Nice, France in the Winter

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Two months in the South of France 

It’s been almost a year since I first conceived the idea that I would rent my Florida home and live in France for two months. It seemed a pipe dream at the time, but it all fell into place, and here I am. You might ask how I could leave sunny Florida for winter in France. In actuality, I chose February and March because they are easy months to rent in Florida. Conversely, winter is an excellent time to rent in France to avoid crowds and enjoy better rates. The temperatures are mostly in the 50s and 60s during the day, quite pleasant when the sun is shining.

February in Nice 

Mountain view from the plane into Nice Airport 

On January 31, 2020, I flew from Fort Myers to Atlanta, Atlanta to Paris and Paris to Nice. I’m renting a one-bedroom AirBnb apartment on Rue Gambetta. Rather than taking a cab from the airport, I hopped on the new Tram, which brought me to a station a short walk from my AirBnb apartment. It worked like a charm. I walked out of the airport baggage claim, and Tram #2 was sitting right outside the doors. There was a kiosk to purchase a ticket with clear instructions. I knew I had to validate it somewhere, and sure enough, there was a well-marked machine in the tram car to validate. The map of the stops was visible, and there was audio and a visual for each stop. Getting off was smooth; however, I had to lug the suitcase up a long staircase to the street. No need to go to the gym in Nice!

Arriving at the AirBnb

My contact Luca met me at the door and explained that the elevator broke two days ago and he was waiting for a part. Luckily he carried the suitcase up the four floors for me! After being up for 30 hours, I’m not sure I could manage to lug a 30lb bag up four flights! Fortunately, the apartment is as advertised and even closer to the Baie than expected.

In an attempt to stay awake and get some exercise, I decided to walk to the Promenade des Anglais then buy something for dinner on the way back. It’s so lovely to be out in the fresh air, and the promenade is full of people. It’s Saturday, and although it’s cloudy, there is sun off and on. There are families and couples, people of all ages walking, biking, rollerblading, and playing music.

Sunday in Nice

Sunrise from my apartment

It’s warm (the 60s) and sunny. I had 12 hours of sleep last night, and I’m anxious to get out and explore the city. I’m on my way to a Sunday morning Meetup at a cafe in the old town. It’s easy to find with GPS, and I arrive right on time. There’s already about 20 people at the tables with more to come. Maris is across from me; she’s a French-born woman who lives in Toronto but comes to Nice often. Following the Meetup, Maris and I walk to the Cours Saleya Sunday market. It’s nice to have a Nice expert to point out the best vendors and show me how to maneuver around the market. We part company agreeing to see each other at the next Sunday meetup.  

Flower Market

February is mimosa season, and every flower vendor has mimosa for sale.

Lunch with music 

It’s lunchtime, and I grab a great sidewalk table beside the Cours Saleya market. I’m not all that hungry but need something to get me through the afternoon – actually, I need food to go with the glass of Rose! Socca is made with chickpea flour and best eaten hot off the grill. A good Socca is soft on the inside with a crisp crust, and they nailed it. Add good street music, sunshine, and people watching – perfect! Vacationing in Nice France in the winter is the way to go. 

Sunday strolling.

Sunday is family day in France. Most businesses are closed, and people are outside, especially on a beautiful day. 

Tables on the beach

Adding rocks to the beach.  

The beaches on the Cote d’Azur are rocky but that doesn’t keep people away.  The rocks are smooth and somehow people lay on a blanket and actually have a snooze – or read or meditate looking out at the sea.  I guess you get used to it.  

Brew Dog meetup.  

Angela Irwin started a Sunday afternoon Meetup at the Brew Dog pub near the Promenade and it’s become very popular.  There were about 20 people there to listen to music and meet new friends.

Sunset on the Promenade. 

A great sight to end my day. 

Walking home at the end of a great day. 

 

 

 

 

 

About

I'm in my sixties with the world at my feet and thoughts mostly of "where to next?". I retired in 2017, sold my house in Massachusetts and most of my furniture and "stuff." When not traveling you can find me in Florida in the winter and Rhode Island in the summer. Travel has been a passion from a young age, over the years I've discovered I'm a traveler, not a tourist. I prefer traveling solo, with a travel friend, or small groups. Whenever possible I would rather spend time in one place rather than moving around. I'll never turn down an opportunity to go to France, but my travels have taken me all over the world. I've met some incredible people and had some fantastic experiences.

3 Comments

  • John February 3, 2020 at 11:50 pm Reply

    Read your blog and it seems the first several days went fine. I know traveling can be exhausting. It appears you made it by sleeping those 12 hrs. Love the pictures. Keep them coming. Lastly I hope the part for the elevator comes in soon…..

    • Kathryn Schlitzer February 5, 2020 at 7:24 am Reply

      Thanks John. It’s been 4 full days and they’ve been great. I now understand why people go through the hassle of moving here. Especially the way things are back home! See you soon. Kathy

  • Sharen February 10, 2020 at 11:40 am Reply

    Hi Kathy! Bev has shared your blog with me and I’m delighted to follow you. First of all, love your great title! Your photographs are terrific – the mimosa is that sunshine colour we are craving here in February. Enjoyed the link you placed about the Route du mimosa. Grasse is the heart of the perfume industry, yes? Look forward to reading/seeing more of your posts.

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