12 August 2009

Nice is nice

"Oh when I woke up tonight I said I, I'm gonna make somebody love me, I'm gonna make somebody love me. . . and now I know, now I know, I know that it's you! You're lucky, lucky! You're so lucky!"
-Do You Want To, Franz Ferdinand

"I wanna stand up! I wanna let go! You know, you know- no, you don't, you don't. I wanna shine on in the hearts of men, I wanna mean it from the back of my broken hand. Another head aches, another heart aches; I'm so much older than I can take, and my affection, well it comes and goes, I need direction to perfection no no no no. . ."
-All These Things That I've Done, Killers

How did I arrive in Nice, you ask? Well I'll tell you. Last Monday I realized that I had less than a week to make post-Italy plans, and I panicked briefly. Where would I go? What would I do? How would I get there? My life felt like a blank slate. I thought about what other people had done and where they'd gone. Everyone kept telling me to check out Cinque Terre, but I've heard it's best if you sleep on the beach, and I didn't really want to do that alone, plus it just seemed like a lot of travel research to do in a short amount of time, so I just left that alone and randomly selected Nice instead. Italy's rail system has super cheap tickets, so that was no problem.
Next step: hostel. I saw this coming, but I guess that didn't deter me from procrastinating: we're right in the middle of European vacation season, or high season, if you will. Hostels often charge a lot more because the demand is so high. I couldn't find any hostel that had a bed available for more than one night, so I booked one for Saturday night and a different one for Sunday night.
A couple of days later, I decided I needed to plan the next leg of my little adventure. I'm sad to say that the primary factor in my consideration of various European locales was their proximity to beaches and the likelihood that I would be able to tan. I also wanted to make my way back to Spain, where flights home seemed to be cheaper, so I started looking at coastal towns in Spain. I really wanted to head back north to Asturias, but it's tougher to get buses and trains to and from there, so I settled on Valencia, on the east coast.
The most convenient bus to Valencia for me didn't leave til Wednesday, but I decided not to worry abou that until I got here, to Nice. As a result, there were no free rooms in pretty much the entire town.
No worries, I told myself. Sunday I headed down to the beach for three hours, alternating swimming and tanning. When I came back to the first hostel to pick up my luggage, I asked about spare beds, and they told me there were still no cancellations, but I could come back at 8am the next morning to check again. So I marched down the main street, Avenue Jean Medecin, to my next hostel.
This one's in the Old Town. It's just one room of dorms and one kitchen/living room, but the staff are so nice and helpful. It really does have a very family atmosphere. I asked immediately if they had any extra beds for the next night, knowing how unlikely it was, but they had one person who had booked for a week and not shown up, so they gave me that bed for three nights. I felt extremely lucky.
That first night, I went out with a bunch of Canadian girls, 2 boys from Wyoming, and one British boy to Wayne's, a bar/club in the most happening area of the Old Town. We had a few drinks, watched a band play, and then stopped for gelato on the way home. All in all, a good night.
Monday I went shopping, and then it rained most of the afternoon, so I stayed in and then went running. Post-run, I hopped into the ocean (relax, I was wearing my bikini bottoms and a sports bra). That night, there was a new group of people in the hostel, and everyone else had checked out. I decided that we should go back to Wayne's and I led the way.
We had three Aussie boys and three American girls in our group. We saw the show and then somehow lost track of one of the boys. His mates were searching desperately for him, and us girls were looking sort of half-heartedly, but really we were ready to get out of there. I went outside of the club to get some air, and the other American girls were standing there, talking to some guys I didn't recognize. Apparently it was the band we'd just seen, and they were supernice. We probably talked for about fifteen minutes, until I noticed the other girls giving me looks saying it was time to go.
"You should come back here tomorrow," the bass player told me. "We're playing again, at 10:30, and I'm not going back on that stage unless you're here."
Without the bass player, I knew, the band would fall apart, and if the band fell apart, what would happen to the poor audience? They would probably start a riot, and burn the entire city of Nice to the ground, and I couldn't have that on my conscious. So after a long day split between H&M and the beach, I returned to Wayne's. After the show, the band invited me with them to another bar to see another band play, and the whole night was amazing.
Tonight, I have to leave Nice. I'm a little bummed. If my ticket to Valencia were open, or if it had cost me less, I would stay another two days here and then head straight to Madrid, where I'll be flying out of. But that doesn't seem to be an option.
So I think I've got you pretty well caught up. If you've got questions, ask them. Next time you hear from me, I'll probably be back in my beloved Spain. Au revoir!

1 comment:

uncle Dave said...

Thank God you saved Nice! Had you not showed up, it would have certainly created an international incident.