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Craziness in Nice

Travelogue Entry
Tags: Nice
City: Nice, France
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I was planning on leaving Florence on a night train, but there are no longer night trains from Florence to Nice. I figured I would just take the latest train, arriving in Nice at around 1am. At that point I would put my stuff in a locker and head out into the city and shoot a bunch of night photography.

I arrived in Nice to find the baggage lockers unavailable, so I headed off into the town with all my stuff (luckily I packed light). Before I even made it out of the train station I ran into a very heated dispute between a guy and rail security. Once outside, things remained interesting. Everywhere there were groups of 5-10 people that set off my internal alarm bells. It was becoming apparent that this was going to be an interesting night. My instincts kicked in and I started noting places that were still open, blind spots, exit paths, and of course, all of the people.

Since I had all my stuff with me, I did not want to do a lot of walking, so I camped out in front of a church where I was mostly hidden and had lots of exits. From there I was able to see the shadows of everyone who approached, and was rarely noticed. I stayed there for a while, but was starting to get tired and did not want to risk falling asleep with so much valuable stuff with me. I headed off again, this time trying to find somewhere I would feel comfortable sleeping. There were Best Westerns all over the place, but they were all closed. I started ringing their reception desks anyway to see if I could work something out with someone. One of them answered, so I explained my situation and asked if there was any way he would be able to find me a place to crash for a few hours for 40 euros. His hotel was fully booked, but one of his guests had left. He had that room, but it was not clean and ready for guests. He agreed to give me the room for 40 euros with some clean bedding if I was out before 7am when the next shift came in. Since it was going to get me off the street, I took it and got about 4 hours of sleep.

At about 6:30 I headed into the old city and enjoyed the sunrise along the beautiful coastline. I got a baguette and cheese and sat on the beach for breakfast. At about 9:00 I headed up to the train station to figure out my trip to Barcelona. I was hoping to take a night train to Barcelona, but none were available. The latest train to Barcelona was at 11:00am. Deciding I would rather spend my time there, I booked it and off I went again.

This leg seemed to be a comedy of errors because the 8 hour trip from Nice to Barcelona ended up taking 15 hours. After a pretty crazy day and a half, I made it safe and sound to Barcelona.