In 2004 I spent 13 weeks, from January to April, in Nice on the French Riviera. The aim of the stay was to improve my French skills in order to be better prepared for the French classes I planned to take at the University of . I stayed at a host family and studied French at Azurlingua where I made friends from the Gothenburg US, Spain, Holland and Sweden.
I had class for three hours each morning and the rest of the day I used to explore the city. I have to say that there are worse places to live in than Nice. The city is beautifully located by the Mediterranean, however, he who comes to Nice for the sandy beaches will be disappointed given that the beach is all made up of small rocks. Nevertheless, spending time by the ocean is enjoyable, one gets used to the rocks. There is a lot more to Nice than the beach though. I spent hours strolling around in the old city, having ice cream at Pinocchio and meeting friends for Sangria at Johnny’s wine bar. My best nights out in Nice were spent at Wayne’s, dancing on table tops and drinking sparkling wine. Those were the days.
Nice has a lot of museums for those interested in art. My personal favourite is hands down the Marc Chagall museum where his biblical works are displayed. I have never experienced anything like it! The paintings are huge and incredibly colourful, if visiting on a sunny day it is like as if the paintings are glowing. It is a must see when in Nice! Unfortunately the posters are nothing like the real works so there’s no way of bringing the experience back home, except for in ones mind.
Other things to see and do when in Nice:
- Take the train to Monaco. It’s really easy to get there and back and it’s worth a visit.
- Visit Cannes, Antibes and St Paul de Vence. Beautiful and picturesque villages.
- Walk or take the bus to Cap Ferrat and see the light house.
- Visit the Russian church, it’s a little bit hidden but definitely worth seeing.
- Eat Crepes! And eat lots of them! With nutella, banana, ice cream or what ever gets you going.
- Walk up the castle hill (la colline du château).
- Walk along the Promenade des anglais.
- Visit the chocolate factory in the harbour.
- Have tea at Nocy bee, a tea house in vieux Nice. I found this little jewel just before leaving for Sweden but it has stuck with me ever since. It’s an experience.