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gorges du verdon

After finagling a two-person kayak on my own for half an hour, then turning around to head back to the shore to meet my group, the winds picked up, making my efforts to paddle very difficult. I gritted my teeth and put my back into it. Just then, an electric boat full of fellow yogis drifted by. “Need a tow?” I smiled and nodded. Sometimes a little help pays off, especially in such gorge-ous environs.

Eighteen years ago, when I was but a wee lass in college having her first tour of Europe, I and my then-boyfriend landed in Nice. We visited no museums. We had little money. And yet, the memories of those few days have stayed with me all this time. Returning to Nice after all this time was educational. Literally. I lucked out in connecting with Caterina Prochilo, the multi-lingual press coordinator for the Nice Côte d’Azur Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, who was kind enough to show me a side of Nice I hadn’t experienced all those years ago. Here’s what I learned…

Les Deux Garcons

If you haven’t read MFK Fisher’s Two Towns in Provence, I highly recommend it. One of the towns is Aix-en-Provence, a bustling, cheerful town that I’ve visited before. On this trip, my friends and I fortuitously landed at Fisher’s favorite restaurant, Les Deux Garçons, where she and her daughters dined regularly, watching the people rush by on the Cours Mirabeau. The restaurant retains its old-school charm (with a bit of reticent snobbery too, I believe), and is still a great perch for people-watching.