We didn’t have school on Monday, so Emily and I took a weekend trip to Nice and Monaco. We took a train to Paris after our class on Friday and then flew into Nice. We walked from the airport along the Promenade des Anglais along the water to our hotel.
We went to the restaurant we had picked for dinner. It was a family-owned restaurant that served local olive oils. We tried bread with an olive oil from Nice and split a salad where he paired fresh diced avocado with granny smith apple. It was surprisingly a good combination. For the main dish, I tried rabbit.
It started to lightly rain when we left the restaurant. We walked around downtown and through a town square with statues and some sculptures of people that were lit up and changed colors.
Some cars drove by a couple times honking constantly and we realized it was a car parade for a couple who just got married.
Saturday morning, we saw some people dressed up for weddings or other events on our way to the port. We took a bus to Monaco from there. We got off the bus in the Monte Carlo area and walked by the famous casino and then walked along the shore.
We walked around in an old theater and fort on the way up the hill to the museum and palace we wanted to visit. We also stopped at a cathedral on the way. We got audio guides for our visit of the palace, the home of the Prince of Monaco. We couldn’t take pictures inside, though. After the palace, we walked back through a garden.
Next, we went to the oceanographic museum. The museum was huge and overlooked the water.
We headed to a garden, which looked like it was nearby on our map, but we realized it was all the way up a hill and we had to take roads zigzagging up the mountain. It started pouring, but we kept walking because the park was going to close soon. Finally, we found what we think was the entrance, but the door was closed. We turned around and walked around in downtown Monaco and then took the bus to Nice.
For dinner, I got an onion tart appetizer and sea bream fish with vegetables and rice. On our way back to the hotel, we got ice cream and walked by a big water fountain that was lit up in France’s colors.
On Sunday, we walked to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. It was closed off to visitors during the morning service, but we got to see it from the outside.
We then walked around through some parks and town squares. I saw a poster advertising an art exposition at a hotel nearby, so we decided to check it out. They had the door open where you could walk on the terrace, so we got to see a great view of the city of Nice from there.
We then went over to the parc du château, where we climbed up a big hill to see the ruins of a cathedral, a park, some lookout points, and a waterfall.
We walked through another part of the old town that looks like Cinque Terre with the colorful buildings and narrow streets. We relaxed on a beach for a couple hours and walked in the water. We went back to our hotel and the receptionist asked us about what we did that day and where we were from. I think he just appreciated that we had learned French. We went to our room and changed and made a reservation for dinner. We went to a nice French restaurant. They brought us crackers and bread with an olive spread called tapenade. We split a smoked salmon appetizer and I tried duck with fruit and deep-fried corn. They also brought us mashed potatoes to share.
Emily had heard the couple next to us and said they sounded French Canadian, so she asked where they were from and they said Quebec. We talked for awhile after our meals about the differences between dialects and what we were studying and where we had traveled. It was nice to get to talk in French to other people besides my professors and host parents. We realized it was already 10pm by the time we finished talking to them, but we were determined to get crème brulée before the end of our trip, so we wandered around until we found a restaurant still open that served it.
We went back to our hotel and I went online to find that Macron won the French elections. We flew home on Monday morning.