One of my favourite parts of doing so much of the planning for this trip last minute is that I know very little about the places I’m going. I knew Nice was on the beach in the south of France. I knew Cannes (home of the film festival) was close and that was about it. So when mountains appeared out the window of my train I was pleasantly surprised. 

After meeting Rosemary and Hannah — friends from Vancouver — and the couch surfer we were staying with — Olivier — we headed out to wander the city. The beach and ocean were as I expected but the rest of the city was a surprise. Condos and vacation houses crowded the streets with gelato, crepe, and souvenir shops filling in the rest of the spaces.

I was also surprised to see how much history the city has. The old city of Nice is nestled into the side of a hill, surrounded by the newer city and its bustle. The old city is quieter, quainter, and cuter. There are even more gelato stands. Surrounded my so much gelato I got my first of very many cones.

Cooking dinner for the first since arriving in Europe was refreshingly normal. Traveling doesn’t feel like “real life.” You have no responsibilities, it doesn’t matter what time or day it is, and you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. But cooking (and then cleaning, which is less fun) is refreshingly “real.” It also tasted really good.