Wednesday, June 24, 2020

An Anniversary Celebration in Nice

The beach in Nice, France, is one of the most uncomfortable beaches I have ever been to.
Don't get me wrong, the city is beautiful and the vistas are breathtaking, but if you're in search of a beach to frolic along the Med, choose another place.
The rocky beaches don't keep families from the beach
I knew the beach in Nice was rocky when I made a mistake writing about a trip to Nice in my book The Summer of France. Luckily, a friend corrected me and I was able to go back and edit so that Fia's trip to the beach was filled with softly rounded stones.
My own trip to the beach might have been filled with worn stones, but I had no idea how painful they would be.
Before we went to the beach, I went to a beach shop and bought a 7 euro pair of flip-flops because I had forgotten to pack mine.
I foolishly thought that the flip-flops would protect my feet. They did on the walk down to the water, but the first wave that rolled forward washed a layer of stones between my feet and the shoe.  As I was trying to kick them out, I lost my flip-flop and it started to float away.
The water was chilly, so I sat down on the rocks and soaked my feet, each time another layer of rocks somehow covered my shoe, wiggling between my foot and the sole. Earl swam a bit, sans shoes; he must have tougher feet than I do because he stood on the floor of the sea. After awhile, we decided to head back to the towels. Here was the next tricky bit.
The descent to the sea is a bit steep. So I stood up, emptied the rocks from my shoes. I precariously balanced while I put them back on, only to have another avalanche of pebbles to fill my shoes before I could take my first step.
I realized that I could not walk up the incline with the flip-flops on, so I carried them,  yelping in pain while I climbed to the top of the embankment.
Another pause while I put my flip-flops on and then a brief walk to the towel where, you guessed it, I lay down on a pile of rocks.
It wasn't as bad as trying to walk.
I may have to go in and edit The Summer of France so Fia has as painful an experience as I did.
I have decided that old tennis shoes might be the answer to the rocky beach -- an old pair of converse would have kept the rocks out and saved the pain on my feet. I don't know how all those kids are running and swimming barefoot. I guess they get used to it.
But don't cry for me. This morning, Earl and I simply took the elevator up to the top floor and swam in the pool of our hotel.
This is the curve of the beach where we're staying to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. 

The pool on our rooftop

The view from the rooftop
We came to Nice to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, which was Tuesday.
We traveled with Grace and Jack to the Pont du Gard, the ancient Roman aqueduct,
An amazing feat built in the first century AD
then we traveled to Carrières de Lumières, where art is projected on the walls of an old limestone mine and brought to life.

We've seen three exhibitions here. This one was Gaudi and Dali. 
Then we spent the night in Aix en Provence before leaving Grace and Jack behind. We used our credit card points to book a hotel in Nice, and now we have a lovely break along the shore.
But you won't catch me swimming. If only I'd packed some old tennis shoes.


John and Lynn Phillips said...

A clear memory I have of the beach in Nice is a student overlooking the wall down to it from Avenue des Anglais...below was a very old topless woman...his face was priceless!! Ugh .....

sillygirl said...

I have been there several times and really intended to "swim in the Mediterranean" and only managed to barely touch the water fully clothed and shod the last time. I don't know how bare-footed people do it. But we did enjoy Nice anyway. I wonder how many tourists we have in our group of "beach experiences in Nice".

Kiwi said...

Your hotel's location and its rooftop pool are perfect! Re: the stony beach, you may be interested in Adrian Leeds' post from about 4 years ago:
Happy Anniversary.

Paulita said...

John and Lynn, The occasional topless women are still on the beach, but you're right, it's usually the older ones.
Sillygirl, This time, I'm in the same boat with you, even though Earl did buy us beach shoes yesterday, we didn't make it back down to the Med.
Kiwi, Thanks for sharing. I love to watch Adrian on HouseHunters International. She's quite a character.

heather said...

We tried the beach out just to say we’d been in the Med. My husband got tripped up by the incline back to the beach, fell down, and floundered helplessly for a bit because I was laughing too hard to help him. Then while we sat on the rocks to recover (our hotel provided thick pads to sit on) a lady sat next to us, got naked, then put on a bikini that was way too small for her. I was concerned that it was going to snap and put our eyes out. She was seriously testing the tensile strength of the fabric. The husband forgot about his beach trauma though.

Paulita said...

Heather, That is a hilarious story. I'm glad I wasn't the only one floundering on the beach. On our trip home we stopped in the Camargue and visited the beach at Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer. There was a woman there, older and heavy, lying on the beach with both breasts under her armpits. It's enough to put men off topless beaches.

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