If I am ever able to call an overseas destination home again, I hope it to be Nice.
We arrived late afternoon in Antibes, smelling extra pretty after our visit to Fragonard Parfumerie. We squeezed our bus into the campsite and set up our tent for only the second time. Our incredible Topdeck Chef prepared our meal and as the sun set, we decided on a romantic afternoon on the beach.
'Wait, where's the sand?'
This isn't what we expected from a beach.... pebbles?! The entirety of the coastline was rocks. Not a grain of sand in sight. People were swimming, picnicing, playing ball games... on rocks. I just couldn't understand it. I tried to enjoy our romantic stroll, as I tried not spraining my ankles on the uneven terrain. We tried enjoying the sunset...while trying to get our butts comfortable on a bed of riverstone. it didn't last long. We opted instead for an early night so we could enjoy the most of what the next day had to offer.
Nice offered dreams. We wandered the streets in pleasure of the thought of packing up, buying a small pharmacy with an apartment above and living out the rest of our days within a French riviera fantasy. We almost called the town home by the end of the day, stopping by Real Estates and seriously considering our realistic possibilities.
We started our day early, walking to the top of Parc de la Colline du Chateau,
getting a wide perspective on the town before the sun fully set in. On top of this hill are ancient roman ruins, french ruins, cafes, a waterfall and some fantastic lookouts - a great spot any time of day for some exploring or relaxing in the shade.
We then made our way back down behind the main promenade, taking the back streets towards Old Nice. As we wondered through the sleepy, colourful wonderland of wooden shutters and pastel paint, we popped out at the Antiques & Flea Market. We had an absolute blast here! Held every monday, replacing the flower and fresh produce market, this truely was an authentic site to see.
Each intriguing artifact looking like it could suddenly come to life and tell you it's hidden secrets. Curtis found a pair of amazingly old enamel glass bunsen burners, which stirred all of his nerdy chemistry juices up! We contemplated the costs of bringing them home, but the risk of them breaking just didn't seem worth it.
We got ourselves completely lost, steering away from the main crowds and just enjoying each path. This lead us to discover The Indian Lounge
, the most stunning Indian restaurant I have ever seen! So is the story of 2 Aussies eating Indian cuisine in Southern France.
Unfortunately, the pebbles didn't transform into soothing golden grains but Nice offered a solution - wet shoes. (Not so stylish, but practical) Available at every second store, I grabbed myself a pair and raced down to one of the public beaches, with 10 minutes to spare till our bus arrived to pick us up. As graceful as possible, which wasn't very, I slipped into the waves. The warm water hugging my sunkissed skin, soothing my body from it's full day of exploration.
My mind slipping into a pool of tranquility. Like a Pensieve from Harry Potter, I was able to gently and clearly reflect on the day we'd had.
And then I finally had it. After all the craziness that had been the start of our trip, I had a complete present realisation:
'I'm swimming in France!'
I smiled to myself as I floated in the gentle waves.
I was here. Swimming. In a fantasy of a destination, with the love of my life, ending a perfectly magical treasure trove of a day.