Monday, July 07, 2014

Jour 5 Nice: Colline du Château & La Plage

I love towns and cities with high points. You can climb on up and get amazing views. In Lyon, we did it at Basilisque Notre Dame de Fourvière. In Annecy, we did it at the Château. In Nice, we did it at Colline du Château. Besides the breathtaking panoramic views, you get a different perspective of the city, both literally and figuratively. I mean, for me, it's just cool to see tiny specks walking around, doing their own thing, recognizing streets from afar, and learning a little more about the layout of the town.
It's quite the hike up to the top. There's a "shortcut" with steeper stairs via Quai des Etas-Unis and there's a more roundabout way up via Montée du Château. We took the more roundabout way up so that it would be easier on our muscles (or lack thereof) which turned out to be lovely because it was much more scenic. We were able to pause to catch some pretty views (re: take breaks) at our leisure. Either way, I recommend you bring a bottle of water because hydration is important.

Come on! Take a little hike with me, will ya?
To get to the Montée du Château, you walk up a bit of a hill and then you encounter your first set of stairs.

You'll gain prettier and prettier glimpses of the city with every step. By the way, I need to mention that the weather was supposed to be pretty crappy while we were in Nice. Well, some higher power decided to smile at us and give us gloriously sunny and incredibly beautiful weather. I don't think we could have asked for a nicer day.
Once you get up the first set of stairs, you've got to walk along a paved road for a bit. While you're walking, look out towards the town.
Stop whenever you get a chance and just take a beat and look around. I mean, you'll want to capture as many memories as possible, right? It's important to use your eyes before you pick up your camera. I read about a memory study and when you rely on your camera, your brain gets lazy and won't save the memory in a long-term "file." P.S. I love the contrast of the blue sky with the orange rooftops.
Once you've gotten past the asphalt road (and the aquatastic mosaics), you'll encounter a series of these long, rampy stairs.
If you're with others, be considerate of their needs too. Some people just need more breaks.
Walk a little farther and you'll come across this sweet little grotto.
And sometimes, these old walls need help holding themselves up, so give 'em a push on your way up.
Once you get to this point, you'll think you're there, but be patient because you've still got a little farther to go.
First, you have to stop and say hi to the waterfall and cool yourself on the mist drifting off of the cascading water.
And take a "We're almost there!" photo. Just be careful not to fall over the wall because it would be a shame to have to redo the climb all over again.
After you've snapped a few shots and caught your breath, get back to walkin' and climbin'.
When you finally get to the top, you'll sigh. You'll sigh with a bit of relief but mostly with wonder.
You'll probably start a postcard business with all of the breathtaking shots you capture up here.
If you're lucky, you'll get up here when there's no one around and you'll be able to enjoy the view in silence. But, if you're unlucky, you'll get up here when there's no one around and you'll have to rely on a self-timer to get a full group shot and the photo will be kind of useless because the angle of the camera isn't capturing any of the gorgeous landscape.
On your way down, take a different route. Maybe you'll see these cool ruins.
And these cute mosaics. I think Nice is all about their mosaics.
Say, "What's up?" to the poutiest fish and the grouchiest seahorse.
And then take some more photos of the deep blue French Riviera.
After all that climbing, you're going to deserve a treat so head to Fenocchio. There are multiple locations but I like the one on Rue de la Poissonerie.

I just prefer it because this little area reminds me of Rome. Actually, the majority of the Vielle Ville reminds me of Rome. The little alleyways, the slate and cobblestone streets, the cute shops left and right, the little plazas which look like Roman piazzas. I need to go back to Rome.
Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of flavors available for you to choose from. They won't give you samples (BOO!) but I'm pretty sure that every flavor is delicious so it doesn't even matter. Whatever you get, you won't be disappointed.
I went for one scoop of coconut because let's face it, I'm me and I can't help that, and one scoop of pear.
Baby sister went for fig (because she can't help being herself) and strawberry.
My goodness, my greatness, these were delicious. The flavors were spot on and super natural tasting, they weren't overly sweet, and the cones were crunchy.
You can then take your ice cream to the beach, if you can walk the two minutes without basically cramming it into your stomach.
(If you're like me) you'll think, "How come the ocean doesn't look like this at home?"
You'll plop yourself down onto the rocks (because there's no sand) and laugh when your jacket, which you've clipped around your neck like a cape, puffs up like a balloon.
Once you've had your fill of the rocky beach, you can walk along Promenade des Anglais. Enjoy the water on one side and the cute little seafront buildings on the other. You know, because you'll want to walk off the calories from that two-scoop ice cream cone.
Hopefully I didn't overwhelm you with too many photos at once! I had a hard time narrowing down which photos to use and which to omit and I really didn't want to split this entry up into two separate posts. There were too many gems that I couldn't say no to! I hope it was enjoyable.
'Til next time! xoxo.

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