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Published: June 28th 2007
I guess Tal had something to do around 1:00 which kind of ruined our plans since I wanted to go to the top of a nearby hill which my guidebook said had a great view of the city and the beaches from above. So we met earlier at 9am and then he said his meeting was cancelled so we headed for the hill. (I have to say, I was looking forward to tomorrow when I was alone again and didnt have to depend on another persons schedule...is that bad?)
In Vieux Nice (old nice) there was a morning market selling fresh vegetables, fruits, and Provence's famous dried lavander which smells amazing. I think that they also put lavander in the food? I don't know. I really like the market because the sellers are not pushy and don't yell after you to try and get you to buy something. It makes browsing a lot nicer and not stressful at all.
There was a sign at the entrance of the park that said something about the Greeks being stationed up there and how it was an advantage when being attacked. Up at the top, there was a big children's playground as well as some castle ruins that were nice but not very impressive since I just came from seeing Roman ruins. We climbed over 400 long stairs and took another way down (a bit steeper but faster) putting us at the beachside. To be honest, by then I was exhausted and tired of talking - I needed some alone time. It is very draining to speak the whole day in a language that you're not fluent in because every word and sentance you say requires intense concentration as you dig for the right word somewhere in your brain along with random words in Dutch, French, English, and Spanish.
Tal had something to do until 9:30 or 10pm (he wasn't sure) so I told him to come by the hostel at that time and that I would probably be there. Enjoying a break from company, I took off to the beach to relax in the sun with the sounds of waves, motor boats, and mumbling people. It was like I was being talked to, but didn't have to respond back with something coherent. After a few hours at the beach, I stopped at the Monoprix supermarket to buy fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomatoes off the vine. I got to the checkout and had forgotten to weigh my tomatoes and put the sticker price on the bag. oops! I got out of line and the cashier was nice enough to let me cut back in line with my tomatoes. Dinner was eaten in the kitchenette and I introduced myself to a guy named Nicolas, from Montreal, Quebec. He was pretty nice and the other two girls in my room, Lisa and Daniella, were also around. We talked about our trip plans (as usual) and the girls wanted to go out for a traditional Nicoise dinner. I decided to make my dinner tomorrow and go out with them instead. I remember learning the vocab word 'salad nicoise' and being curious about it, and I got excited knowing I would eat it that night. As we headed towards the restaurant, I stopped by Tal's hotel and left a note with the front desk telling him where I would be and the location - hopefully he would find us.
The place was called Lou Pilha Villa and it was more like an outdoor cafeteria with wooden tables and a walk up counter where you order your food. The menu was very foreign to me and most of the things I had never heard of before - the sad thing was that there were no descriptions of the menu items but it was fine because I wanted the salade nicoise anyway. I also bought a tarte aux pommes (apple tart) to share with the group since I heard they are delish. I got my food first, sat down, and heard from the left of me a voice saying, "bon appetit" which I though was pretty polite. I looked over and said "Merci" - just by saying that, he could already hear my accent and then asked me where I was from in English. Turns out he was also backpacking around Europe but his hometown was Limoges, in the middle of France. He had just finished his schooling to become a pharmacist and laughed at our surprised faces when he said that. Cedric definitely didnt seem like the pharmacist kind of guy- with a very scruffy face, big curls that were long, bouncy, and stuck out in all directions. He managed to tie 2 large curls back in a tiny ponytail. Cedric had a booming laugh and he would open his mouth really wide so all his large teeth would be able to laugh with him. We invited him along to our next destination, Wayne's, an English bar in the old part of town. We asked him where he's staying and turns out he was staying at the same hostel as us! small world! He's in Nice for one night before taking the night train to Prague. Wayne's was packed to the brim mostly with brits, aussies, kiwis, and americans. The funniest and creepiest thing I saw was this young French guy probably, no older than 18, dancing in the middle of a circle made up of 50 year old British ladies wearing clothes from the juniors department.
Every once in a while one of the ladies would reach out and pinch his bum that was covered by see through white linen pants. Not exactly my scene, that's for sure. We stayed there for an hour - I didnt drink anything because they wanted 8 euros for a beer and unless Prince Willian or Gerard Depardieu poured the beer for me, I wasn't going to pay up. Call me cheap, I call it reasonable. The place was so darned hot that me, Nicolas, and Cedric stood outside. We split up from the girls and headed home quite tired from the day. I never ran into Tal and he was leaving really early the next morning for his flight to Paris. Oh well, I'll see him in Israel most likely so I'm glad I met Cedric and the hostellers instead. It also gave me more practice with my French, which I'm finding to be quite rusty...
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