Peering out the tiny window pane, it seemed the plane would land on water. Ice topped mountains formed a beautiful backdrop to the buildings along the seafront. The sun glistened on the calm blue sea. I felt warm inside. AT.LONG.LAST.FRANCE!
The countdown for this trip had been pretty intense so I was both excited and nervous to finally be here. Nervous because there’s always that clause which says being granted a visa does not guarantee entry into the country. There is also a certain kind of scrutiny I sometimes get at immigration check points. I credit that to the large “ZIMBABWE” print on my passport cover. That, and the colour of my skin. Being black African, one is almost always suspected to have a hidden agenda. The queue moved fast, and my turn came quickly. I handed the immigration officer my passport. He gave it a quick glance before looking up at me with a friendly face and exclaiming, “ahhh, Zimbo! Welcome!”. This French immigration officer knew the slang term for Zimbabwean! I. WAS. DELIGHTED. The Riviera loved me, and I was going to love it back.
The drive from Nice to Antibes was lovely. It was a warm sunny Sunday. The mood on the streets was vibrant. Restaurant terraces were packed with diners and their dogs; I would soon learn that dining with dogs is order of the day in France.
According to the forecast, the night would be wet, so the day was not to be wasted. Bag drop, quick shower, and off to take a tour of the port. I was in rich people’s land! Port Vauban is lined with an array of beautiful yachts, some much bigger than others. Across the port are several offices in the marine and yacht business. I couldn’t help but wonder how much I would have to work before I could buy the smallest yacht in this port. #goals! Click the above image for a sneak peak.
The port’s wall was lined with groups of chatty young people, couples on a stroll and others walking their dogs. During this time of year, cold temperatures set in as the sun goes down, but it’s worth braving the cold. Watching the sunset over the sea was a joy. A perfect start to a thirty-day vacation in Europe which I’m thrilled to share with you!
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To be continued…
My suitcase was damaged on the flight. It took a few minutes to report the damage in the Nice Cote D’Azur Airport baggage handling office and walking out with a brand new four wheeled suitcase. It turns out it’s very common for hard plastic cases to get damaged during baggage handling. The old style soft material cases are better for this. If you ever need to purchase new luggage, go for soft.