(NICE - part 2) My third day was focused on one of those special spots - where website research trails last winter led me to a town I wanted to be sure to see in person. Menton, called the Pearl of France, is the last town on the Riviera before the border with Italy. A book I purchased a month before my trip made me even more excited to explore Menton, "Travels through the French Riviera" - An Artist's Guide to the Storied Coastline from Menton to Saint-Tropez, by Virginia Johnson.
The hues of colors were just as beautiful as I had hoped! What starts out as a normal pretty coastal town suddenly turned into a completely different architecture! Narrow little streets, each one steeper, rewarded me with so many photographs that I finally told myself to just stop - put away the phone, and savor being there. Later I walked back down to the beach that faces Italy and relaxed.
About the time my stomach was beginning to growl, I climbed the streets back into the Italian section and saw a few restaurants & then several more in a small piazza. I ordered a house-made lasagna that is one of the best I have ever eaten! I think they used the crepe method for the pasta and the meat tasted similar to homemade meatballs – yum! It was only a 15-minute bus ride, afterwards, to Monaco (which is filled with American tourists, but I didn’t hear any English in Menton.) I had fun speaking Italian at the Menton restaurant; I had accidently spoken a few times earlier in this trip in Italian instead of French!
From Menton, I took the bus to Monaco... to receive a passport stamp. I knew from the RS book that the TI in Monaco would stamp my passport. After walking through the front portion of the casino, I took the bus back to Nice.
For my last day at Nice, I had planned to go to St. Paul de Vence on Sunday morning to attend a small English church & enjoy the town, but the road was on the bike route for the Ironman Men’s World Championship that morning. So, instead, I stopped at the boulangerie recommended by Nadia to pick up breakfast & joined the crowd on the promenade to see the Norwegian win the Ironman at the Finish Line. Later in the day, I enjoyed the beach area, finishing the day with a walk up to the “# I Love Nice” sign for some final photos.
In Nice, I stayed at the Hôtel Régence on Rue Massena – a perfect location for me and a nice room. I liked being able to walk around the busy area in the evening, yet my courtyard room was very quiet to sleep. The Massena tram stop from the train station was so convenient.
I really enjoyed my five days based in Nice! Nice is vibrant, yet a quick train or cheap bus ride away, I could be in serene gardens or photographer dream spots. I definitely think I will be back!