Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day Eight: Not Nice

30 Dec. 2009

I really need to figure out a more interesting way to start these posts. So, for right now…

Salut!  (“Hi”)

After yesterday’s touring of places close to my new home, Dad and I decided that we needed to go explore further away. So we woke up early and lazed around until we decided that we’d try breakfast at the hotel. That was strange; this hotel is kind of small, and they only serve breakfast to a set number of people, so they don’t really  have extras for anybody. It’s not free, either; and beyond that, it’s just a French breakfast. P1090651

 Our hotel in Fréjus

At home, we’ll have cereal, pancakes, waffles, eggs, or basically anything (cookie cake… Chick-Fil-A), for breakfast; here, breakfast is bread. I don’t mean toast-bread, either; a chunk of baguette, a croissant, and a cup of café or fruit juice. This is served with butter and jam of some sort (prune, apricot, cherry, strawberry…), so by my standards, it wasn’t particularly filling. Oink. [I think that the bread thing is standard, but I maintain the right to correct myself later on :)]

After we brushed all the bread crumbs off ourselves, we set off to Nice via la bord de la mer, because the thought of a French highway is very frightening, and we’d rather take the long route… seemed less confusing.

Nice is about 75 km (about 46 miles) from Fréjus when travelling along the coast, as we did. The trip is only supposed to take an hour and some, but for us, it took two hours… and some because we kept stopping to take pictures. We can’t really help ourselves; there were so many beautiful sights.

IMG_0457P1090704 P1090674 P1090680 P1090681 P1090684 P1090687 P1090689 P1090690 P1090691 P1090693

  Even though it was a cloudy day, there were still areas of the coast where the water was this beautiful shade of azure (this being the Côte d’Azur, after all).

We got lost along the way, and ended up in a town called Antibes, where we had AMAAAAAZING egg rolls. Nearly perfect, by Dad’s standards! So we bought more to eat later (and share with the Chassons).

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We saw Cannes and Nice, but I have to admit, neither of us was that interested in either place. They are both very commercial, but we took pictures for the heck of it anyway. xD

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Nice is a nice town, but we feel as though we missed the point of it (for the first thirty-or-maybe-more minutes we were there). Everybody says (not just Madame Marks) that “Nice is nice”, but I’m a bit confused. Nice (the city) is not that nice. The coast is prettier, honestly, and (maybe this is because we never found the office de tourisme?) it didn’t seem to have anything to do except go shopping. It had a lovely Christmas village filled with plastic fake-snow covered trees… with a huge sunny Ferris Wheel! xD (We found this quite humorous, but you may think we’re crazy.)P1090740 P1090743 P1090747 P1090748 P1090750

So, Dad and I were not that amused by Nice. This may or may not have to do with the fact that we don’t like (nor are we good at) shopping. We would both rather be exploring some interesting bit of coast or the mountains than wander around overly-crowded streets looking at shops. Especially shops where we can’t afford anything because the exchange rate is killer.

However, we were very amused when we somehow wandered (in the car) to the edge of town and saw one of the signs saying that you are no longer in so-or-such town/village/city. We read it as “Not (Name of Town/Village/City)”, so it was “Not Nice”. Not nice. hehe. We were going to take a picture of the sign but we forgot soooo… here’s a picture of a Not-City sign for Antibes.

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The exclamation point sign! Still not sure exactly what this means, but it comes in the yellow-orange/red variety and normal black/white/red variety. It makes me smile, though. I kinda want one.

 P1090719 NOT Antibes.

Finally, we made our way back to Fréjus. We should have paid more attention though (we can just say it isn’t well-marked. Always blame the signs! ALWAYS!), so we wandered in circles in some random edge-of-some-town for a very long time, eventually making our way to another road… that was not the road we came in on.

We followed this nearly completely randomly-chosen road up into the Alps, without realizing what we were doing. Soon, the roads were twisting and winding, up and down mountains. It was dark by then; the trees surrounding the roads made the potentially-very-scary slopes near the edge of the road even more ominous, especially since guardrails were very rare.

We continued down this road until we figured out where we were (actually, that “we” was “me”, because I tend to figure such things out! xD) and discovered that we were just taking the scenic-route-which-wasn’t-so-scenic-but-was-much-more-confusing. Did you get that? I kinda lost my train of though somewhere in the middle of that not-a-word. (I must stop hyphenating. BAD.)

Finally, we called Nathalie to tell her that we would be a bit late for dinner because we needed to stop at the hotel to pick up my laptop so we could test if the internet would work at their house.

Dinner was pizza—Margherita  (spelling? Uhh. I don’t know.) pizza is not the same here! It involves olives (YUM!) and not tomatoes (ew.)! Oh, and the delicious eggrolls from lunch.

[The internet took foreverrrrr to set up. But it works now and we don’t have to restart it every time, so that’s good.]

So, that was a nice day, and Dad and I are such tourists!

-Aly