I feel the need to caveat this whole thing by reminding you that I’m Australian. Therefore my expectations when visiting the beach are very high; fine white sand, clear blue waters and swaying palm trees are the norm. Maybe it’s just that this wasn’t what I was expecting, but it didn’t really seem up to scratch.
We were in Nice, France staying right on the Cote d’Azur on the Promenade des Anglais with the Mediterranean sparkling in the warm European sun. The hotel had a private section of beach which at 30€ per person seemed like extortion but you did get your own blue and white striped sun lounger and matching beach towel. You definitely needed the lounger as the beach was not covered in fine sand but rather large black pebbles which were painful to stand on so lying out on your towel on the rocks didn’t seem very appealing.
Lazing on the lounger watching the smooth ocean was very relaxing. As long as you didn’t roll over and get an eyeful of topless middle age European lady. Is it just an Australian thing to keep your bathers on?
The water took your breathe away, literally, it was freezing. And this was in September in the Mediterranean which is practically still summer. I jumped in off the pier, because wading in on the painful stones was just not an option, paddled around so I can say I’ve done it and then hobbled back up the beach to my lounger.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an unpleasant experience. I just don’t get the hype. You always hear about Europeans flocking to the south of France and the Riviera in the summer to go to the beach, why?
There are plenty of reasons to visit Nice. Swimming at the beach just isn’t one of them!