This is the start of something quite beautiful ... Solo traveling!
Many of you who know me personally will know, I've always had this urge to go and see places around the world. The word 'holiday' gets me excited and has me jumping around shouting out the destinations I'd love to go and see!
I cannot take five to six months off to actually go travelling, so I thought why not start it off with a solo destination once in a while instead? That way I don't have to leave any commitments I have and can still see what the world has to offer.
I had been talking about wanting to have a break and going away abroad for a while, it came to a point where I was genuinely fed up of waiting for the right time to book a holiday. So one morning, whilst at work I booked my flights to the South of France, to Nice! This was two weeks before the departure date too, so you can imagine how exciting and last minute this would have been!
The packing began, I tried my best to pack as lightly as possible but I think that failed because I had to purchase an extra bag for the flight back!!
Anyway, I caught my flight to Nice from London Gatwick airport. This in itself was a little bit of a long winded journey, as I had to get the train from Birmingham New Street to London Euston, the tube from Euston to Victoria Square and then the Gatwick Express from Victoria Square to Gatwick airport!!
The flight wasn't too long, it was a lovely journey with beautiful views. I still remember the feeling I had when we flew over the Alps ... The view was incredible, nothing like I've seen before. Truly mesmerising.
We landed in Nice and it was around 6:30pm, I had already planned my journey from the airport to my Airbnb before hand so I hopped onto the 98 bus from outside the airport to Old Nice. The bus journey itself was even more beautiful, you could see the seafront from the main road. The gorgeous palm trees, the sun shining down and glistening off the ocean ... I felt at ease just looking at what was in-front of me. That's exactly what I needed!
The bus journey wasn't very long at all, Old Nice was a 30 minute journey from the airport. I got to my location where I was staying and it was an apartment based in the heart of the small alley streets of Nice. Once I arrived to my Airbnb, I was greeted by my host who was absolutely lovely! She was an American lady who had been living in France for years. After introducing myself and having a little tour around the apartment and taking a good time to take in the balcony views, I decided to call it a night.
Here's the view from the apartment balcony:
As you can imagine, I was in awe of the views from the balcony and just the place in general as soon as I arrived. The atmosphere was very relaxed, it wasn't anything like the hustle and bustle you see and feel in a city like Birmingham. It was completely different ...
This was my first proper day in Nice, so I wanted to take my time to explore to area and get myself familiar with the alley streets of Veux Ville. It wasn't something I was used to, it almost felt like a labrinth walking through this intertwining streets not knowing where you'd end up!
I didn't have a plan, I was pretty spontaneous and carefree with this entire trip. I simply went with it and just saw where the day would take me. With this said, my first day was pretty relaxed as I walked through the old streets of Nice and found a few little eateries.
I found a little breakfast cafe, five minutes from where I was staying and had a cool omelette to start off my day. I didn't go too far out as I wanted to figure out what this place was all about ... Why was it so relaxed here, I found it unusual as I'm not used to it but so pleasant. Towards the late afternoon after walking through the markets, small shops and a few stops for food, I did make it to the beautiful pebble beach!
Alongside the old town, this was my favourite spot. The planes flying above the ocean, the sound of the waves and the warmth of the sun ... It was peaceful.
Today was all about spending the day in Monaco! My Airbnb host was extremely kind enough to give me directions to the local bus stop as well as provide me with a list of things to do during my day trip in Monaco and Monte Carlo. The bus was cheap as chips and only cost me 1.50 Euros each way! The bus journey was incredible, it was a 30 minute drive of panoramic views of the seafront - the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.
Once I arrived in Monaco, I visited the rock of Monaco (Rocher De Monaco) where I climbed right to the top and saw the palace!
After this, it was simply all about exploring the local area and having a walk around. I found my way to the famous casino and the restaurant Cafe de Paris where I had my lunch! If you know me personally then you will know that I am a big foodie and love going to restaurants any chance I get!
Once I had my lunch, I took a little walk around the area and found myself walking down beautiful small pathways heading towards the seafront. The views were breathtaking! The trip to Monaco was ideal as I spent the entire day there, in the evenings the bus back to Nice isn’t as regular so leaving at a convenient time is what I would recommend.
As soon as I was back from Monaco, I enjoyed the rest of the early evening again wandering around the streets of Nice. I stumbled across Masenna Square where the shopping centre Gallerie Lafayette was based (the Selfridges equivalent). Whilst walking back to the beach, I found a hair dressers and decided to spontaneously book myself in for a hair cut for the day before I was flying out, why not ey?
I really liked the look of Masenna Square and wanted to take some stuff back home so decided this was my day to get all of my shopping and final bit of exploring complete.
I picked up the best treats from Gallerie Lafayette! I didn't purchase anything as everything that was in Nice, I could buy when I returned to the UK. After the shopping and additional exploring, it was time for my spontaneous hair appointment.
The moment I stepped into the salon for my appointment, it was like I was in a chic flick. I was rushed to my seat, given a herbal tea and had three hairstylists speaking in french and playing with my hair! The experience was surreal, the head hairstylist wanted to freestyle and cut my hair super short, but I had to explain that that wasn't what I wanted. It was a surreal yet amazing feeling, I felt like I was a celebrity haha! Of course, that isn't the case and it was most likely due to the fact they may not have seen hair as long as mine which is why the three stylists decided to surround me!
I walked out of the salon with a beautiful blow-dry and JUST a trim with a few layers!
After a long tiring day exploring as much as I could, today was all about taking in my surroundings one final time before heading back to the UK. I took a stroll through old town, skipped through the markets and made my way to the promenade...
This is where I sat down, inhaled the smell of the ocean and reflected on my trip, on my experiences - it had really opened up my mind to what is in-front of me. I spent my entire morning here, embracing the sun and the sounds around me.
I didn't want to leave... It's a complete different lifestyle, culture and ambience but its beautiful.
My first solo trip was amazing, it was a life experience and I will do it again! Lets see where my next solo trip takes me...