area so we got to explore together, we beached, shopped for furniture, partied up a storm. It was an awesome weekend. Really cool to be able to meet up with someone from home 6000km away!

There’s a reason when you read Nice in English it’s nice.

Bonjour la France!

Nice. Nice. It’s no surprise that when you read Nice in English it’s nice. This place is beautiful. Reminds me of what I’d imagine California to be except French and in my biased opinion a little better. Walking along the promenade seeing all of these good looking people laying out of the beach, running and biking along the boardwalk; yes I could handle this life. The best part? Not only are they all active and gorgeous but they also eat, and not just salads. Butter! There’s a time to be active but they also know how to enjoy life; and what better way than with food and of course wine!

First night here I went for supper at a resto called “African Queen” next to the water in town called Beaulieu-sur-Mer in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. The drive to get there, breath taking. The views along the coast are something indescribable! Arriving at the restaurant walking from the parking lot you pass all these yachts, when I say yacht I don’t mean a boat with two decks to lie out on and enjoy the water. I mean massive things with helicopter pass. Um yes please? The food at the restaurant was nice, the wine was great and well the company….ummm let’s just say when in France don’t expect a nice French guy to take you out as a friend and actually mean it. Friendly dinner to show me around apparently means date. Sorry Monsieur , not interested.

Back the the hostel I could have sworn I was in Australia. It was like being in a scrum and I was in the centre of it. Great peeps but jeez are there any Aussies left in Australia? In the 50 people I met there was a group of 3 French people and a Swiss guy and the rest were Australian. The French were coming to the south of France to chill out and relax and the Swiss guy was running away to a new life. So happy I met these awesome people. Spent the next few days chilling out, drinking red wine, eating croissants, playing guitar, sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash and just taking advantage of time without having to punch in and out of anywhere.

I would recommend to anyone with the opportunity to spend a night with a stranger on a beach in a foreign country. There’s just something about the mystery of the new person, the vastness of the open water, the sound of the waves, the excitement of a new country, the first kiss. Do it! Just beware! Nice is a clean city for a reason, they pass by at 5 am on boats with massive hoses and spray the beach. HELLO! Way to wake up! 

Decided to be like the Beatles and be a day tripper. Did the whole Monte Carlo thing. Meh. It’s for some, just not for me. The fancy cars are pretty, the Hotel de Paris is dandy, and yeah there’s the casino. But I’m no gambler, find me a good looking 007 type and hand me a lychee martini while he plays sure, but otherwise it wasn’t quite my scene. A day there was enough and I was jumping back on a train to my lovely Nice. 

Monte Carlo

I must add as a little footnote here the powerful feeling of walking along the Promenade des Anglais and coming across the area where the shootings killed 86 people a few months prior. The path of poems, the teddy bears and flowers left for those that were taken was heartbreaking. I wasn’t personally affected by the shootings but it’s impossible to be in that environment and not have your heart go out to those who were. Love and hate are on opposite ends of the spectrum yet the strength of each emotion is equally encompassing. It’s impossible to ask the world to get along and agree to all the same views, but if only individuals could practice acceptance. Everyone has different beliefs and cultures but if only everyone could accept that and live and let live.

Promenade des Anglais