One Month in Europe: Part 3, French Riviera

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After our very low key wine tasting in Beaune, we made our way to Nice to explore the French Riviera and get some relaxing beach time. For this stay we used HomeAway and found an adorable place that was just outside the main downtown area. Upon our arrival it was high seventies and sunny, so we made sure to soak it all in and explore as much as we could. After doing some light research on the fly (we didn't plan much ahead for this part of the trip), we decided to hike to the top of Castle Hill to take in the views. Really beautiful scenery and a great day to just stroll. 

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We were also very humbled to walk down the Promenade des Anglais and take in the memorial from loved ones mourning the loss of family and friends from the truck attack in 2016. The Promenade is a beautiful pathway that's right along Nice's waterfront, great for people watching and just taking in the scenery. 

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We climbed down a ladder to the beach and laid out on the rocks (which really weren't that comfortable, but when in Nice!) and Chris spotted a bottle floating in the middle of the water (the Baie des Anges), slowly making it's way to shore. We couldn't help but chase after it and to our utter joy it was a message in a bottle! We immediately opened it up only to find a message written in french that neither of us understood. Either way a very cool experience. I mean who finds a message in a bottle, this is movie stuff guys.

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One of my favorite parts of Nice is Old Town, an area with loads of charm, colorful facades and adorable shops. It felt truly European and an easy way to spend the day popping into shops and getting (lots of) gelato along the way. 

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Before I move on to a few day trips we took, I must mention one of my favorite little cafes in all of our travels throughout Europe: Le Bistroy. Such delicious french toast with lime zest and scrambled eggs! A must try if you are in Nice, seriously. We went twice.

After spending a few days in Nice we decided to venture out to Eze, a mountaintop village, for a day trip. I'd heard amazing things and all of them proved to be true. Charming, ecclectic, artful, lush - an absolute love! I wish we'd had more time here.

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Since we had limited time, we started to traverse to the Jardin Exotique d’Èze , the main reason I wanted to visit Eze. a garden at the top of the mountain that overlooks the entire village. The journey to the top was filled with narrow pathways, adorable shops, and charming nooks everywhere we looked.

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As we reached the top, we walked through a fantastic restaurant, the deli, which was small, cozy and everything you'd want to enjoy after a short hike up a mountain. We had to bypass it to begin with in order to make it to the garden, only to find out the garden closed at 4pm. It was 4:01pm when we arrived, and the rules were strict. We weren't getting in. Dreams. Crushed. All I have is this desperate photo looking through the gates to what would've been a glorious experience.

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However, let's talk about the good news. We got to spend the rest of the day sipping wine at the Deli, hanging out with the owner (who is an amazing human being) and eating delicious sandwiches. We were also graced with the presence of two early twenty-something back packers of whom we bestowed our thirty-something wisdom upon. It's one of my favorite memories of our entire trip, the simple experience of spending the day in this little oasis on top of a mountain in Eze, wine in hand, good conversations, and complete peace. We walked away with a few bottles of their olive oil, which we still have till this day. 

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The mountainous paths of Eze are filled with garden statues and a quiet serenity that evokes reflection. Nietzsche Path is another popular attraction that many venture on, if we only had the time!

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We also made it to Monaco for a day, but the weather was miserable and we didn't really plan much. I just remember a ton of yachts and checking out Prince's Palace. Nothing overly memorable, but I'm sure with some planning and better weather it's a lovely place to spend your time. 

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We loved the French Riviera but after 4 full days we were ready to head to our next country, Italy! In my next posts I'll explore our time in Florence, Rome, and the Amalfi coast. Thanks for reading!

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One Month in Europe: Part 2, Beaune

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From Paris, we made our way to Beaune, about a 2 hour train ride from Paris. We wanted to explore the Burgundy wine region and get a different taste of France that was a bit more out of the city, and this was the perfect place to do it. 

One of my favorite parts of Beaune was the Bourgogne Evasion half day bike tour we did through the region. We were lucky to get last minute tickets the day before.

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We were given lots of wine and lots of knowledge. On our final stop during the tour, we walked through a winery in the Pommard region and got an in depth education on how the winery works from a French winemaker at Domaine Lejeune. Chris said he saw other wives in the group snap chatting photos of this man with heart emojis + "Sexy French Winemaker". How childish! And no I did not send pictures of him to my friends. At all...

Before we left, Chris (to the jealously of the other men around us) asked if they had any vintage wines in the cellar to purchase. They did, and we were fortunate enough to take it back to our Airbnb with us. (Also, just an FYI, riding a bike somewhat tipsy is fun but also semi-dangerous). We stopped at a local store, bought some paté, bread and meat and paired it with our wine. One of the best meals!

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Our Airbnb was on a really beautiful street, and the most adorable man lived across from us. He would pop out now and again to smoke a cigar, and I couldn't help but think he was the cutest. Had to grab a capture of him.

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The streets and surroundings of Beaune were very white and rustic, filled with locals and very quaint moments to take in, like this dear lady trimming flowers outside of her home.

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Another area we explored in Beaune was the Hospices de Beaune. When in Paris, our bartender recommended it to us, so we thought we'd give it a shot. The gothic architecture was stunning, intricate and unique. However, I wish I loved the tour more. To be be honest, going through sort of brought me down. We looked at old hospital beds, an old kitchen with medicine jars, and then I sort of wiped it from my memory. However, if you do more research on it, there are a number of interesting stories to be told if it suits your fancy. I just wasn't there.

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That's it for Beaune! It was a quick stay and a great taste of France from a different perspective. Our next stop: The French Riviera.

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