Nice, or the holy grail as me and my fellow travel buddies (Eurobeaglers) refer it to, was a completely unexpected destination to reunite. The gratitude of the boys for me getting a job on the riviera was overwhelming, as it should be, as I was nearly girlfriendless because of it. Being able to take a trip back in time three years however was awesome, with a few new additions along the way. Notably, the additions were a Swedish buddy of mine galavanting with us initially, an allergic reaction to nuts #standard and new flavours of ice cream. The nostalgia was ever present by listening to classical music such as One Direction avec Zayn, visiting every single hotspot we went to including Finger Rock and realising how we are the least funny threesome around. This will make no sense to the every day reader but ongoing jokes of flying cocks and saying eeeeuuuuughhhh I loooovveeee ittttt in an East Anglian accent come Northern were at the forefront of our humour. Aren’t you gutted you don’t get it?
Our travels took us predominantly to Beaulieu, Antibes and around Nice this time, as opposed to Monaco and the illusive nudist beach in Cap D’ail, which still to this day is unfounded. Let’s start with Beaulieu I guess;
Beaulieu is a cracking spot. The beach is small with shallow pebbles which isn’t sand but it isn’t also the boulders that realign the bones and muscles in your feet along Nice’s promenade. There isn’t much to do in this coastal town other than gaze at the wealth marauding through the sea and bask in the Mediterranean sunshine. Wasting your days off here is great and there’s an absolutely great spot at Le Berlugan for a drinkypoos after sweating your nut off. The drinks are what you’d expect for a place that picks up billionaire’s throughout the day, 12 euros for a smoothie for example but it’s definitely worth it for the picturesque setting you find yourself in and the cool ambience that graces your eyes and ears. My tip would be not be overwhelmed by the luxurious carpark you walk though, where the ratio of good cars to bad cars is 20:0 (there are no poor cars) and don’t bring a 7 euro lilo in like your going to an English bar in Benidorm. It’s certainly a different etiquette, as I may or may not have found out….Although the bus journey home would suggest otherwise, where some douchebag decided to cut up our driver and respond with a Tyson-esque jab to our poor driver’s face. He held his own against the whopper and hopefully, after giving him the registration of the turd, he got some payback.
Moving on ever so swiftly to Antibes;
What a place this is! Stunning (stanning) is one word to describe it. It’s hard for me to look past Eze and Antibes as my favourite two places on the Riviera so far. The narrow cobbled streets accompanied by the overhang of fluorescent flowering were magic. We unfortunately didn’t get a whole day to explore this majestic town but there was enough time to wander round the port, the old town, the beach and grab some lunch. The port had a distinct aroma of money but was an extremely classy location to drop the yacht off. Inside the city, which is surrounded by the Great Wall of Antibes built by my mate Seigneur Rodoart, it is unsurprisingly a stone maze and without a strong sense of direction, it would be easy to get lost and entranced by the beauty of Antibes narrow streets. We stumbled across a rather expensive market which was full of local cuisine and other crap you look at when you walk past but seem to instantly forget (I think there was a collection of salt somewhere). We definitely became lost. Eventually however we stumbled across the city wall and spotted the beach in the distance. Again, which seems to be a recurring theme, it was a great place to find after once more sweating our nut off. Everything about Antibes was relaxing and calm and a lovely environment to spend the day. We relaxed a bit before heading back into Antibes to grab a bite. Being the cheap-ass Brits (and Swede) that we are, we wandered around to find the cheapest place we could and after doing a mini circuit in central Antibes, we wandered into a cafe that we rejected 10 minutes earlier. Bloody gaaawjus it wa’, I tell thee. Being so time inefficient, we had to put on a brisk walk to get back to the station in time before some of us had to go to work. SOLID
Having a nuts time in VilleFranche;
The guys wanted to see certain areas of the Riviera that they hadn’t seen and so we ventured over to Villefrance, as I wanted to prove a point that there is actually sand in France. Oh that grainy texture really is refreshing on the soles of your feet. I didn’t actually realise how great the small town of Villefranche is, with it’s colourful buildings cascading around you and more cobbled streets leading through the village. We didn’t really get up to much here as some dickhead decided to have an allergic reaction to nuts… 5 times in 2 years is getting a bit ridiculous now! The annoying part is that is was in something that “may contain nut traces” so the product didn’t actually have nuts in! Just some douche in the factory thought it would be a good idea to misplace a trace in my lovely choccy biscuit. I’m all good though, an oxygen mask later and a big pat on the back from the lifeguard and I was “good to go.” Shame I didn’t get a picture of this, it always makes for a good laugh.
And finally, Nostalgic Nice;
Is it sad pretty much retracing your every movement in a city because you loved it so much? That’s exactly what we did and it was bloody great! Climbing the chateau to find the spot we took the infamous first Eurobeag picture in Nice, finding Gelateria Azzurro to get some Carpe Diem’s Finest Finger Food Ice Cream, spotting impending danger with flying cocks circling the city and indulging on Ottweiler Pils in the glorious happy hour. The only issue with the reminiscing period was that our homeboy Ulf, from Villa Saint Exupery Gardens, had sold out and when we wandered high into the mountains to relive the glory days where we were kings of Happy Hour, we were distraught to see a brand new block of apartments. As lovely as they may be, it tainted the legacy of 2013 and our opinion of the once untouchable, Ulf. We also had to eliminate our infamous chat up line stories, due to tangible factors such as having a Mrs. These wicked tales included owning a Qatar’i based bank which unfortunately was extremely shit and Beagle Airways, the saddest airlines on the continent! Did I forget to mention Boulangerie D’Olivier? A decent bakery we went to with an absolutely cracking title. The boys did seem to forget the negatives of Nice, of only one which their is. They forgot to bring their rock climbing gear to get out of the sea along the promenade. Other than that, it was business as usual and it’s a shame we weren’t all getting on a train to get to
warm Birmingham, I mean, Milan.
And that’s a wrap. The ever present comments of “You need to realise how lucky you are living here” or “I’ll be in an office on Monday, potentially with no windows” really resonated with Rachael and I. Can’t really complain about my office views!