THE WANDERLOST JOURNALS: The Nice Vieux

Vieux Nice: Day 6
(24.8.2014)

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On this very day, we set out to explore the Old Village of Nice, also known as Vieux Nice. Vieux is pronounced “view.”

We were hunting for a lunch spot when we heard something that sounded very much like a gunshot in the distance. We froze. Until today, I still don’t know if it was an actual gunshot. It could’ve just been a punctured tire, but that must’ve been one humongous tire to have produced such an explosion.

Anyway, after days of eating baguette and fresh cheese for nearly every meal, Gloria and I decided that since it was Stephen’s last day in Nice with us, we wanted to treat him to a nice lunch. The restaurant that we picked turned out to be Italian instead of French, but the food was delicious.

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In France, the culture is such that people are so good at savoring moments. When it comes to food, they can spend FOUR HOURS at a restaurant over a simple meal. My mind was blown. Four hours is a really long time. You could fly from Paris to Nice and back to Paris, and still make it home in time for dinner. When it comes to people-watching, the French have it polished to perfection. They will angle their chairs so that they’ll get the full view of passers-by, and they’ll talk to each other while having their eyes pinned on the strangers strolling in front of them. I found this rather amusing.

Lunch at O’Palermo was good. The calzone was stuffed with ham and warm mozarella that oozed out when Stephen sliced it open. The grilled calamari was chewy and fresh — I’d never tasted anything like it. I’ve always only had fried calamari, but this was way healthier and yummier. We also tried the Capriciosa pizza, which was a ginormous platter topped with olives, pepperoni, mushrooms and lots of cheese. It was heaven.

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After an hour of carb-overload, we took a bus to the small town of Cimiez for a few hours. There wasn’t a whole lot to do over there, so we came back and started exploring Vieux Nice instead.

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Vieux Nice was fairly quiet. We passed a little grocery store where a bunch of actors were filming an episode for a popular French TV series. And then we saw more colorful houses with shutter windows and vintage lamps pinned on the side of the buildings.

One of the must-dos if you’re ever in Vieux Nice is Castel Hill. It’s about a 20-minute climb (or less, I took 20 minutes because I was exhausted) to the top, where you get a stunning view of Nice.

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And that concludes Nice!

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