Our first couple of days in Nice were much like our time in Wet’aly. Unfortunately, we brought the weather with us; Nice had double its monthly average rainfall in two days (220mls). This meant a couple of rest days. Luckily our airbnb was conveniently located in the middle of Old Nice, so we were able to explore the old streets in the rain and enjoy the food from the French Patisseries!
Our airbnb was literally across the road from the Nice Cathedral. We could admire this beautiful building from our living room window while it rained. Later, we managed to go inside too.
On Sunday afternoon the rain finally stopped and the sun came out (always more golden after a storm). We enjoyed the evening walking along the Nice water front. Everyone else also resurfaced from their homes to enjoy the golden sunshine. Many people were walking their dogs, except for one lucky pooch who was riding on his scooter instead.
We enjoyed a rain-free evening in Nice. The city was getting ready for Christmas with the brightly lit words ‘Joyeuses Fêtes’ (or ‘Happy Holidays’) hanging overhead the main streets.
The next day we continued to be treated with good weather, so we decided to head for the hills. We climbed up Castle Hill where we were able to get great views over Nice. We could even see the snow capped mountains in the distance. We spent most of the morning walking around Castle Hill, taking in the views of Nice. At midday we were taken by surprise when an almighty blast went off from right below us. Of course, it was a midday cannon, we’d been in other cities that had these traditions, usually military links. However, after some research we found out that the Nice cannon was privately organised by a gentleman in 1861 who was tired of his wife being late with his lunchtime meal. After the family left the city of Nice, the town people (who had grown accustomed to this midday alarm) rallied for the blast to continue. Coincidentally, straight after the midday blast, we went to the café on top of Castle Hill for our lunch (baguettes).
After lunch, we found the waterfall, Cascade du Casteu. We had a bit of fun by this waterfall …playing around with the settings on our camera and on my phone. Maybe we could start a new trend with our ‘waterfall hair’ shots…
Shortly after we descended Castle Hill and walked along the Nice coast again.
We went for one more wander around Old Town and the main streets of Nice later in the evening. We stopped by the Basilica of Notre Dame, admiring the stunning stain-glass window by evening glow.
The next day we caught the train to Monte-Carlo, Monaco (another bonus country for our year). Monaco is the second smallest country in the world (an area of 2.02 km2) and is famous for being a tax haven for the rich, with 1/3 of the population being millionaires. Our first point of interest was the Monte-Carlo Casino. This eye-catching building was becoming even more so with the installation of its Christmas Winter-wonderland.
From the otherside of the Casino building we took in the view of the Monte-Carlo marina below – spotting a few of the ‘small fishing boats’ owned by the locals.
Next we walked down towards Larvotto, passing by ‘The world’s most famous bend’, from the Monaco Grand-prix.
Unfortunately, when we got to Larvotto we found the beach was ‘coming soon’, due to a new development.
We walked back, this time under the Hotel Fairmount, through the Larvotto Tunnel, to the marina. We were running out of time and needed to get back to the station for our return train to Nice. We had a quick look at the starting line for the grand-prix and spotted a few more flashy cars.
We walked past St. Devota’s Catholic Chapel and from the train station, nestled in the hill overlooking the marina, we were able to get one last view over the marina and see the Monaco Palace too.
Have fun at work!