Monday, June 19, 2017

The French Riviera in One Day: Nice, France and Monte Carlo, Monaco

Oh I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
While I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and showed 'em what I've got

It's not really an LSS kind of thing, LSS as in "last song syndrome."  The song I've Never Been to Me was really special to me, even before I became a lady.  It was popularized by Chrlene back in 1982, but I think I first heard it in 1985 and I was really young then.

What was memorable about that song is the experience I had when I got hooked on that song. Actually, I cared less about the singer, and it was only today when I searched about the song that I knew about the singer.

What I remembered was how my sister and I shared that song, and how eager we were to know the lyrics.  Back then, there weren't Metro lyrics, not even the internet, and we were only hearing the song from the cassette tape.  To be able to get the correct lyrics we had to rewind the tape, several times until we get the whole phrase, it was tedious, but we never cared, we liked hearing the song over and over.

Even now, when I hear that song over the radio, it takes me back to that day and yes, the song still touches the innermost core of my heart.  If you haven't known, your foodie mom is very sentimental and yes, at times, I can even cry over a song.

So, enough about the song, what I really wanted to share you is how my sister (and her wonderful husband) took the extra mile to give me and my two daughters a quick tour to France, or some kind of French experience.

We did plan on a Paris tour when I was still arranging our visa with Italian embassy however, budget could not permit us so what transpired out of that failed France tour was this...

Nice, France and Monte Carlo, Monaco - a quick jaunt to the French Riviera.


Captured by my daughter from the top of3. Colline du Château 

Also known as "Côte d'Azur (French pronunciation: ​[kot daˈzyʁ]), is the Mediterranean coastline southeast of France. This wasn't my sister's first time to come here and she had been boasting how awesome the coastal scenery is, and I guess it might be the case of the namesake, as it is translated to ""Coast of Azure."

The water that surrounds this part of France is heraldic blue or azure.  It's the same beauty that draws more and more tourists every season, aside from establishing itself as the winter resort for the rich and famous, as it has a wonderful Mediterranean climate with mild winters and summers which are hot and dry.

 The French coastline goes from Marseille to Menton (near the border with Italy), includes the municipality of Monaco (second smallest yet one of the richest country in the world), Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Frejus, Saint-Raphael, Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Tropez.

Also, French Riviera is a diverse yet culture mashed from French and Italian.  Riviera, btw, is an Italian word which means shore.  It is advised to have at least five days to tour the whole French Riviera, but since we only have one Saturday, we settled with Nice and Monte Carlo, as their the ones nearest to Italy.


According to many reviews, the top tourist attraction in Nice is quite clearly the sea. With a long stretch of beach along the Promenade des Anglais, Nice has one of the longest and most famous beaches of the French Riviera. It's worth noting however that the beach is made of small pebbles, not sand , but the bathers does not even mind.

1. Place Massena

However, when we came to Nice after parking the car, we were captivated first by Place Massena with the kaleidoscope of colors from the buildings.

2. Lunch at Buffalo Grill

We started with a complimentary house salad.

If we only knew there were several other local restaurants that aren't too touristy in price, we might not have eaten here.

What was nice was they don't only have kiddie meals, they also have a special menu for teens.  Above is a sample of their Buffalo Wings platter.  Which our girls had.

I had carpaccio, plate of thin slices of raw beef, which I thought were slices of tuna. It was served with Caprese salad on top.

Creme Brulee for dessert.

 Mini donut cacao noisette for the girls as part of their menu.

While the two little ones had free Haribo ice cream on stick.

Address:  2 Avenue des Phocéens, Nice

Outside the resto.

3.  Promenade des Anglais

Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais stretches along the coast from the airport to the old town and the quai des Etats-Unis to the east, facing the sparkling blue seas of the baie des Anges (the Bay of Angels). On the seaside there’s a long walkway, always full of people sitting or strolling along looking at the sea, cyclists and runners. On the land side, the Promenade des Anglais is lined with hotels, restaurants and cafes.

The shore walk was named after the English, whom have sought refuge here during winter times.

4. Colline du Château (Castle Hill)

Above these buildings is the Castle Hill
A steep climb up the Castle Hill from the east end of the promenade (Quai des Etat-Unis) rewards tourists with the perfect Nice panorama over the Baie des Anges and Old Nice. ,

Those unable or unwilling to hike to the summit (no more than 10 minutes) there is an ascenseur.

5. La Vielle Ville

The Vielle Ville has a narrow, ancient ambience that makes for a great wander with plenty of bijou restaurants, bars and quirky shops, though the place is beset by far too many pizzerias and ice-cream parlours.

The old town’s churches and prominent buildings are generally well restored and the area is extremly walkable though streets can be tiresomely crowded in peak seasons, unless you’re browsing like all the rest of the visitors.

You can just allow yourself to wander from one store to another and sniff the wafting aromas of coffee and food from the cafes and restaurants.

Despite the narrow streets, they were able to keep them clean and it was really a pleasure to walk at.


To be updated...or might be on a separate post...Till next time...

Thanks for reading:)


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