Colin had been throwing up the night before from coughing too much. He is the second person in the tour group to do so, and a handful others also have really bad coughs. So far my immunity has held strong and haven’t got any symptoms yet. The rampant infections combined with heavy drinking from the night before had turned most of the tour group into half-asleep zombies. This made the bus ride to Nice, France, very uninteresting. We did stop through Italy on the way through for lunch, making it a different country for each meal (Switzerland for breakfast and France for dinner) which was pretty cool.
We arrived at a French Perfumery which was quite interesting. Fact of the day: did you know it takes three tonnes of roses to make one litre of rose oil. After a quick tour we were back on the bus to our next stop, the Hotel Busby (not Rhubis). We unpacked and headed out for a Contiki dinner. The dinner was very average, not the best. We also were locked away in a room out the back away from the main interesting street. This was quite frustrating for the group, as we were only back in France for one night and didn’t want to waste a meal. I think some of us will be skipping the Contiki meals from now on.
Afterwards we headed along the main drag and saw many interesting and fun cafès. One of which was called Frog that sold frog legs and escargot! I never ended up going even though I attempted to two times. The original plan was to go out and experience the night life, so I efficiently wore jeans & shoes. However, a lot of the guys on the tours weren’t as forward thinking and had shorts & thongs (the Australian use of the word) on. So we headed along to the beach. The strip along the beach reminded me a lot of Santa Monica and was really nice. The weather was awesome, the moon glowing brightly and a light refreshing breeze.
We watched some rollerblading then the guys wanted to go onto the beach. Now the beaches in Europe aren’t like ours, they are made up of medium to large rocks, made smooth(ish) by millennia of waves. This unique experience isn’t where the guys wanted to go though, they wanted to go to the one piece of beach that is sand, imported from the Gold Coast! I thought this was not a very good use of time and I didn’t want sand everywhere so I thought I would wander back to the hotel.
This proved not my greatest decision. The problem was I didn’t have a map, didn’t know the name of the hotel and how to get back. So as I was walking back along the Mediterranean, I realised that all the streets off the esplanade looked similar so it was going to be harder than I had originally thought. So I just leaned in to getting lost and thought to make the most of it. I strolled all the way down to the end of the beach and crossed the street and walked back. Thinking the hotel was called another name and thinking it was two streets back (when it was 4) made it very difficult to find. I managed to find some free Wifi and messaged Tanya, back home in Australia, to supply the name of the hotel in a spare hotel list I had left back in Brisbane.
The walk home took me through the Red Light district which wasn’t very good compared to the one near the Moulin Rouge. Eventually I got home, about midnight, then I FaceTimed for an hour then to bed. As it was our free day and Colin was bed ridden sick and I was exhausted, we didn’t wake up till eleven in the morning. We then headed out to brunch at a French cafè, which we were complimented for being very easy to understand our order compared to other tourists. He then couldn’t understand why we didn’t order alcoholic beverages if we were Australian.
After lunch we went to a ‘pharamce’ to get some drugs for Colin’s worsening condition. The lady didn’t speak much English so we are not sure if they gave dry or wet cough medicine for him. Another group of people from our group had done another similar thing at another pharmacy where they were offered a suppository. They thought they must have misheard them and was saying a sore throat not ass.
We dropped the drugs, phone & wallets off at the hotel, got our towels, and headed to the beach. We could see a big group of our tour group at a private beach, this is one where you pay 15 Euro to sit on a sofa rather than on the pebbles under the shade of an umbrella. Wanting the true European experiencing and capitalising on the ‘me time’ to have a break from everyone, we opted to go to the public beach. We swam in the water for over an hour, with it being saltier than beaches back home it was very easy to float. I tried picking up the biggest rocks I could find to sink me to the bottom and sit there for a bit, which was quite fun.
After swimming we sunbaked on the pebble beach, which isn’t as uncomfortable as it sounds. It actually has a few benefits over sand beaches, mainly no sand blowing into your eyes. I fell asleep for a bit, turning over every 10 minutes or so to make sure I don’t get too burnt. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for Monaco.