Leaving Paris was painfully stressful. We had train tickets from Paris to Nice overnight. We tried to make sure to leave at a good time to give us room for error. And it was a good thing we did! It was really difficult to find where on earth the train station was. Then, we had to start running. Since I had been in Ireland for two weeks and still had another 2 months of travel left before I'd be home, and had been traveling to Texas the week before Ireland, I had to pack a big suitcase. Alec had been helping me drag it along when I'd gotten tired since it was so heavy. Now was one of those times. Only the wheels got so hot that they pretty much burned and the suitcase just gave up. Enough was enough, apparently.
So we're running desperately to try and make this night train. When we FINALLY found where the station was and then where our train was, it turns out our tickets were for the end car. Of a massive train. Which meant even more running. I thought I was going to die. But it felt really good to get settled in and know that all we had left for the day was to sleep. In the middle of the night an angry French man started yelling at a guy who sat in the seat in front of him. Which was startling and then funny. But other than that it wasn't too horribly bad!
We arrived in Nice in the morning and set off to check into the hostel. Unfortunately, said hostel was not so close to the train station. And my suitcase was definitely broken, but still as heavy as ever. It was too early for check in so we dropped off our bags and changed into some clothes that were much more appropriate for the new climate. We walked around and explored while we waited for check-in. Which meant a very French breakfast of croissants and a stroll down the lanes. Of course, we had to look at the beach. It was the most beautiful water I had ever seen. I had to feel it, like I always do (even in freezing Washington). It was as warm as bath water. Xin Yun and I told Alec that we had to go back and change into our swim suits so we could go swimming while we waited for the hostel.
Swimming in that water was the true definition of bliss. Nice actually ended up being my favorite part of the trip. I think that it's because it was a little "break" in our vacation. Everything had been so much stress of go go go, get to the right place at the right time and see as many things as possible before we moved on. But Nice was just laying on the beach, soaking in the sun, and swimming all day. We spent that whole first day at the beach. The next day, we wanted to explore a waterfall that we could see from the water.
We grabbed some snacks and headed up the hill. Nice is also where I discovered my favorite drinks ever. They were just fruit juices, but the Strawberry and Raspberry were to die for. All of the flavors that we tried were good! We checked out the ruins up top, not to mention the stunning view. Then we headed to the oldest part of Nice for some dinner. The buildings were super tall and the lanes were super narrow. And for the first time in France, I had a good meal. I tried ratatouille for the first time. Killer!
While we were in Nice we had a sad parting with my old suitcase and popped into a luggage shop to buy a new one. All that they had within my price range was the British flag printed over the whole thing, so Union Jack it was for the rest of the trip! We named him Charles because we got to know his personality REAL quick. But before we left Nice, we checked out Monaco.