Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower

Amsterdam view from Amsterdam Tower
The view from Amsterdam Tower

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summer in La Côte d'Azur - French Riviera

La Côte d'Azur is always mentioned in the text books of my French lessons in CCF (now it is known as IFI). The beach is famous as summer holiday destination in Southern France. I used to wonder how the beach looks like. Is it like white sand beach with people laying down or walking on the beach monitored by the bay watch? -J
La Cote d'Azur
The law of attraction. Perhaps name of this place has gone deeply to my subconscious mind. The universe revolves naturally…

The day I landed in the middle of La Côte d'Azur, I was speechless. I pinched my ear, ouch!

It is a long flight from Asia – 12 hours direct trip from Ho Chi Minh City to Paris. I always have high expectation that trip to France will improve my French. During flight, I watched many films and I changed the language to French - J

Air France is about to touch down.... Bonjour Paris!

Voilà! I arrived safely before 6 am at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. As it is named after the French great man they call The General, it is a huge airport. I had to make the best use of one hour transit to get out of the plane, find the next gate and walk in jetlag...

I passed big arrival halls, small corridors, and some renovated alleys, finally found the gate number to my connecting flight to Nice and just queued at the immigration... The lines for Non-EU passports were already quite long even it was still around 6 am.  Finally… Merci Monsieur! Bonne journée. Au revoir...


An hour trip from Paris to Nice, I was accompanied by a clear blue sky that I could peep through the window. Beautiful!

I heard people saying that Nice is a destination for the couples. #wink #wink

Je suis en vacances sur la Côte d'Azur! 

All seemed friendly; the clear blue sky, sun, breeze.... and Mr. Right picked me up at the airport.


It is beyond my silly imagination to do what the European ladies do in the movie… -J Driving around La Côte d'Azur in convertible car with big sunglasses and head scarf…  Their hair and scarves are moved by the wind – they are messy but give additional beauty to their look... Just imagine the look of Princess Grace of Monaco and Audrey Hepburn with their head scarves - J

Mmm…, I were a little ugly duck wishing to become a beautiful swan. However, letting go the girlish dream and the universe is working…

La Promenade des Anglais

La Promenade des Anglais

Yee-haa! The beach, blue water, water sports, or just walk around the famous promenade along the Mediterranean sea in Nice, South of France, that is Summer …

Summer is not perfect with people sunbathing at the beach of course, and the bay watch…

La Promenade des Anglais or La Prom or translated as English Promenade was initiated by the rich British who moved to this area in 18th century. They came to Nice to enjoy the scenery along the Mediterranean coast.  

Now, the promenade is a favorite place for weekend activities; biking, skateboarding, walking or baby-strolling.

A serious sport activity was to be conducted the next day; the triathlon! Somehow there were many guys with their bikes wondering around the promenade. Many participants seemed to collect their registration numbers.


The beach sand is different comparing to Bali white sand beach; it is rocky so it is not something to walk along the sands… As an Indonesian, by default, I use Bali as parameter for beach comparison.


Across the street opposite the promenade, there are hotels, casinos, clubs, restaurants and cafes.  A perfect place to rest in after walking in hot sunny day…

It is the place to cool down, sipping fresh lemonade and snacking while seeing cars/motorbikes passing by -J... Some showed off their convertible cars and their loud music.  *Jualan CD ya Mas?

Cyclo for tourist

The sunny day was a good excuse to have cold drinks.  Orangina is a famous carbonated citrus beverage made from orange, lemon, mandarin and grapefruit juices which everyone knows it is very French. If we mix Orangina and Grenadine, it becomes a new Mocktail called Indien.

Luxury area along La Promenade des Anglais

No doubt, the promenade is a posh neighborhood. However, still we can find Mr. Mc Café at the end of the corner of the main street -J

Mc Cafe @ La Promenade

Nice Old Town - La Vielle Ville de Nice

My knowledge about Nice is improving. Not only that I have seen La Côte d'Azur, but I have also found another interesting quarter at the other side.


Within walking distance from the beach and the promenade, we walked toward Nice Old Town.  It is the historical quarter of the town. This part has ancient architectural buildings and is an active commercial district.

There are many cute souvenir shops, cafes, art galleries and bakeries.

There is also an open market selling fresh fruits/vegetables and even soap bars.

At the other side of the town, there is a bazaar selling old books, posters, postcards – and local artists doing performance for tourists. The group that I have seen that day, it seemed they did capoeira


The city hall, which is situated at the Old Town, was busy on Saturday. It is the day that everyone wants to get married. At least two, there was two wedding couples waiting to be married.  Once the ceremony is over, the couples and guests drove around the city with loud honks… Tut tut tut… Faire tut tut…

Generally, I like to categorize places into genders just like in French language. They could be féminin et masculin. Only after a long time, I finally put "Nice" under féminin and I blame it on her posh-ness.

La Côte d'Azur – checked! 

Let’s proceed to the next destinations not far from Nice.

First, it is Èze – only 30 minute driving from Nice, and second it is France neighboring country - Monaco.


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