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Published: August 14th 2015
Hello my fellow travellers!
Our first day in France has come to it's end and it has been an overall nice day but with a heavy undertone which I'll come to later. The day has been quite calm yet we've somehow managed to walk a pretty decent 23 kilometres and actually beat our previous record for this trip. We started by going out for a quick stop on our own to pick up a cap for Andreas, I was kind of surprised that he chose a urban cap designed for the low teens. but it's his choice and not mine. In fairness though the Ferrari cap I got from Elisabeth on Cape Verde isn't the sexiest either! Afterwards we went back to the apartment and then headed out together with François who gave us a good tour of the old town where we started with a visit to the City Hall with it's big statue of a thumb.
François also took us to the various markets around old town and we tried several delicious local specialities. We of course also visited the Castle Hill, including the cemeteries located upon it. The old town of Nice is quite beautiful, yet
rather run down. It's not very elaborate in terms of decorations, but rather all the buildings have painted on details that François call illusions. They are well made and in some cases you really can't tell the difference, however it also gives it all a somewhat cheaper look once the eyes have tuned in to it.
Castle Hill however is a really nice area, the view is absolutely breathtaking from up there and you can see far and wide around Nice and the coastline. Unfortunately there's not much left of the old castle that once stood there but it has some quite interesting Greek inspired art pieces to present to it's admirers. The cemeteries upon the hill are all quite fascinating, especially the Catholic one which houses some really elaborate graves!
While we where there a cannon was fired from within one of the cemeteries. This is a tradition that goes back a long time from when the commander of the city grew tired of people always being late for lunch so he brought up a cannon from a ship and fired it every day to signal the start of lunch. After his death the people of Nice
kept up with the practice and now it is a tradition. The funniest about it though was that despite two warnings from François the bang scared the living hell out of Andreas, he jumped five feet in the air and then ducked down into cover. I thought this was very funny and I laughed my ass off and hugged Andreas.
As we came down from the Castle Hill François said goodbye to us and returned home to rest and eat while me and Andreas continued on to the Promenade of the English. On the way we stopped by the tourist information and picked up some information about Monaco, Antibes and Cannes. We shared a good number of laughs with a guy on the staff there who was really cool and friendly. The tourist centre is located in the Promenade du Paillon which is well worth a visit in it's own right, it's a beautiful park and we enjoyed a well earned rest.
Down on the Promenade of the English me and Andreas sat down again for quite some time, just admiring all the beautiful women around, they are in quite an abundance here and sitting there all sweaty
I must admit that I kind of felt like a beast looking at them. Once we had walked the whole course of the Promenade of the English we set our sights on the Saint Nicholas Russian Cathedral but it was unfortunately closed due to renovations. Luckily the Saint Peter's Arena Church was open so we visited that on the way. Therefore we switched target to the quite modern Church of Joan of Arc which has a really interesting architecture! Again though, this one was also closed. We also sat down for a while in the peaceful Alsace & Lorraine Park. We also decided to visit the Basilica of Our Lady de Nice but it was also closed.
On our way back we decided to get something to eat and ended up at a place with a really funny yet somewhat snotty owner and a beautiful and friendly waitress whom I spent quite some time talking to before we left, we especially discussed the new terrorist attacks as the news was on during our dinner. Since the food was really good and the staff nice we will probably come back here again. Heck, they even managed to nail my steak
which I ordered to be somewhere between rare and medium. The poor owner even grunted when I ordered it but he certainly managed to pull it off! Best steak I ever ate!
When we returned to François we was unfortunately again reminded that there are other and far more terrible beasts out there than me and Andreas who enjoy the occasional glance at beautiful women. The news broadcast was filled with footage from the terrorist attacks in Sousse and Lyon and it's really disturbing, this is hitting closer and closer to home. Lyon is only a couple of hours away from here and a friend of mine was just about to leave for Sousse the day after.
This is the second time this year that I've been away travelling and learned about religious extremists attacking on French soil. When I was in Hong Kong earlier this year I watched the news about the attack on Charlie Hebdo together with my host Jody. Sometimes I feel such a sense of hopelessness for humanity with all of this religious and conservative extremism that is currently befalling our world. It feels as if humanity should have progressed beyond medieval beliefs by
now. I hope the world comes together soon to put an end to this medieval barbarism once and for all. This has no place in a modern society and needs to be beaten.
Since we're not that far from Lyon this area will be put on higher alert so we can expect to see a lot of police and military presence for the rest of our stay. I certainly hope nothing more happens here.
Tomorrow we will go to Monaco and visit this small state which will be quite nice. However, before we go there we will go up to the old Gallo-Roman settlement that is located not far from François apartment.
Until tomorrow I wish you all peace and happy travels!
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