Nov 2, 2009

Traveling Man

Some of my old posts about my travels in South France and some other spots...I'm getting the travel bug again...

Day 1: London, England
I landed briefly in London with an 8 hour layover which allowed me to stop in and check out the local scene for a bit. London is just like I imagined, gray, loud and diverse...from the words uttered on the train into town, "Fuckin'ell mate", I knew I was in London. I didn't have much time to wonder but this is an amazing town to people watch just like Paris. The London women dress with such a flair and pin ache it definitely is something to witness with their bright cherry red lipstick and tousled thrown about straw like hair London women have own their style.

I popped off to Leicester Square for a quick espresso and bite to eat and wondered into Piccadilly Square to check out the local market and some shops. Buckingham Palace is beautiful and again much like I imagined. I spotted some marvelous British teeth on an old cat wondering about the square...I would be hard pressed to say it was the worst looking grill I have ever seen. Before too long I had to be back at the air port and off to Nice. The London folk were very helpful in getting me to my plane fast and without much haste.

Day 2: Nice, France
The Nice air is soft and breezy with a bit of humidity...the palm trees and cliffs with Mediterranean tile roofs and white stucco are amazing...It suddenly brings me back to why Matisse and Picasso had such an infatuation for the south of France. The light hits the buildings and cobble stone streets bright and direct giving the landscape an amazing glow.

My hostel was a bit off the beaten path in winding roads and cobble stone streets...but it was such a lovely picturesque villa with wonderful terraces and stone stairs. I arrived around 2am and most of the hostel guests were asleep but the showers were clean and very well kept. I took a warm shower and crashed to awaken to the smell of espresso and fresh ocean air. I wondered downstairs for a quick bite and espresso and was out on my adventure.

When I arrived at the tram station I was amazed at how different Nice is. It was 9:30am on a Monday and people of all ages are wondering the streets. There are men playing cards at outdoor cafes and old women walking dogs. The old men look so damn cool with long curly stately gray hair and pressed trousers with brown wingtips and shiny belt buckles. You have the sense that people live life here as opposed of working to live. A women opens her shop while talking to someone passing the street. An old man passes me shouting, "Bon jour!" and then off for his morning espresso and paper.

The whole community seems to just coexist without fuss or hastle...I don't see the hustle and bustle of an American 9:30am. Instead of taking the train into the beach I wondered off the beaten path and decided to walk. After walking for about 4 miles I stopped off at a small grocery for an energy drink. As I approached the beach I could see the streets change. Chipped paint shutters turned into freshly painted shutters and shops went from grocery stores to Rolex and Versace. I knew I was approaching the coast.

As I stepped on the beach the turquoise colored water reminded me of blue punch and the rocky beach gave it a rugged look. The beach was filled with vacationers of every background, words in French, German, Spanish, Italian can be heard amidst the breaking of the waves. I declared my piece of real estate next to a family of older topless British women; not by choice I mind you. The whole topless thing came as a bit of a shock. I've heard the stories but, yes it is true. The beaches are very topless and very anything goes. But what amazed me is that amidst all the toplessness young children run and play in the ocean and it again all seems to just work.

I mean breasts are just breasts after all, right? All breasts aside...French women are amazing and carry an exotic sexiness that is hard to describe...French women are real and there's an honest beauty and quirky Bohemian allure. Their low cut beach dresses and deep golden tans with auburn or charcoal black hair commands all eyes from young and old, married or single. Towards the end of my beach visit I was finally able to unwind and enjoy a relaxing day a...Old French men sold watermelon and drinks on the beach, children played, young men gathered and cat called women, it was the beach in its purity and life at it's best. I sat back in amazement and took it all in...

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