Europe Day 14 – Nice

Europe Day 14 – Nice

What a great day – started off at 8 AM with a ride on the bus into the city of Nice. During the ride everybody on the bus sang a little happy birthday song for me to start off the day. After getting into Nice the first thing I did was head to the beach. These were supposed to be some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Well, I’ll say the water was very blue and pretty, but the beach itself – something I’m not used to. As I get closer to the actual beach I notice there are no real waves crashing on shore. And then the shore – rocks! There is no sand anywhere, just stones covering the entire beach. Given the songs are rounded and smooth because of the weathering, but they are still rocks and not comfortable to walk on. I walked along the beach for a while heading to the Chateau which is a park overlooking the beaches of Nice.
As myself and the others I was with made it to the entrance to the park, there was an elevator and stairs to the top. I wanted to show off and be a macho man by running up the stairs while the girls wanted to take the elevator and the guys wanted to walk. So I took off for the top. I made it up in 2:45 and waited for the rest of the gang to no avail. There were several places along the stairs up where I had to choose which direction to go, I guess they went another direction. So, now I was along and scared overlooking the beaches of Nice. I walked around for quite some time just taking in the scenery; then I though I would go back down a different way. Turned out that I made it to the bottom and couldn’t figure out where I was or how to get back to where I started. Lost and alone again; Nevertheless, I though I would just find my way back to the top and go down the original way I came up. On my way back up to the top, I saw a gate that I thought was for the stairs back to the top. As I pushed past a few kids through the gate, I realized it wasn’t a gate to the top, but actually a high school. As I realized my error and turned around, the many kids noticed my blunder and proceeded to say goodbye with a hearty laugh. Eventually, I made it pack to the top and down again. My macho man attempt only left me alone and lost for two hours.
As I made it to the bottom, I thought I would walk through the older shopping district when it started to rain. Great I thought, alone, lost, and raining on my birthday and I have no umbrella or raincoat and the bus won’t be back to pick me up for another six hours. After wandering around for a while I ran into Linda and Coz, much to my relief. After some more time wandering, attempting to read menu’s for lunch, the three of us settled in on a small kebab place. I ordered a kebab and got what we call a gyro in the states. Cos, being the generous guy he is, bought my lunch for my birthday.
After lunch, the sun was back out and it was turning into a beautiful day. I realized this would be a great opportunity for a run since I haven’t got to go running at all during the trip so far because of the constantly busy schedule. Linda thought she would go roller blading along the beach while me and Cos thought it would be a good idea to walk along the beach and take in the scenery before laying out and getting into the water. We walked along the shore making our way over the stones and just looking at the water and the people on the beach. Definitely interesting being on a topless beach, but I think we managed to place ourselves in the part of the beach where the older crowd was hanging out. So the views weren’t that great. Finally, we settled on a spot where Cos was going to lay out and watch my things while I went for a run. I striped down a little and off I went. It was hot out, but I was just so happy to be running again. I ran to the end of the boardwalk and back in a little under forty minutes. Once I got back, I got into the water immediately. It was tough getting into the water bare footed walking on the hot stones. But I finally made it to the water only to find the water pretty cold. Nevertheless, I was going to get into the water. I walked slowly out to find the ground quickly disappear making the water too deep to stand only several yards into the water. This is why there were no waves, the shore drops away so quickly. I swam for a little while until I was a bit chilly and tired. I then laid out on the beach for a little while until it was time for the bus to pick us up and head home.
As soon as we got back to the hotel, many of us went out for a quick swim in the pool before dinner. Again, the water in the pool is about as cold as the water on the beach. I guess Europeans aren’t spoiled with nice warm water like we are in the states. Clint started trashing talking about the Aussies and started a challenge where myself and Clint would race two Aussies. Of course, the Americans dominated as we do in everything. Dinned tonight was very good for hotel food even though the service was horrible. But I have learned to expect that from the French by now. Jeremy bought my two beers after dinner in celebration of my B-Day then everybody headed back out to the pool for a pool party. This was a lot of fun just having everybody sitting around having some wine talking and just generally chilling out. I was very surprised that everybody got together to get me a birthday card – that was totally unexpected and very sweet of everybody. I attempted to teach Holly a few more dance moves making us the only two making fools of ourselves. Lee got tossed into the water with his wallet and camera which put a bit of a damper on the night for a little while. Eventually the wine was gone and we all were tired and it was time to head to bed around 11:30. It’s been a great birthday, spending it in Nice, and having fun with everybody on the trip. Birthday card from all, pool party, just chatting and talking and a wonderful day and night in general. Tomorrow is Jeremy’s BDay, and we will be in Leon.

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Jason Lund

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