The French Riviera is a romantic place for many people. It is the location of exceptional wealth and race cars, star spotting and endless tans. I'd wanted to travel to the south of France for some time, I even have a Rick Steves guide book sitting on a shelf at home (where it does me absolutely no good). The Côte d'Azur is also the setting of my favorite Fitzgerald novel, Tender is the Night. Pick it up if you get the chance, I read it as an 18 year old on the banks of the Seine, it's captivating, but regrettably overshadowed by Gatsby.
My arrival in Nice did not disappoint. The water is fifty shades of blue and the stones on the beach completely smooth from years of crashing waves. The city itself is a mix of French and Mediterranean architecture and despite being a Mecca for tourists there is a leisurely, small city feel. I chose to spend my first few days on the beach, grabbing a towel from the concierge and snacks from the Monoprix. Thanks to my beach time in Thailand I have a bit of tan, so I look less like Snow White next to the topless, French tanners.
I wandered up the hill to the old chateau to see a beautiful panorama of the city; red roofs, blue sea, grey beach. There are a million steps to get to the top which is a harsh reminder that I should be running more...but it's worth it! I take another hundred photos putting the count on my phone to 700.
I end my nights with a glass of rosè de Provence and pizza blanche. I think in another life I could have been French.