Saturday, September 24, 2011

French Riviera Escapades


Top view of Monaco

Happy weekend everyone! I am so happy that the weekend is about to begin - knackered. I had a fab & unforgettable holiday in Nice and Monaco. Still reminiscing the blue sky, sunny days and absolutely gorgeous panoramic view of the beaches - Cote d’Azur (French Riviera) is unlike any other place on Earth.


Sunday morning stroll on the hunt of fresh pasta to cook for lunch, we found this colourful shop full of candies, chocolates and other attractive sweeties.


Lovely stay at Barbara’s (thank you bella) and we are getting ready to have our Sunday walk.


Attracted to the beef heart tomatoes Winking smile


Yay, we found our fresh Gnocchi!


Old town of Nice (I think!), I love the architecture of the buildings.


The view of the other side of Nice outside the garden of my friend’s place.


A little treat for us Smile


Still in Nice on Monday morning, we found this! What a nice ride Winking smile in a sunny day

My visit to the Cote d’Azur officially started in Nice. Located along the South-eastern coastline of France, Nice enjoys an exceptional “microclimate” with some of the freshest air in all of Europe. It is a Mediterranean city that opens to the sea and is naturally protected from high winds from the region’s mountain ranges. With this being my first visit to Nice, I must admit, the experience far exceeded my expectations. Nice is far from being an ordinary seaside town.


Our way up to Monaco


Monday afternoon eating lunch in front of Cap Marquet, yay to the sun!


We moved on to the other side of the beach to take another great view of Monaco.


Moving on to the front sea view outside the restaurant.


I noticed people enjoying an unpretentious lifestyle at a pace that was so relaxed. I immediately became baffled! Why? I guess it’s the way I watch people enjoy all of the peace and serenity outside the cafe, strolling down the beach and outside the terrace. Nice has a great deal of adventure-oriented opportunities to be enjoyed - windsurfing, kayaking, rock-climbing, paragliding and scuba diving. And if that’s not enough, you can even go enjoy skiing and other snow-focused opportunities in one of Nice’s adjacent alps… the middle of summer, haha! Think about it: Skiing at 9am and scuba diving at 4pm. Where else can you do this?

I love the colourful fruits and vegetables in Nice, I found myself overwhelmed by the freshness of the bounty of produce. The perfume from the grapefruits, the bold red colour from the vine ripened tomatoes, and of course, even the flowers were far superior than anything I have seen in any farmers market elsewhere.


Up the hill to capture this great view of Monaco


This is a must-have view to capture (gads, you’ll find this a lot, honest!)


Enjoying the moment – be still my Red heart


Another 10 mins walk up the hill to Monte Carlo casino


Yay, finally now my next hunt to find the shopping centre



Quick snap before I saw Donatella Versace in person


Apart from having Nice on the end (300 days of sun and the Mediterranean!), the place I loved more than other among those I was fortunate to visit in my life was without any doubts Monaco. Every two seconds you will see a Ferrari or Lamborghini sports car driving by. I really had no idea just how pristine the land would be....not a piece of trash to be found. My amazing good pal, Melania has been a great travel buddy, she has helped me a lot with all the travels, meeting her lovely friends (thanks for having us to stay at your beautiful place - Barbara and Henna) plus the French translations (mmuah thanks bella xx).


This is for you Caron! I found the shop Winking smile


Last night in Nice, my attempt on local Nice apĂ©ritif – Pastis


Lovely friends and couple, thanks to Aki, Henna and Melania -mmuah

We drove up to Monte Carlo and it’s the time of the year for the Monaco Yacht show where you can see the snazzy yachts, luxury boats that pebble dash the harbour, inside and out. I’m not really a sea-buff but I do enjoy the atmosphere. I’ve continued my Personal Shopper job here in Monaco till the end of the evening and SERIOUSLY, I’ve never seen so many women carrying Hermes Birkin bags. I’m not particularly embarrassed of going straight to Chanel shop with my flip flops but I was shocked to see Donatella Versace (the artificial face!) with her chihuahua standing beside me. I guess that’s the highlight of my French Riviera apart from the good company, food and wine.

Hugs, enjoy and have a lovely weekend Winking smile