It might not seem logical, but our trip to the French Riviera started in Frankfurt. I traveled with world-renowned chef Thrainn Vigfusson and there are only a few direct ways out of Iceland. We flew to Frankfurt so we could train to Luxembourg, and then train all the way south through France to Marseilles. It took us nearly 4 days to get there, but its about the journey not the destination.
But this trip was kind of about the destination… just the description of the place says it all, the Mediterranean south coast of France. Côte d´azur, or the French Riviera (can anyone explain that translation?), is a slice of heaven in Europe, a micro-paradise where everything and everyone radiated. People must put more thought into fashion and fun than work or time, and the only difficult decision each day was to choose which beach we should laze longer on, or which rose wine might taste better with our already scrumptious food.
It was nearly thirty degrees every day, and being topless, barefoot, or in a see-through dress was commonplace anywhere. We rented a car and drove from Marseille to Nice, stopping at many quaint little towns on the way with either vineyards, polo horses, or another beach. We only had to split up our time between arts and culture, sand and sunshine, and food and wine. And when it came to food and wine, we only had to follow our noses and sit at the restaurant with the best view or the cutest decor. We zigzagged through old towns and city centers in St. Tropez, Cannes and Nice, and found remote beaches in La Seyne-sur-Mer and the Route du Sel south of Hyeres.
After getting to Nice and returning our rental car, a 30 minute train ride away awaited Monaco, the tiny independent country of 37,000 people squashed and layered into a 2.02 sq. km. country isolated between the sea and mountains. Famous for the Formula 1 car races, a notorious casino, former Princess Grace Kelly, and some of the highest high-fashion you can buy, I related most to the sun and sea. It was still fun to try and camouflage in, although Im not sure a couple of Icelandic backpackers could so easily be disguised.