It only took 20 years, but I made it back! In 1995, I went to Nice on a university exchange. Along with a group of 20 students from different southern Ontario universities, we enjoyed a year of “Nicoise” living. I lived at 8 Ave Shakespeare.
Obviously, Nice visiting was a must on our southern France leg of this trip. We booked our accommodations online through the Home Away site. The way these sites work, you are not given the address until you have confirmed the reservation. We did this the night before coming to Nice. I knew the apartment we had chosen was close to the train station. Imagine my surprise, when the address given was 13 Ave. Shakespeare, literally across the street from my old apartment!
Today was our first full day in Nice. We decided to simply wander. As we walked down the streets, the familiarity of the city slowly returned. Rue Gambetta, Promenade des Anglais, Rue de France (the zone piétone), Vieux Nice, ahhh, the number of times I wandered these streets 20 years ago. We also stumbled upon some of old hang-outs, including Gallérie Lafayette, our go to department store, and “Les trois diables”, our pub of choice.
Much has changed in Nice. There is now a tram running down Avenue Jean Médecin. Place Masséna seems to have undergone a major facelift with more fountains. Along Promenade des Anglais, there are beach cafés and restaurants (right on the beach). There are new modern buildings here and there that I am sure were not there 20 years ago, along with many more commercial and tourist stores through Vieux Nice.
The charm of Nice remains. The reason I loved Nice then, and now. As we wandered the streets, I remembered.