Nice, home to the best hostel in the WORLD

November 23rd 2009
Published: November 29th 2009
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I had the best stay in Europe EVER in Nice! Though much of that had to do with the fantastic people I met in the most amazing hostel, Villa Saint Expury. I highly recommend it! Fantastic value for money. Free breakfast, internet, sheets and towel. Huge kitchen and lounge area and a great bar (with the most amazing chocolate brownies). The staff are awesome too. Only 18 euro when I stayed! (Okay, I have to shut up now.) A large group of us would just hang around drinking cheap wine (and beer. Yes, I actually drank beer and didn't hate it! One for the record books. And no, there was no lemonade in it either!) and chatting until the early hours. One night we headed out to Wayne's bar which has a fantastic live band. It's a real tourist bar though, everyone speaks English, but there was dancing on tables!

Appart from the night life the city of Nice itself is lovely too. 😊 It's a great city to just wander around both in the day and at night. Everyone keeps recommending the old quarter, but to be honest it isn't anything that special. I didn't even realise I'd walked
Nice beachNice beachNice beach

I never went for a swim there but my mates at the hostel said it was great.
through it the first time! The old town is basically a series of cramped lanes with little shops. It's fun for a leisurely stroll and a bit of window shopping (or gift shopping). It has a lot more atmosphere at night though.

A highlight for me was actually Le Chateau, which is a large garden on quite a steep hill. There's a man made waterfall and assorted ruins and stuff scattered around too. The best bit though is the amazing views across the bay. I just sat and watched the light change for a couple of hours (listening to my audio book. You've gotta love multi tasking).

The Monastere de Cimiez is worth a quick visit too. Every inch of it seems to be painted (mind you it's not exactly huge). The gardens around it and the park nearby are nice too. There's the Matisse Museum next door but sadly it's closed on Mondays as many places are in France. When you think about it that makes more sense than them closing on a Sunday though.

Another of my favourite thins was the Contemporary Art Gallery; not that I especially liked much of the permanent stuff on
The Palace of MonacoThe Palace of MonacoThe Palace of Monaco

Love the gardens in front of this building.
display but the temporary exhibition by Robert Longo was inspired. Large charcoal pictures executed so beautifully they looked like black and white photographs. Some images made interesting statements too. One had three large guns pointed straight at you. Couldn't help but think 'so THAt's what it's like to look down the barrel of a gun'. Despite just being a picture it makes you step back because it isn't expected. Tip: For those interested in going to the Natural History Museum my roommate Andrea said it was tiny and not really worth it.

From Nice it's also very easy to get to Monaco which is a recommened day trip. I've never been in a cleaner place. I can't explain exactly what seemed to make it feel so clean but it almost shone. Everything looked new, even if it was old. No chewing gum on the streets, or litter, or dogs droppings or ANYTHING. the buildings themselves seemed to gleam. It was a bit odd being in an outdoor setting and getting a sense of the shiny and new that you can't quite put your finger on. Monaco is also very beautiful, but there isn't a great deal to do. The
The 'Chapel'The 'Chapel'The 'Chapel'

The social room in our hostel. It's huge! Lurve the stained glass windows.
famous upper class casino doesn't open until 7pm and apparently you need to be dressed to the nines and pay to get in to boot. So naturally that wasn't an option for me. 😊 I did enjoy a walk along the harbour and the gardens in front of the place are stunning. There's a little Japanese garden hidden away nearby too (just follow the signs).

Sadly my stay in Nice had to come to an end. I would happily have moved into that hostel (and may see about getting a job there some time. Sadly they're not currently hiring off season.) So yes, it is true, Nice is very nice. 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 30, Displayed: 24


My roomie AndreaMy roomie Andrea
My roomie Andrea

Nooo idea what I was responding too but makes a funny pic!
Street signs in a PARKStreet signs in a PARK
Street signs in a PARK

Not only did I find it weird that they had street signs for each little path in a park, but each one was named for someone jazz related. Cool.
True thatTrue that
True that

In the contemporary art museum.
Robert LongoRobert Longo
Robert Longo

That large ball is completely made of bullets.
Charcoal sunCharcoal sun
Charcoal sun

Exhibition of Robert Longo in the Contemporary Art Gallery. Most of his pictures were quite large and done in charcoal but looked so photographic! I loved it.
So guess where this one's from?So guess where this one's from?
So guess where this one's from?

Yes that image is actually made of bread.
Now THAT'S recyclingNow THAT'S recycling
Now THAT'S recycling

A dress made of bottles.
Flower MarketFlower Market
Flower Market

They seem to have one in every town. You don't see many people buying though. I don't know how they make any money.
Glowing peopleGlowing people
Glowing people

The picture really doesn't do the square justice. They were great to look up at. And life size too.

Not 'Drive Through', but McDrive. Made me laugh.
In Wayne's BarIn Wayne's Bar
In Wayne's Bar

Somehow my glasses manage to look skewed in most of the pics from this night yet they didn't appear skewed wehn I was wearing them!
Get tha party started!Get tha party started!
Get tha party started!

The music was AWESOME! We didn't stay sitting for long. :)

30th November 2009

Robert Longo
Can't say I've heard of him but his stuff looks interesting. Love your hostel window. We also liked Nice and Monaco. Do they still have the sculpture exhibition in the gardens opposite the "Posh" casino? they made a wonderful addition to the gardens. I'm fairly certain one of the side lanes in that Monaco Garden also had a small Woolamai Pine ( you remember the prehistoric one they found in Northern Territory somewhere and cloned so collectors wouldn't try and dig it up). I was very surorised to see it there. We don't have any in our Botanical Garden as far as I know. We couldn't get into the casino either and the guards were watching us very carefully as they had a photographic exhibition in the large foyer area, which you could see for free, but they didn't want you sneaking into the casino afterwards!!
1st December 2009

If they did have that tree I wouldn't have recognised it anyway. Nope, no sculptures. :)

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