We’ve just returned from our trip to Rome, Nice, and Paris, as well as a day-trip to Brussels. Too much for 1 post, so I’m going to break it out a bit.
I’ll start with Rome. This was my second visit to Rome this year (and third overall), and I’ve gotten a pretty good feel for the city in that time. I didn’t take many pictures because, honestly, there aren’t many places in Rome that I haven’t seen (and photographed) already. This being my in-laws first time there, we hit the usual places like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, St. Peter’s, the Vatican Museum, Piazza Navona, etc.
The adventure, for me, came at our hotel. If one could call it that. My wife handled the hotel reservations for this trip, so I had no idea what to expect from any of our lodging. We had 4 nights in Rome booked at a Bed & Breakfast she found on Expedia. When the taxi driver let us out, there was no sign to clue us in where to go. We finally found the door buzzer, and the proprietor came down to let us in. It was basically a Roman apartment broken up into 4 bedrooms, of which the 4 of us were sharing 1 room. It was pretty small and spartan. As she was showing us the layout, she said the words my wife and I have dreaded since moving to Europe, “And over here is the bathroom you share with the other guests.”
Yes, we had finally wound up at a hotel with shared bathrooms. Luckily, the other guests were all checking out the following day (as we arrived on Saturday night), and we would only have to share for 1 morning. When I woke up, I didn’t hear anything, so I stumbled through the hallway and into the bathroom. Only to see a 20-something girl stop and stare at me from the end of the hallway. The floor of the bathroom was wet from the other guests, and outside the open window hung the proprietor’s laundry. Not exactly what I expect when on vacation. Oh well. The bright side of the place was that just outside the door was a fantastic gelateria that we made frequent visits to.
I won’t bore you with tons of vacation photos, just this one from the Roman Forum of a very nice villa.
From Rome we flew to Nice, France. I’d never been to France before, so I had no clue what to expect. Nice…..doesn’t really seem French. Sure, the signs are all in French, but the restaurants mostly serve pasta and pizza and Dutch beer (trying NOT to drink Heineken was a challenge). It does sit right on the Mediterranean Sea, but the beach is quite rocky.
We found a nice bar right on the beach and relaxed in the sun, while we discussed the handful of topless sunbathers we saw. None were particularly attractive, so it wasn’t hard to avoid staring.
Overall, Nice isn’t a bad place to go for a holiday in the sun. It’s very touristy though. Lots of restaurants hoping to pull in the tourists, located next door to souvenir shops. Not much else to do in the city besides lounge on the beach. I can’t say that I won’t come back, but it’s probably not tops on my list, unless to use as a base to explore the nearby cities of Cannes and Monte Carlo.
Paris, on the other hand… Well, I’ll save that for another post.