French Riviera

top of second calanque 1014 1025

Suzy and I decided to go to the French Riviera after finding out that tickets to Rome were around 85 Euros a person. So, we took a train late Thursday evening and arrived in Nice around 8 pm, and checked into our hostel. We were the only ones in a 6 person mixed room, so we thought that was nice……

 Around 2 am, a homeless man woke Suzy and I up and told us that we had to talk to him. He wasn’t mentally there, so the conversation was a mix between babble and finding work in the US?Then, he came over to Suzy’s bed and was showing her an interesting hole in the wall?? WHAT?When he got close to her, I was like OMG, Suzy, he’s gonna pull out a knife or something. Not shorty after, I guess, he got angry because we didn’t want to talk,(GO FIGURE) and was like, “what do you want me to leave or something? There are plenty of beds here, but you want me to leave??” So I said, “Maybe you would prefer a room with more talkative people…” After about five minutes of persuasion he finally left…. For the rest of the night, I literally slept on my pepper spray, because I was so afraid he was going to come back.

 Amazed to have woken up the next morning…alive…, Suzy and I went downstairs and talked to the owner of the hostel about what happened that night. He explained that this man stayed one night and got a copy of the key somehow, and had been coming back each night. So, we asked if they had any female only rooms because we would feel much more comfortable in a different room. Then the owner got mad and said that was discriminatory, and that he would MAKE SURE the guy wouldn’t come again?? Like WTF….Rude….and this guy has been coming every night AND still has a key, what’s going to be different this time…ughh. So we just were like ‘the hell with that’ and left

 So after that traumatic night, Suzy and I decided to explore Nice! YAY! We checked out the beach and the old town, before heading to a viewing platform high above the city. The walk up was a bit arduous, but when we finally got there, the views of Nice were spectacular. After that, we got a train to Menton….

 In the south of France, no one pays for tickets on the train because people get off and on so often that it’s impossible to track who got checked for a ticket and who didn’t. So to save a buck, Suzy and I decided not to get one, and if we got caught we could just buy one on the train for a little extra. (That’s how it usually is)So when we were just about to get off at Menton, a train employee decided to be a real asshole and made a huge deal about not having a ticket. We tried to reason with him, saying that the machines at Nice wouldn’t take our card…WHICH THEY WOULDN’T(because we didn’t have the card with the microchip)..and that we were going to buy them on the train for a little more. He just started screaming at us, saying that we owed 35 euors each, and that we were being thieves. We refused to give him the money, so he called the police.When we got off the train and I finally gave him my credit card, he refused to give it back until I signed it. He was the biggest effing asshole I have ever met in my life.

 So after a nice cry session, we made our way into Menton to try and enjoy some of the day. The town was beautiful, but I was so preoccupied about what happened, I wasn’t able to think of anything else. After Menton, we visited Eze. By now, I had begun to feel a little better, so I was able to appreciate this town more. It is situated on a hill overlooking the beautiful, blue water of the Mediterranean. The beach was very pretty, being made up of small stones. Suzy and I collected pretty rocks for a good hour before heading back to our different hostel in Nice.

 The next day, was pretty rainy, so we decided to hang around Nice and plan cheaper travel to our next destination…Cassis(about 2 hours away). We decided to try out Bla Bla Bla Car Rides, which is a site that allows you to book car pool rides with other people who are going to the same destination. We couldn’t find a ride directly to Cassis, so booked the ride that was closest. We got a ride with a French girl from Nice to Toulon, but she then offered to drive us another 45 minutes to Cassis because it was getting late! She was so helpful and sweet…it was really was such a nice change…I had begun to think all French people were jerks!

 The next morning, we woke up to blue skies, and to an amazing view of the ocean.I was so excited to begin hiking the calanques(very narrow, limestone peninsulas that jut out into the ocean) that I could barely stand to be in the breakfast room for much longer. We left and walked about 20 minutes to the beginning of the trail, which was located next to a small port. The water was so clear, I could easily see the bottom, which must have been at least 15 feet deep. We hiked up to our first calanque, which was beyond beautiful. At the top, you could see many small islands in the distance and a teal inlet below. I took many pictures, but was too afraid to get any closer to the edge because it was extremely windy up that high. After, we made our way down in the gorge and to the inlet, then back up to the second calanque. The views were pretty spectacular from here as well because you could see a huge red cliff far off that wasn’t visible from the first calanque. We slowly made our way down into the second gorge and up to the third calanque, but by this time I was getting very tired lol. After a good sit at the top, we hiked back into Cassis. When we eventually got into town, my feet felt like they were going to fall off…We had hiked for about 7 hours, so just a few stairs left me winded. That’s why getting back to the hostel felt like an eternity!

 The next day, we caught a bus to the train station( which was beautiful btw) and headed home. It took about 8 hours to finally reach Milan, but all in all the trip was definitely worth it.There were some flaws, but the hiking made up for all that had happened, and more some. Cassis was one of the prettiest places Ive ever been and I am glad that I will be going back in April with my parents. Yes, I convinced them that they HAVE to see Cassis when they come over. HEHE


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