Tuesday, 27 June 2017

SOUTH OF FRANCE PART 3: MONACO

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We visited Monaco on a day trip, so we left Nice early in the morning to be able to look around and get some sightseeing done before we stopped for lunch. Here we are making our way to the train station..

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monaco

monaco

It was super easy to get there via train and only took about 15mins! The station we arrived at had some cool lighting in the tunnels. Photo op - naturally.


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And of course when we stepped outside - yachts were everywhere!

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We went to visit the Oceanographic Museum which rested on a cliff with some really amazing views. We sat here and had some lunch just staring out into the ocean.

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As it was so so hot it got quite difficult to keep walking around so we decided to get on one of the hop-on hop-off tourist buses that took us on a sightseeing tour of all the popular places including the Monté Carlo Casino. It was so nice to sit on the upper deck and get some cooler wind in our faces as we were all sweating quite a lot by then!

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monaco

In my opinion, Monaco came across as very flashy and glamorous and 'a place to be seen' and show off your wealth. It was nice to experience the overall vibe of the city but I definitely couldn't spend too much time there as I much prefer the country and having more wholesome activities to do with beautiful natural surroundings to take in, old streets to wander in and authentic culture to soak up. One day I hope to be able to visit the Provence region of the South of France - I feel like I will like it there the most but it wasn't possible on this trip. Definitely one to explore with husband-to-be! :)

Sandra x
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Monday, 26 June 2017

SOUTH OF FRANCE PART 2: NICE

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As you can imagine from the views we had of the coastline on the journey to Nice from Lourdes we were really excited to arrive and start exploring! When we arrived in Nice we dropped off all our luggage at the Airbnb we had booked and went to the nearest Carrefour (French supermarket) to stock up on supplies. The roads were so picturesque and looked like something out of a postcard.

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We actually took a day trip out to nearby Monaco the first full day we had because it was so close by and we thought it made sense that we explore Nice on our last day because it was from there that we were going home. I will be sharing a post about our time in Monaco in my next blog post!

Back in Nice we had time to explore the area and visit the famous coastline with the Promenade des Anglaise (a popular walking route alongside the beach). Stephan and I also tried out jet skiing for the first time and it was SO MUCH FUN. They taught us everything we needed to know for about 30 mins (in total French thank God I had Stephan there whispering the translation to me) and then we went out onto the water. Stephan drove on the way out into the sea and I drove on the way back. We had booked for an hour session so we had the opportunity to go quite far out and it really made the adrenaline pump, especially when the land started blurring in the distance and we were surrounded by miles and miles of water everywhere we looked. There were times when the water was quite choppy or we went thorough some sideways currents that made the jet ski fly into the air which made me scream but laugh out loud at the same time. It was so much fun and if you get the chance to try it - don't turn it down! If you look closely at the two photos below you'll be able to see the jet ski's all going out to sea.

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nice

After we finished our jet skiing we went along the promenade and explored the rest of what Nice had to offer.

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What I loved (after the thrill of jet-skiing obviously) was discovering old town Nice. So so pretty and I felt like I was transported back in time. There was a lot of old Italian architecture as Nice used to be part of Italy and it was all so romantic and beautiful. We walked through a small maze of narrow cobbled streets with cute boutiques and specialists craftsman - and we stumbled across a bigger market square too. I could have stayed there exploring for a long long time!

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Ice cream pit stop! I had a Guava flavoured ice cream of dreams - it was soo so good.

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Colourful handmade bars of soap from Marseille...

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This yellow house is where the artist Matisse used to live.

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I forgot to mention...Before discovering the old town we found THIS PLACE. It was really hot - so                                                                      we took advantage!

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Another place we visited during our stay in Nice was a Russian Orthodox Cathdral (Cathédrale Russe) which had a really beautiful exterior of peach and turquoise with the typical Russian onion shaped domes.

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Our time in Nice and the South of France went by all too fast and as always it was not the best feeling to come back to a freezing cold London! 

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My last post about the final location of this trip (Monaco) will be shared very soon! 

Sandra x
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