Nice

Nice was Ok. It was a bit like a ghost town. If you've ever been to a beach town in the winter, and seen that most of the places are closed, well, thatís about it. I got in late, and found a hotel room. I walked around for a bit, but just about everything was closed. I was glad to be back somewhere that I knew enough of the language to get around. (Nice is in the south of France for those who didnít pay attention during geography class). I got something to eat and went back to my hotel to finish my book. It was good. I'd recommend it to anyone that enjoys autobiographies, or has ever dreamed of beating the system. Beating it senseless in this case.

I woke up the next day, and went for a walk on the boardwalk. It was a little more festive today. As I walked along the boardwalk, I saw a lot of people jogging, mostly women. The crazy thing is that they're all wearing full jewelry. Earrings, chains, bracelets, the whole 9 yards. I guess if you live in the French Riviera, you can go jogging however you please, huh. It was comical. I stopped for a little bit on the beach, and began to read my other book, "The Alchemist".

I wandered back to town, and finally decided to get my train ticket out of there. I knew I was going to leave tonight since I arrived, but for some reason, I didnít get my ticket when I came in to town (this would have been logical), and I didnít get my ticket when I got up and started my day (this, too, would have been logical), but instead I wait until the random time of 3:30 to get my ticket. As I was walking in (I only planned to be in the station for 5 minutes), Val and Amy were walking out (after only being there 5 minutes). Nice was large enough that had that co-incidence not occur, we never would have met up. We almost simultaneously chimed "can you believe how little there is to do in this town!!?" I got my ticket and we headed out to look around town.

We did end up finding a pretty cool little fair. It was like the winter festival. They had carnival rides, all sorts of booths, and this neat little winter wonderland that was like a man-made forest that had these painted white trees. The lights above would change colors every 10 seconds or so, giving the illusion that the trees were changing colors. It was pretty neat. As finely honed as my French skills were, it didnít prevent me from getting suckered in to buying 60 francs ($12) worth of gummy bears. I asked how much, she said something, it sounded reasonable, she weighed it, I wasnít allowed to put them back, and didnít have the skills to argue. $12 later, I had a pretty upset stomach.

Val and Amy were so much fun. I was looking forward to partying with them on new years. We decided we'd swap e-mail addresses, as we actually lived pretty near to each other back in the states, but no one had a pen, so we decided just to swap them in Florence. We went to the train station together, as they were headed north to visit some of Val's family in Innsbruck, but we had all the plans set to meet up in Florence. I never saw them again.

Venice....