Friday, November 30, 2012

Nice Nice

Hello people of the internets.

First up, my holiday to Europe was pretty awesome. Thank you so much to Pish Posh, Forever Conflicted, and Michael D’Agostino for looking after my blog while I was away. If you haven’t checked them out yet please do so. 
During my absence I ran a competition for the best comments on each post to win a copy of my new book, as an added incentive to go back and check out the blog-sitters, I will extend the competition deadline. Check out the three guest posts and my favourite comment on each post will win a copy of “Tales from the Sleepy Dragon” containing a short story written by me.

The GF and I stopped over in Nice on our way to Italy. Nice is one of the larger cities in France, has a population well over 7 and lives on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It has busy shopping districts full of big brands, counterfeit big brands, and a fusion style cuisine influenced by it being a gateway to every country the Mediterranean Sea touches. Nice has sister cities all over the world, that it displays proudly on its chest, namely Edinburgh in Scotland, Huston in Texas, Miami in Florida and Cape Town in South Africa. If any of these sister cities has daughter cities let Nice know because they would like a nice niece city of Nice.

Not an attraction of Nice
Have you ever ventured to a location expecting awesome but met with mediocrity? Then Welcome to Nice. It is a beautiful city, full of old buildings and history, but this is Europe where every city is full of old buildings and history. To stand out, you are going to have to take it up a notch. Nice has a reputation of being warm, beachy, social, drunk, and a biscuit.

It is home to a stretch of beach full of men and women wearing fewer clothes than their age agrees with, and if this was Australia all of them would have died from skin cancer. Our sun doesn't mess around. It punches through the ozone here.

But that is where the problems started. Australia has nothing but coastline, and it is not unusual in the country to find a truly deserted beach where you are the only people within cooee (yes that’s a thing). You are however statistically unlikely to see a topless sun bather on our beaches, but you are likely to have sand. And I think sand is important in a beach scenario and would be one of the top two ingredients.

The concierge at the hotel recommended the beach, so both the GF and I had high expectations. We walked the intoxicating streets of Nice towards the coast. Days of travelling and trains was starting to get to us, and a dip in the ocean was on the cards.

All right, let’s get started on that sand castle
Alas, the people of Nice need to raise their expectations of what constitutes a "nice beach". I like to have sand to lie on. The only sand on the main beach of Nice, was formed into tight, hard groups millions of years ago, something I think all geologist would agree, are known as rocks. The only sand about the place was in a patch near a bar, and you needed to rent it, and there is no way I can justify renting sand. The world is full of it for crying out loud! Why would you pay for something that is free everywhere else?

Sand castles are just going to have to wait, I guess I'm going to have to look at all these real castles.

What's something someone has tried to sell you that is generally free?