Friday, October 21, 2011

Nice -- First Impressions

I intended to accomplish two things:  first, find some food; and second, find out how far the port is.

I was only partially successful.  I learned quite a bit, though.  I learned that my hotel is within walking distance of the port -- but not walking distance while dragging my luggage.  I also learned that most of the restaurants around the port serve pizza and fish (although perhaps not simultaneously); their kitchens close at 10:00; and nobody really wants to seat someone who comes walking up at 9:45, speaking English, and wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt that look suspiciously like she slept in them.  I could have gotten something from the take away sushi place, but I'm not a big fan of sushi to begin with, and I'm not at all certain that words like "French" and "take away" should be in the same sentence with "sushi."

The port, though, is really beautiful.  Indeed, one of the top tourist attractions in these parts is walking to the top of a nearby hill and taking in the view.  I may do this tomorrow; will have to see how early I get up (and whether my vending-machine-restaurant hotel can store my luggage if I go off investigating after check-out).  But the whole place was lovely at night; I quite liked it.

(Did I feel safe aimlessly wandering the streets of Nice searching for food at 9:45 at night?  Yes, although I did idly wonder what the gun control situation is in these parts.  My hotel is near the port, in an antique shop area of town -- and all the antique shops were closed, so there weren't a whole lot of people out on my street.  When I first walked out of the hotel, I saw a dude getting off a motorcycle holding what looked like a club.  And I thought, "you know, maybe I shouldn't be walking alone here."  And I got closer, and saw it was a baguette.  I shit you not, people.  Dude drove up with a baguette in his hand.  Welcome to France.)

Things I saw in Nice I haven't seen anywhere before:  motorcycles with refrigerated boxes on the back for delivering the take-away sushi; and ... a condom machine on the street corner.  I was actually using it as a landmark -- when trying to remember the way back to the hotel, it was, "walk to Northwest edge of the port; make a left at the condom machine...."

Didn't get dinner, though.  (Ate my complimentary Ricola.  Seriously, they gave me a free bottle of water and a little packet with a single ricola in it.  At least it was berry flavored.)  But in the hunger/tired continuum, tired is winning out over hungry, so perhaps I can manage a good night's sleep, and wake up nice and early for my free breakfast (allegedly NOT out of the vending machine) and hike up the hill.  

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