I went skiing twice this year, once in mid-March and once at the beginning of April. That’s right, skiing in April in the south of France! And thus is the magic of mountains. The first time, I went to a ski resort called Valberg, and the second, to one called Isola 2000. Here’s a handy-dandy map I created to show you people where I was:
Posts Tagged With: Nice
That’s right, I went back to Mont Boron! I hadn’t gone up the hill with beautiful views overlooking Nice since back in October. I guess like with my two visits to Villefranche, it needed revisited before I left! I considered putting the pictures from the day in with my Haut-de-Cagnes post, but I decided two short-and-sweet ones would be nice after my massive post about Toulouse 🙂
One warm and sunny day Sam (Notice a pattern? He’s a good friend, haha) and I decided to go up to Mont Boron, since I had never seen the fortress up there. Honestly it’s not much to look at, but the views of the city below are AMAZING. I miiight have amped up the color a little too much on some of these pictures, but they’re just so pretty!
Remember this challenge post? Well a few weeks ago, I got started knocking a few more items off my “must-see-before-I-leave” list. One of the items on my cool new super-touristy bag was something called Parc Phoenix, which I had never heard of and had no idea what it was. I did some Googling and learned that it’s a park/nature preserve/zoo on the west side of Nice, and that it only costs 2€ to get in! Sold. A couple weeks ago we actually had warm sunny weather (it’s been unusually cold and rainy this spring… well when I say cold I mean like 55 degrees. I’m spoiled, I know) so I decided to take advantage and go there on Tuesday when I didn’t have school. Even though I went alone (it’s really hard to do stuff during the day since we all have different teaching schedules), I’m so glad I did! The weather was beautiful and it was great to be surrounded by nature, since I’ve been in cities basically since I arrived here in September.
There was a lot of green grass and trees, pretty flowers, cacti, animals in pens, and free-range animals. There was also a big greenhouse, a reptile/spider/fish building, a big pond, and fountains that played in time with music once an hour. So without further ado… some photos!
Every winter, Nice has this festival called Carnaval for three weeks. There was a lot of hype leading up to it, but none of my assistant friends, nor myself, really knew what it was. All we knew was that there is a big warehouse down the street from my apartment that had a ton of Carnaval decorations and stuff in it, and that huge bleachers were being put up in la Place Massena and along the Promenade des Anglais (along the ocean).
My boyfriend got here on the 14th of February and as we were walking to my apartment after the bus from the airport dropped us off, we turned onto my street and this is what we saw:
Hey all, I’m back! Hope you weren’t too bored stiff by that series of posts. No worries, next will be travel ones about a couple places my boyfriend and I went 🙂 Until then… an update!
As stated in the title, there have been a couple of changes in the life of Kelsey (la vie de Kelsey…bahaha). One of the biggest is that I changed the date of my return ticket to the US. Like I mentioned here, I bought a round-trip ticket, and I chose the arbitrary return date of May 23. I knew my contract ended on April 30, and I wanted to have a few weeks to travel before I came back to the US. However, what I didn’t know was that I would be done teaching April 12 (HOLY COW THAT’S A MONTH FROM TODAY); French schools happen to have a two-week break at the end of April! Technically I should have to teach April 29 and 30 but I don’t have any classes on Tuesdays, and I doubt they’ll make me come in on Monday; they always need me less the week after breaks, but even if they do ask me to come in, it’s only for a few hours.
This is my random “other things I’ve had to do for life in Nice” post. First up: bank account!
There are lots of banks in Nice: Banque Populaire, BNP Paribas, LCL, Societe Generale, HSBC, and Caisse Epargne are some of the big ones. I went with Banque Populaire because my roommate did and he said they were good with technology (they have an app), and there is one close to my apartment. As you can see, a super-informed decision!
I’ve been really happy with Banque Populaire overall. I didn’t have any problems opening my account, my debit card came fairly quickly (1-2 weeks, if I remember correctly), and they do have an app that works well, although I only use it for checking my account balance. My only complaint is that I asked for a checkbook when I opened my account, and was told I would receive something in the mail when it was ready to be picked up at the bank. Nothing ever came, so I emailed the woman who opened my account asking about that as well as receiving sign-in information for online banking. She didn’t respond, so I resent the email. Still no response, but a few days later a piece of mail came with my online banking information, but no checkbook. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort, since I don’t think checkbooks are free and transferring money is pretty easy here.
I should start by saying that I didn’t get an apartment the traditional way: no real estate agent here! Instead, I got really lucky by finding an apartment for rent by one of the teachers I work with. You can read all about that still-long-and-kinda-frustrating journey here and here. A few things I’ve learned since being here:
- Apartments in Nice are expensive. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone paying under 400€ a month, and the most I’ve heard someone paying is 550€/month. This includes having multiple roommates or having a studio.
- It’s pretty easy to find furnished apartments. I was under the impression from something I read that furnished apartments are nearly nonexistent, but there seems to be an abundance of them, at least in Nice, and they come with not only furniture but kitchen stuff too.
- Leases seem to be pretty easy here. Like, you have to sign one, but it can be for however many months you want, and breaking your contract is no big deal. I know of a couple people here that have done it with no issues.
- A security deposit is usually one month’s rent. I’ve heard of a couple people paying two month’s rent, but that’s rare. One month is much more common.
- Some apartments here don’t have living rooms. The heck?
Ah yes, it’s time again for my every-so-often photo dump, mostly of things I’ve snapped pictures of on my phone. Enjoy!!
I realize this photo is terrible, but I wanted to get a picture of the beautiful lights on the palm trees here. I took this on the bus on the way back from dropping off my parents at the airport- yes, it was still dark on my way home!
Two days after my parents left, I woke up at the crack of dawn and took a taxi to the airport again. This time, however, was to catch my own flight: a 6:30 AM one to Paris to see my best friend from ISU, Chelsea! She and two friends had flown into Paris right after Christmas and immediately headed down to Spain to see a few different places. Before flying out of Paris, Chelsea had one day and night to see the city, so I flew up to spend time with her and show her around!
LAST POST! FINALLY! I mean, I enjoy writing these but this trip has dragged on foreeeeeever. I have other stuff I want to write about! And I feel like the posts have gotten longer as we go on. Sorry about that, by the way. Oh and I have the next two posts written and planned to post but after that, it’s free game as far as what I write about. I reset all the votes on the poll on the right, and added a couple new options, so go ahead and vote (pleeeeeeease) and whichever gets the most votes will be up after the two I already have planned!
To recap: This is where my parents and I have been so far (in this blog retelling of the journey):
Okay, all caught up now? Good. So, Florence!
We took the train from Rome to Florence on the morning of December 31st, and it was by far the NICEST train I have ever been on. Nice big new seats, glass dividers above the seat backs, free WiFi (Yeah. ON THE TRAIN.), outlets at every seat, and…drumroll please…train workers came around with a beverage cart like on an airplane and gave us free drinks and snacks! This was my first time taking the train in Italy, and I thought maybe they were all like that, but nope, just that one. Actually, now that I think about it, I might have found tickets for that train for first class cheap, that’s why it was so nice… hmm. Going to check my email confirmations now!
Update: not first class, but 2nd class premium! Man I bet in first class they get like, recliners and 3-course meals. I’m surprised I didn’t consider that we might not have been in coach class before, because that was SUCH a nice train. Makes sense. Duh Kelsey.