Nice France. What I’ve Learned So Far – Part 2

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My cover picture is of a random person in Antibe.  She was lovely and had a great smile.  

This is my twelfth full day in Nice, France. 

Here are some Helpful Hints 

American debit cards

American banks have banking partners in Europe. For instance, Bank of America partners with PNB Paribis so I can get cash from their ATMs without the standard fee. Check out your banking partner before you leave.  Using debit and credit cards in Europe 

Train Travel 

The Nice Ville train station does have a ticket office, and they speak English, but there are often long lines.

An alternative is to use the ticket machines, however, they can be confusing and won’t take American credit cards without a pin. They do accept change, not sure about bills. I’ve learned to carry a bunch of one and two euro coins with me.

Utube has a couple of videos showing how to use the machines.
Remember, you have to validate your ticket in the yellow machine before going to the platform.

A conductor may ask you to produce your ticket on the train.  Train station locations Nice France 

Before you board I recommend you know the approximate arrival time to your destination or know how many stops until your destination. Sometimes there are announcements, sometimes not. However, you can always ask one of the other passengers. I’ve found people to be very nice and helpful.

Winter Market Days

The wintertime open-air markets in large cities like Nice are large year-round, but in smaller towns, the markets can be considerably smaller in winter.

Safety

Most women in France wear cross-body handbags. It’s safer and leaves your hands free. (perhaps to punch out a would-be pickpocket (smile))

Shopping

I love the plethora of small women’s clothing stores in Nice. Small shops seem to be more prevalent than are large department stores. I haven’t seen anything like TJX, Marshalls, or even Macy’s.  Nice does have a large H&M, not sure what else. 




This lovely hat lady who helped me buy my hat in Antibe.

Galleries Lafayette is an upmarket French department store is in the center of Nice right next to the Tram.  There are 5 floors each with a focus, men, women, children, home, etc.  All the upscale brands are there, its kind of like a Nordstoms but larger.  

I did find a wonderful second-hand store in the Vieille Ville called Caprice Vintage Shop at 12 rue Droite, and everything was 50% off.  I did buy a sweater and a scarf but everything on sale is for winter and I don’t need anything for winter.  

Stylish Eye Glasses

It seems like eyeglasses are treated as another form of jewelry.  Lovely shops and many more styles than I’ve seen in the US. Not a lot of bling just unusual shapes and a flare for knowing which shape is best for a face.  I kinda wish I was in the market for new glasses! 

Stylish Black

The French tend to wear a lot of black clothing and they do know how to accessorize beautifully.

Sensible Shoes 

Women in Nice wear smart but sensible shoes. Better to manage the cobblestones!

Transportation modes

Walking is the primary mode of transportation. Cars are cumbersome, lots of one-way streets, and little available parking. Motorcycles, scooters, electric scooters, wheeled shopping carts, and strollers are secondary. Apparently Uber does well, I haven’t seen many taxies.  I get a kick out of young fathers walking with their baby in a front carrier. Often the father is with his buddies and the baby in the carrier is sound asleep.  

Food Shopping 

People s do seem to shop for food daily. In town, there are no grocery stores with parking lots. There are many small food shops, and a few larger Monoprix or Carrefour. People carry a shopping bag or wheeled cart to walk or take a bus or tram home.
There are also many take-home food shops, not fast food and not cheap. Great when you’re too tired to cook but want restaurant-quality food.

After work 

Around 5 o’clock, the stores are busy, and people are everywhere, shopping, buying dinner, meeting friends for a coffee, or a glass of wine. Students are hanging out, and the cafes are full, the restaurants are getting ready to open around 7.

Sundays

I know I keep talking about Sundays in France being a time for families but I love this tradition.  There’s talk of changing the French laws concerning commerce on Sundays but I hope they don’t screw it up.  

Families and friends get together on Sundays and that has to be healthy. The restaurants, the Promenade des Anglais and the beach, are packed. The weather is so lovely here, and the apartments are so small in the city that people meet friends in town rather than entertain at home.

Cannon Fire at Noon

At noon you’ll hear the church bells and the cannon fire.  The other day I was sitting in a square in the old town that had a church. At noon the cannon and the bells went off at once.  I was startled but its actually a nice time check.  

French linens

The French love beautiful linens and home accessories. These pictures are of Zara Home store


 

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.

1 Comment

  • Cheryl February 16, 2020 at 3:37 pm Reply

    Very helpful info! It sounds like there is plenty to do!

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