November 30th, 2007 – by: erinontour
looking down on Nice
I would like to dispute all those people out there who say Nice is nice. Which is quite disappointing, because "the French Riviera" sounds so enticing. Now let me explain why…
I arrived in Nice on Wednesday night, and the flashing neon lights & gaudy Chinese restaurants & lit-up palm trees were all something of a sudden shock transition from the untouched beauty of the Swiss Alps.
Now there is apparently a really great hostel just out of the city centre, which I would've loved to stay at, except as it was dark when I arrived, I didn't really want to navigate buses & bus-stops & my hurriedly scribbled map.
So I went for the HI hostel not far from the station - it at least confirmed my opinion that Hostelling International hostels in Europe generally suck. It was fine really - the usual HI slightly sterile, no real lounge area, all fairly basic - but it seems that all the other people staying there were slightly crazy. I did talk to one normal American guy over breakfast, but otherwise there were strange-looking older people who seemingly lived there. The first night there was a woman in my room who just kept muttering the whole time, then the second night there was a woman who talked at me for close to an hour about how terrible France is & it's completely lawless & had ruined her life & she wished she never came - and then she moved on to multiple other topics without appearing to draw breath. I even stood for about 20mins holding the door open, as I was trying to leave, but she just didn't stop. Then this morning the muttering madlady checked back in to the room at about 7am. I basically couldn't get out of there fast enough, and spent my whole train trip out of there feeling very agitated.
hanging out on the beach
Anyway, Nice itself was nice enough, I guess.
I spent my day there wandering along the beach & up on the scenic little hill above the city, and lay on the beach for a while soaking up some sun & listening to the Mediterranean wash over the pebbles. Then I visited the Musee d'Art moderne et d'Art contemporain, which had some very interesting pieces (including an exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art, which slightly disoriented me) AND it was only €4 entry, which is a vast improvement on the €10-13 for all the museums in Italy.
Nice by night
So maybe if I'd stayed somewhere else, I wouldn't have found Nice quite so offensive, but in the end it's just not my kind of town. I need to remind myself that I don't like flashy resort towns, filled with neon lights and hotels lining the beach. In fact why does anybody like that? Give me mountains, or a more natural beach any day (suddenly I want to go back to Switzerland. Or Vermont. Or Prince Edward Island. Or Apollo Bay).