Around this time last year, I flew over the Atlantic and landed in Nice. Nice is sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps and when you land, you can see the blue skies and the shimmering water stretch for miles and miles. My jaw dropped. Partly because of the bumpy landing but mostly because the landing was spectacular.
I go numb with excitement and disbelief every time I visit a new town or city and this is especially true every time I land in France. Not wanting to waste a single minute, I hustled out of the terminal to catch the airport shuttle to the bus station. Less than 20 minutes of landing my tootsie there and I already committed my first stupid act of the trip, even though I swore to myself to be extra alert and careful. In the South of France, when you get on the bus, you expected to either have a ticket or the perfect change to buy a ticket. Since I had just landed, I didn’t have Euros or coins to take the bus from the airport into town. Luckily for people like me, there is a machine near the shuttle stop which allows you to withdraw coins using a credit card. Having grown up in a developing country all my life, I was marveling at the state of over-engineering a simple need like that. I got change for 20 Euros and Snapchatted this photo while the coins poured out of the machine. Immediately after, I hopped onto the shuttle and when we were about to reach the bus station, I realized that I had forgotten to take the coins out while I was too busy Snapchatting. *Groan* I took the same shuttle back to the terminal only to discover some lucky person scored on my 20 Euros *Argh* and withdrew another twenty euros and circled back to the bus station.
Where art thou? Airbnb on Rue Bonaparte
My Airbnb host with a risque display picture texted me and asked me to get onto bus #98 to Place Garibaldi, which was close to the Airbnb. After about an hour of bouncing around and soliciting unsuspecting locals in ludicrous Franglish, I learned that the bus drivers for that route were on a strike that day. If you live in France for a few days, you quickly realize that the French people take to the streets to express their anger to effect change very often. That’s impressive but on that day, I was not feeling the inspiration. Two buses and a few alleys later, I stood on Rue Bonaparte outside the address listed on the Airbnb and I was outraged to discover that there was a butcher obnoxiously butchering meat (Butchers gotta butch I know!) where I expected my future apartment to be. :O Anyway, the butcher pointed me to my apartment (*cough* the next door *cough*) and promised me to quit his job and give up meat forever.
Well, of course, that didn’t happen but that would have been a nice twist! (P:S I’m a vegetarianism-evangelist lol. 🙂 !)
A girl has no wish
But a nice view and pizza is more of a necessity, wouldn’t you agree? 😛 The Airbnb host’s son received me and helped me settle in to my new room aka home for two weeks. The room was small and modestly furnished but but but.. it had the most amazing balcony and view.
It was 3 o clock in the afternoon and I was ravenous.
The only restaurant that was open was a stamp-sized pizzeria on my street. I was in France and I was 2 hours from Italy and Nice was briefly was a part of Italy. Pizza for lunch sounded perfect.
In minutes, I inhaled an entire pizza Bianca and a glass jar of Tiramisu.
I had no regrets. None.
Recharged, I aimlessly wandered about Rue Bonaparte.
I met a few welcoming locals.
The sidewalk cafes looked promising for my inner “flaneur”.
Rue Bonaparte opened up to Plaza Garibaldi. Our main man Garibaldi born and bred in Nice, who fought in many battles and was instrumental in the unification of Italy, is a quite a big deal in Nice.
Entering Old Town
I walked around the bustling plaza and entered the rabbit-warren of Old Town.
Winding alleys, little kids playing, and petite impressive fountains. It was lovely.
Soon, I headed back home to finish up some work and met my host Fabine before tucking in.
Fabine was not anything like her profile picture. 😛 She was middle-aged, warm and nice. Bonus for me, she spoke very little English and very rapid French. Parfait! She bustled into my room, closed the balcony door stated something, motioning to the windows and zoomed out wishing me good night. I nodded furiously, even though I had no idea what she just said. I thought to myself that day one in Nice had definitely been nice.
Pin this for later: