This past weekend I took the train and spent two days in Nice. I will try to avoid the conventional “Nice is nice,” to describe my time there, though yes. Nice is, in fact, very nice.
Nice is a very lively city, and seemed to be even more so because there was a jazz festival happening that week, so the Place Massena was a buzz with people and performers. I decided that I wanted to take part in the jazz fest at least one of the nights I was there, so I asked around whether I should go Friday or Saturday night. The responses I got were all the same. “Oh, tonight! It is The Gypsy Kings tonight!” “Gypsy Kings! Super!” and when I said I didn’t actually know who these Gypsy Kings were, the responses were also all the same. “No! It cannot be true!” ”You don’t know Gypsy Kings??” And so I thought, well I guess I had better go and see The Gypsy Kings. And so I did and my goodness were they fantastic. The music started and all at once everyone was dancing and singing. I danced too and pretended like I knew who The Gypsy Kings were all along. It was also really neat because I later learned that they are originally from Arles! Funny how things like that all come together.
While walking along the beach that same night I came across a beach volleyball court where all of a sudden a little boy ran up to me and asked, in French, if I wanted to play. But I didn’t hear him the first time he spoke so I said, “Quoi?” and he looked at me and said, “You. Speak. English?” to which I said, “Yes, but I speak French too,” at which point he was already leading me by the hand to the volleyball court where there was a large group of people, mostly around my age. So I joined this group of people that ended up being partially from Nice, partially from Washington D.C. We played for hours and shouts of “I got it!” and “C’est moi!” intermingled in the air. It was incredibly cool to see a group of strangers from different places come together and get along so naturally.
During my two nights in Nice I stayed at a hostel (Villa Saint Exupery Beach Hostel, two thumbs up if anyone’s going to Nice) with a free breakfast and free walking tour which are the criteria I look for in a hostel. I loved being back amongst people who have that passion for places and want nothing more than to travel all of their days, hearing where they’ve been and where they’re going next, sharing stories from places we have both come to know. It’s cool. It’s really, really something special that I have gotten to experience this summer.
Back to Arles where the festivities continue! Les Suds à Arles music festival began this week, and with the Photography Festival still in full swing, there’s always something to see.
Until next time,
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<div><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hello! My name is Hannah Jacobsma. I am a French and English double major at Hope College. I am studying abroad in Arles this summer for six weeks, and couldn't be more stoked! To explore and be immersed in this culture, meeting people of all kinds along the way, is what I look forward to the most. I'd love to share my journey with you all, and tell you stories along the way. ~Peace and Blessings</span></div>