I've experienced quite the contrast going from one extreme to another. Naples is real, in your face, dirty, and completely nonpretentious. Nice is upscale, sophisticated, and spotless. In Naples, you are always on your toes, always watching your own things to make sure nothing gets snatched. Here you are more or less invisible, watching all the exorbinantly rich people flaunt their fancy things. I love the beauty of Nice and the honesty of Naples.
My final day in Naples, I had the privilage of meeting an amazing fellow female solo traveler who is on her own soul searching mission. We got lost in the busy, caotic streets, loving every minute of it. Another fascinating conversation was sparked, leaving me with an enriched perspective on life and a few pointers to live by. It was a perfect follow up to the late night discussion I delved into with a few other hostel dwellers the previous evening, covering everything from philosphy, religion, politics, to spirituality and the meaning of life. Deep, interesting, heated at times, most of all enlightening. The group at this hostel impressed me in their maturity and awareness. We didn't need a ton of booze and empty conversation to fill the time. We skipped right to the good stuff and I therefor bonded with them imediately. I miss Naples for it's in-your-face approach and blatent honesty, not to mention the incredible pizza. The chewy dough, sweet sauce, and creamy mozzarella were out of this world... I didn't even mention Capri and Pompi, which blew my mind too. Ah, Naples...
Today has suprised me in Nice. I made the first train out to Cannes this morning for the film festival with a fellow hostel dweller from Chicago. We watched the various industry folks strut through the busy scene, preparing for the high profile guests to arrive. Hollywoood was everywhere and I couldn't get over the lavish people all around us. The yachts lining the harbor were impressive, but nothing compared to our next destination for the afternoon. Monaco was dripping with cash, from the multimillion dollar boats to the most extravagant vehicles. Today was day one, the time trials, of the Grand Prix, and some how we managed to enjoy hours of the racing experience, up close and personal. My ears are still ringing and I still have an buzz from the edreniline of being so close to the action. Cannes film festival and breakfast, Monaco Grand Prix and lunch, old town of Nice for dinner. Not a bad way to spend a beautiful sunny day in south France!
This trip has been rolling on now for over 60 days and it still does not seek to amaze me. Tomorrow I head for Brussels to see my great new friends who I parted with back in Viennna and will cap off the trip in London. Sad to see the days winding down to a finish, but I am completely content with every ounce of this trip and can't wait to start planning the next amazing adventure when I face the US again.