Although Vicki ultimately came to show us Monaco, her place of work for more than a decade, it’s Nice that captured our fancy even more.
Monaco, just over a mile wide at its fattest point, can easily be seen in a quick afternoon. So once we’d checked out the highlights and it began to dump buckets on us, something even our canary yellow rain slickers could do little to prevent, it was time to hop the train to Nice.
It was only nine euro round trip for an adult—and even cheaper: two euro less for the “seniors” in our group—so if in Monaco on a cruise stop, there’s no reason not to head next door to Nice, eight miles away, or even Italy, which is about the same distance in the other direction. Don’t get me wrong: Monaco is nice—and if you gamble, you could spend alllll day there—but with just 33,000 people living there, you can run out of things to do, fast.Lucky for us, Vicki led the way, from purchasing the tickets to corralling us all off the train when we reached Gare de Nice-Ville.
It didn’t hit me until we walked a ways in the (still) pouring rain that I’d actually visited Nice before. When my friend Helle and I went to Corsica for a project back in 2006, we took the ferry from Nice to Bastia, which was an overnight ride. (Have more time in France than just a few days? Definitely go to Corsica!)
But there we were, walking the cobblestone ways Helle and I had traveled by foot, heavy packs weighing down our backs, so many years prior.
Because it was so damp, we didn’t do so much sightseeing as we did bar-crawling. Whatever. When in France…or Italy…or Spain…
But don’t worry, other than ingesting tiny beers and palm fronds disguised as mojitos, we did see the cultural side of Nice, as well.
I’ve told you I’m not the biggest fans of museums, but when a native Francophile leads you to a modern art museum—in this case, the MAMAC, or the Museum of Modern Art and Contemporary Art—you go, no questions asked.
Well, OK, maybe there were questions asked when empty water bottles of art and this constituted creative genius:
But all in all, an…erm…interesting visit, nonethelesss. Plus, now I know I simply need to take lone doll heads and staple them to a board with pitch forks and call it “art” to make a “living!” Win!
At the end of the day, Vicki left us on the train as she disembarked at her stop. We wondered if we could smuggle her back on the ship with us, but figured we’d save it for next year. Because we’re already planning two trips back to Europe in 2014 (and inviting any of you who want to join, so start saving now! pack your bags! let’s explore the Med together, whaddya say?)…
Be nice to the doll heads! You KNOW I’m going to do something with them and it involves piles, not staples.
SVV, there’s a Sunday morning antiques market in Nice which sells them by the bucket load- let me know if you need any shipping over 🙂
ooOooo! I have a whole set of Victorian ceramic molds that my mother acquired from a hobbyist but maybe some pre-made ones would be a cool addition! 🙂
Hmmm, I wonder if I can ship a box of doll heads direct to Kristin on the ship….. 🙂
I know I’m a little late…but thank you SSSOOO much for spending the day with us in Monaco. It’s the very best day we had getting around and learning about where we were. We so appreciate you giving up your Sunday for us.
You are sooooo welcome, I had such a fun day with you guys and even though the weather wasn’t on our side I’m so glad we managed to visit a little bit of Monaco and Nice in just one day! Next time you come I promise I will try and organize a little bit of Riviera sunshine for you too 🙂
I’m already looking forward to seeing you all again next year when you come back to Europe and maybe even in Tennessee too 🙂
I love LOVE Nice. I have never hit up the museum but love to walk the markets down by the water! We’ve stopped there twice on cruises.Oh and we found possibly the BEST donuts in the world at a bakery there!
Oh this is so much fun, I feel like an internet star with a 2 part series- Monaco & Nice! 🙂 It was such a wet grey day but I think you can tell from the photos what a great time we had and although I do enjoy working in Monaco, my adopted hometown of Nissa la bella will always have my heart
Roll on next years trip and your triumphant return to the Riviera!! 🙂
Well it depends on where in the Med you’re headed next year! I may have to start saving my pennies now…..
Aaaaand… Vicki basically has my dream life! haha Living in Nice, working in Monaco. Seriously, that sounds like perfection! Loved this post, Kristin! The photos are phenomenal!!
God, even the train station is beautiful in Monaco! So glad I found your blog..I think I’ll be spending a lot of time here. Keep up the awesome work!
When I was in the South of France a couple of years ago we drove through Nice to get the airport. I was so heartbroken that we couldn’t get out of the bus and explore. Love the pics!!! Must get there soon!
You are so lucky to have Vicki with you. You get to visit around Nice after Monaco and have a glimpse of French art.
Your pictures are amazing and I know you had a wonderful time in Monaco. I would love to travel there one day and see all the beautiful site’s that you have seen. I guess I’ll start saving now:) Great post
That railroad station looks absolutely gorgeous! Seems more like a movie set actually. It makes Grand Central look like crap.
Oh, man did this ever make me nostalgic. Nice is one of my favourite places in all of Europe, I LOVE it there!
What’s this about inviting us to join you on a trip to Europe in 2014? I hope details are coming on this soon… there’s a real possibility that I might actually be in for that.
Looks like you had a great time! Amazing pictures!
I love Nice! But it looks almost unrecognisable in your photos – when I was there it was the height of summer, there were people everywhere and nary a cloud in the sky. Not to rub it in or anything 😉 It looks like you had a great time anyway!
Been a while since I been to Nice but I enjoyed my time there. Found it to be quite a relaxed place. Definately worth a visit, even in the rain.
I love the pictures. Monaco is definitely on my top destinations to travel in France. Hopefully, I’ll be able to travel there this summer.
What I liked the most in Nice were the coloured lamps with human shape!
Wow, this brings back some memories. I love Nice, especially in the summertime. Ahh, I’ve gotta go back there soon 🙂
Reading your blog and looking through your photos just brought memories back. 🙂 I visited Nice back in April with my best friend, just sent her a link to your blog. We were more lucky for weather as it’s been very sunny, managed to have a violet ice-cream which was delicious and a nice night-out in Nice.
No matter the weather, you can’t deny Nice’s beauty! I hope to return in the sun, though…violet ice cream is something I can easily get behind =)