The week we visited France
I have the travel bug and most of my adult life I have had it. I never got many chances to travel when my children were small. The almighty dollar didn’t go far back then. Now in my older years I have traveled a lot more and love the experience of what is around the next corner for me to see.
For years I have wanted to visit Europe. I had always wanted to see the Country and the Culture. Three years ago I finally got my chance. My partner’s job was bringing him to France for a company meeting and was told he could bring me along. I was so excited to think finally my European dream was going to become a reality.
My only worry was the flight. I really don’t like to fly, but that’s the only way I could go, so off we went to Nice ! Below is a picture I took out my window in the plane. It is the French Alps. They were breath taking to say the least. I stared out that window from Nice to Paris. I could hardly take my eyes off the sights I was ingesting from my window seat. On the East Coast in the States we do not have mountains like these. This was an experience that took my breath away. I hate to fly but I love to look out once I am up there. So beautiful!
My opinion of France was wonderful! I know the French don’t really care for Americans, but I had no trouble at all. Everyone was very nice in Nice…lol.. I had a few days by myself as my partner was in meetings and could not be with me during the day, so I had to keep myself busy. I wanted desperately to go to Italy, it was only a few miles away, but the the charter buses and private tours would not take just one person, there had to be at least two in your party. I don’t speak French so was afraid to take the train by myself for fear I would be lost forever in France. So I never went, but I did walk the promenade all along the beach.
This was at the top of a hill over looking Nice and its crescent beach. So beautiful it was. I walked for miles to reach this hill but it was so relaxing and beautiful. I stopped along the way to sit on the beach and drink a cappuccino. They had wicker furniture with small tables and chairs right on the beach. It has to be the best coffee I have ever drank. I sat there for along time convincing myself I really was in Europe.
On my walk back to the hotel I stopped at the open market, where they sold everything from spices to flowers. It was incredible. I loved the smell of the air in Nice. You could smell the jasmine and heather and of course the sea.
The Mediterranean Sea does not have sandy beaches like we do here in the States. If it is a true Med. beach it is covered with small stones not sand. This was told to us by one of the locals we met along the way.The rich and famous do import sand for some beaches. The stones are not very comfortable to lay or walk on. I did pick some up and brought them home. I am a rock hound and have them from each place I travel too, including NYC…lol…
We did take the train to Monaco, the smallest Country in the world. This place was beautiful, and Monte Carlo has so many memories from movies in the past. James Bond. The casinos are so different then the ones here in America. These are very high class, you need to dress up to enter and it is very quiet. If you take a deep breath you can smell the money!
This picture was taken at the castle where the Prince lives. This is over looking the bay from the front of the castle. So pretty. One of the Prince’s was married to Grace Kelly who died and is buried in one of the churches there. The church itself is impressive and her tomb was surrounded by flowers. I loved Monaco and if ever I get the chance I will return there one day to spend a few days, but I need to get rich first, cause it is very expensive.
We visited Cannes where they do the film festival each year. It is a nice town not very big and right on the sea. We also visited Gordon, and Grasse where we learned how perfume is made. It was very fascinating and there are not many noses in the world. French perfume is wonderful stuff!
The olive trees was also a joy to see. I am a tree freak and love to see how different fruits are grown. They are very pretty trees, not very big with silvery leaves, they are every where. Our charter bus driver explained how they get the tiny fruit off the trees. They lay a blanket around the tree and shake them. The fruit falls into the blanket and there you harvested your olives. The best olive relish I ever had was before dinner in Nice. Incredible stuff!
Everything is expensive in Europe for Americans because the Euro is so high. We paid 5 Euro for a can of coke. The food in France has always been said to be the finest i the world, but I did not like the food in France. I think the folks there are having a fuel shortage or something because nothing seemed to be cooked.The eggs at breakfast were runny and the bacon and sausage was half cooked, yuk! I loved the pastries but the meals I could do without. The French takes hours and hours to eat and drink tons of wine and they still close in the afternoons for naps. The people are very slow paced and never seem to be in a hurry. I wish we could learn something from them and slow down a bit here.
All in all I loved it there. The ambiance was very nice in all that I saw and did. Very soft and romantic is how I would explain it there. Cafe’s every where and tiny cups of the dark liquor I love so much…coffee!
As with any vacation the time flew and it was much too short. I so wish I had of had more time to see more of the culture and the country side. Who knows maybe life will one day bring me back, maybe not because I still have a ton of places still to see….Traveling the world a piece at a time!