France - Paris and Nice
By Rick Chapo
From beaches to the alps, France has a little of something for everyone. In this article, we take a look at Paris and the beach city of Nice.
It is hard to know where to start when discussing Paris. Take a boat down the Seine River and you will pass Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and so many other notable spots it is easy to get overwhelmed. The city is simply that dramatic.
Long considered the most glamorous city in Europe, Paris has a little of everything. For the romantic, one can visit the haunts of famous writers, historical sites of just about every nature and the Moulin Rouge.
On the other hand, art lovers can spend weeks visiting the 100 plus museums in the city with, of course, the Louvre being the crown jewel. Personally, I found the Rodin Museum just as interesting, particularly since there was a much smaller crowd.
Perhaps the best way to experience Paris is just to wander around. Yes, take a few days to visit the notable tourist traps"err, destinations. Once you get tired of standing in crowds, walk out of your hotel and just keep on going. You will find little neighborhoods with eccentric characteristics to make you smile. As you plod along, real cafes and gathering places will become apparent. Make sure you visit them as the locals in these neighborhoods are very friendly and funny.
Nice is a small beach city just to the east of Cannes in the south of France. It is an odd mix of old world charm and beach culture. In and of itself, there is nothing particular about Nice when compared to Cannes with the exception of the prices. They are significantly cheaper and you get pretty much the same thing.
One extremely positive thing about Nice is the launching factor. Nice is close to everything and a natural launching point to go practically anywhere in the general region. You can hop on a train to the east and be in Monaco in 15 minutes. You can take a 20 minute minivan trip inland to learn how to make cheese and soap. Thankfully, this isn't the same location.
France is a diverse country with a rich history. It can be easy to overdose on the volume of things to see, but you can't do much worse than just walking out your door and exploring. Remember, those boots were made for walking.