As a 17-year-old I went to the French Riviera, a famous Mediterranean glamorous beauty for my graduation trip. A five days long journey we started one warm evening in Varaždin and after 14 hours of bus ride we settled at hotel Azur in Nice. Hotel’s exterior was modest and at first glance it didn’t delight us, but the interior was nicely decorated, with everything you need in double or triple rooms. But the hotel wasn’t located in attractive nor idyllic area – a poor neighborhood in which quarrel and fight are common. The hotel was only 10 minutes from the tram station that leads to the center of Nice. Trams are modern there, unlike ours in Zagreb, but also more expensive and with frequent and strict control, so we only once took the tram, just to try it , and it was nicer to walk half an hour to the beautiful turquoise coast.
The weather was great – warm and sunny, so we were able to swim in the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Promenade de Anglais walkway stretches about 6 kilometers along the coast , where during the summer nights there is a little dance floor where young people dance in the rhythm of music. The other option for having fun and dancing was going to the night clubs which are very expensive, so just for entering the night club you could pay around 15 euros, not to mention the prices of drinks – for example, juice-vodka could cost you 25 euros, which was not acceptable for high school budget.
However, since we were on school trip, we had to learn something while we were there. So we visited Matisse Museum in Nice and of course Monaco and Monte Carlo. Monaco, the city-state, which I remembered for Monaco’s princess and American actress, the beautiful Grace Kelly, who lost her life when she was a 52 year old, in a car accident when driving to Monte Carlo. In Monaco I enjoyed Jardin Exotico de Monaco, a wonderful botanical garden from which you can see the luxurious Monte Carlo, Principality of Monaco known for its casinos, the Monaco Grand Prix, World Championship in boxing and unavoidable fashion and luxury contents.
Cannes, famous for its film festival (Le Festival International du Film de Cannes), held in May in Palais des Festivals, and beautiful sandy beaches – La Croisette, was our next stop. I was particularly impressed with Walk of Fame, where many movie stars and other famous but significant people left their palm prints. But enjoying the view of the beautiful blue sea and walking on warm sandy beaches was priceless.
Last stop of our graduation trip to the Côte d’Azur was the most fragrant place, not only in the Côte d’Azur, but in the whole France – Grasse. The center of the French perfume industry, one of the best in the world. We had the opportunity to visit a “demonstration” factory in which friendly staff has guided us through the entire process of production of perfume.
By: Ema Vuković