March 12, 2016
On a Beach in Nice
I don’t think there’s a more beautiful sound in the world than the sound of ocean waves. Oh, I’ve missed the ocean so much! I’ve missed how it smells, and how it looks, and how it keeps coming and going so dependably. I am in NICE, FRANCE (one of my new favourite places). The sun is setting and I am sitting on these smooth rocks (because the beaches here have rock instead of sand). It’s beautiful and I’m so happy, particularly because I felt a bit blue and stressed out today, but I told myself I’d relax by sitting on the beach and well, here I am.
This is the most disorganized I’ve ever been on a trip: I tried to find a couchsurfer last-minute but couldn’t, so I booked a hostel this morning…except I accidentally booked it for tomorrow (can you believe it?!) Naturally I emailed them right away, but they never got back to me, even while I kept checking at the airport. Oh well, it all worked out in the end.
Landing in Nice was one of the most beautiful landings, mostly because of the ocean, and the mountains, and the little colourful houses, even though I barely got to see them because I was in the aisle seat. It made me mad because the guy who got the window seat barely even appreciated it – he hardly looked out the window at all! £6 later, I was on the bus to the city and I apparently sat on the wrong side because I was looking at palm trees and buildings until I randomly happened to glance to my left and saw the magnificent blue ocean!!! So blue, and so beautiful, and urgh, it just made me so happy! Needless to say, I didn’t look out the other window again.
As soon as I stepped off the bus, I knew I liked Nice. It has an old charm to it, and yet it’s sophisticated too with its pristine white buildings that look like they are frequented by the wealthy. The little lanes remind me of Granada but there is something distinctly french about the cafés inhabited by people leaning back in their chairs with their cigarettes. So many people were eating ice cream and I smiled as I walked down the street because I like hearing the sound of French, especially little kids playing and yelling!
Miraculously I found my hostel without the aid of google maps and thank the Lord they were able to get a room for me. (Even though I had to pay £2 more) Next I stumbled upon a market where I contemplated buying art (there was so much of it!) but I decided to wait. I was really quite anxious just to get to the beach. So I quickened my pace…and then I was in the middle of seagulls soaring, and white sailboats in the water, and palm trees, and smiling people…I think I found myself a little piece of paradise. I love the French Riviera; it reminds me of Scott and Zelda and Tender is the Night. One day, if I ever get rich, I will bring my whole family here and we will eat ice-cream on the rocks, and jump in the water, and have the wind blow our hair in our faces as we try to take pictures.
The sky is a light shade of pink now and I have moved further back on the rocks because it was getting too cold right by the water. I can’t even count the number of times I said “I love the sea, I love the sea” in my head as I walked here. I must live within walking distance of the ocean one day. Earlier I climbed to the top of a castle where the view was gorgeous and where there were kids playing in an open field and people sprawled on the grass in relaxation. It was calming…much different than Rome. Now, along this promenade, people are jogging, walking hand in hand, or sitting on white benches. These are the kind of days that remind me that it’s nice to be alive – I don’t have to do anything but sit on the edge of this stone promenade and watch the sky turn pink. Oh, a crazy kid just did a Papa Wheelie on his bike! Also, can you believe that it was almost a year ago that I was in New Zealand? Look how much I’ve done since then! Life is so wonderfully strange; I don’t know what to make of it. Well, the moon is smiling like the Cheshire Cat and I’m smiling like me. I love the moon, I love my family, I love myself, and I love the world!!