Thanksgiving in Nice
Over the holiday weekend my wife had an opportunity to attend a conference in Nice, so I joined her.
Nice is an absolutely gorgeous French city. It is even better on the off season when it is a little cooler and fewer tourists. The weather was fantastic with highs in the mid 60’s each day. Coming from the wet in the NL, I wanted to wear shorts everyday.
On vacations, typically my measures of success revolve around four things history, coffee, wine and physical activity (biking, hiking, walking….). Combinations count for double like hiking through castles. On a shorter trip I try to focus on one thing like wine shopping. This trip I was able to accomplish all of them without feeling rushed.
Our first day after arriving my wife and I walked the old town of Nice (Vieille Ville) with the Flower Market with produce, flowers, olives and local handcrafts. The colors were phenomenal.
The second day we parted ways she to her conference and me to spend the morning with Nice Cycle Tours (TripAdvisor review). It was a great time. The guide, Gustav from Scandinavia, was both knowledgeable and witty. We rode through the town of Nice stopping at the points of interest in the old town, along the Promenade Anglais (the waterfront), and up to the old Chateau. Throughout the tour he immersed history, local color and humor. We used foldable bicycles that were highly adjustable and maneuverable that were perfect for the tour. My guess is we rode no more than 10 KM (7 Mi) over the three hours. Also during the tour he pointed out restaurants, cafes, bars and other points of interest that we could follow up on after the tour. At the end of the tour we received a list of the recommendations he had made through the tour. The restaurant and bar recommendations were perfect.
I had an idea to try and take video and photo footage on the ride with my iPhone, a gorilla pod and a Glif+. I had marginal results. The gorillapod was just not secure enough for rough roads and I had not enough storage. My results are in this video (First Try-Good Learning Experience):
The third day my wife and I toured with Azur Wine Tours (TripAdvisor review). Raphael, hobbyist winemaker and our tour guide, took us on a tour of the vineyards in the Côtes de Provence. We toured four vineyards. Throughout the tour he told the story of making wine from vine to grape to casket to bottle to my glass. He told it from a winemakers point of view but in terms that we could understand. In the end I felt very comfortable that I had a working knowledge of tasting and buying French wines.
Our fourth day and fly day, we down to the Promenade des Anglais and drank a cup of coffee before our flight.
Personally the trip was great. Crystal and I had a good time. If I went again, I would try to go in late September, early October, when the wines are being harvested and try a bicycling tour through the Côtes de Provence.