To be completely honest, St. Tropez was never really on my "must visit" list once I switched study abroad locations from Tours to Nice. It is a good few hours away via public transportation from Nice, and since Nice has enough beaches, shopping, and restaurants of its own, I didn't really see the need to make that type of a journey. I was more excited to visit Monaco (which I am still planning on doing!), since it is much closer, and there are more "attractions." But some of the friends that I made during my orientation day at my new language school in Nice seemed very dead set on visiting St. Tropez from the first day that I met them. So after my original plans to visit Monaco on Saturday fell through, I ended up tagging along with them to St. Tropez!
Getting their from Nice via public transportation is the cheapest option, but isn't the quicket or easiest feat. You first take a train from Nice to the small coastal city of Saint Raphael (which takes about an hour, and the train first stops in Cannes), and then you board a bus in Saint Raphael which will take you to St. Tropez. The bus ride, although very cheap, took almost two hours, and had little air conditioning, so just know what you're getting yourself into!! By the time that we all arrived we were more than ready to explore!
|One American student, four Spanish students, and one Swiss student take on St. Tropez!|
The bus station was very close to the old city (as well as the shopping areas), so we decided to do some sightseeing and window shopping first, before figuring out how to get to the beach. This proved to be a great decision, look at all the amazing stores and sights that we got to see!
Next up, it was time to hit the beach! We couldn't seem to find any beaches in walking distance to the part of the town that we were in, so we visited the office of tourism. The woman working there recommended that we take either a taxi or a bus to the other part of town, which had a spot called "Nikki Beach." She said that there was a pool club there which had a 4th of July Beach Party going on that was free to get into (and all that you had to pay for were drinks). I was especially excited to hear about that since I hadn't really done anything exceptionally patriotic or American yet that day! ;-) So we all decided to split a taxi fair, and had it drop us off at Nikki Beach.
Well, what the office of tourism failed to tell us is that Nikki Beach St. Tropez is a pool club for Europe's Millionares. The parking lot leading into the club was filled with Bentleys, Ferraris, Porsches....the BMWs looked like the cheap cars! As soon as we approached one of the bouncers, just by looking at our group (and our touristy looking beach bags) they wouldn't let us in. But after one of the guys in our group talked to the bouncer for a bit, they somehow came to an agreement that the girls in our group were dressed well enough to "go in quickly and take a look around," but the guys and our stuff had to wait outside.
I wish that I had been able to take in my phone or camera so that I could have taken pictures! It was absolutely insane, and seriously a once in a lifetime experience. I felt like I was walking through a music video, showing how the richest people in the world party on the Mediterranean. (The drink menu at the bar showed bottles of champagne that cost over 1500 euros!) Even though I don't have any pictures of my own from my little trip inside Nikki Beach, you can check out their official website for the St. Tropez location here.
We didn't stay long inside Nikki Beach since a.) it wasn't really our crowd, and b.) the guys were outside waiting for us with our stuff! Once we left, we headed to the nearby public beach, which was still gorgeous!! The ocean water was fairly warm here, so all of us went swimming (after getting some pictures!).
|And the awkward jumping picture award goes to...|
We couldn't stay at the beach for too long, because our long journey back to Nice via taxi, bus and train was about to start all over again. But all in all, the day in St. Tropez was one that I will never forget! What a special little part of France's Southern coast.
The next day though (yesterday), I woke up with a terrible migraine, very bad cramps, and just kind of all around didn't feel well. As amazing as my day trip had been, I think that I overdid it a little bit between all of the traveling and the extreme heat and humidity! If there's one important thing that I've learned in college so far, it's the importance of listening to your body when too much is too much. So Sunday has been a very chill day for me! I stayed inside my host family's house and tried to rest as much as I possibly could. I have an extra day off from school this week, and I want to use that day to explore and see as much more of the area as I can, and not come down with any sicknesses!
xoxo Miss ALK
P.S. My discount code with eShakti expires in just four days!! Be sure to check out their website now to see if you can find yourself any cute summer fashion goodies! :-) Use code SOUTHBELL35 for $35 off any purchase! :-)