Astrid van Uden

Wild, Wonderful, Unexpected Journey Through Life

Hiking to Eze Village

I have been wanting to hike the Nietzsche Path from Eze-sur-Mer to Eze Village ever since I came to Nice and googled “Hiking on the Cote d’Azur”. Well, this weekend I finally got around to doing so, the weather has cooled considerably since September began and by considerably I mean it has gone from an average of 31 degrees to an average of 25 with a lot more cloud cover.

Hiking in July or August is near impossible with the heat and humidity, I can’t even walk to the grocery store 500m down the road without breaking into a massive sweat. So now that the sun isn’t so harsh it is definitely time to check out those hiking trails I have been reading about for the past three months.

It was super easy to get to, just catch the train to Eze-sur-Mer (“Eze by the sea”), just 15 minutes from Nice, and the trail starts just 200m down the road from the train station. I have been to Eze Village once before, by car, for lunch. It is a beautiful old (expensive) medieval town 1,400 ft above sea level known for it’s charm, beauty and incredible views of the Mediterranean Sea. The oldest building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix and dates back to 1306. The Nietzsche Path is named after Friedrich Nietzsche, a German Philosopher and Poet who lived in one of the oldest houses in Eze and often took the walk from the sea up to the village.

They say it will take 1-1.5 hours to get up but I think I got there in about 50 minutes, including plenty of time for pictures on the way. Now, the hike was no Grouse Grind but it was still pretty difficult and I was surprised to see people tackling the hike not wearing the appropriate footwear, the rocks and stairs were incredibly uneven, the terrain was loose and it was very easy to lose your footing. Definitely not a casual stroll in the park and not something I would want to be doing in jandals.

Despite my thinking that the temperature had dropped enough for this to be a comfortable hike, I was very wrong, the rocks soaked up every ounce of heat and radiate it right back at you as you are making your way up the mountain and there is really no respite from the heat at all. Thank godness I had my insulated Polar Bottles full of Skratch Labs to keep me hydrated, without those bottles my water would have been boiling in a heartbeat! They are seriously lifesavers in the heat.

The views as you walk up the climb were incredible looking out across the ocean, I am so glad I finally got out and did it. Once I hit Eze Village, although having already been once before (it’s not every big), I walked around the tiny alley ways of the village, grabbed some water, visited the church and made my way back down the mountain for a much deserved swim at the beach! All in all, the walk took me 1.5 hours (not including stopping time), and I will definitely be back to hike it again once I have ticked off all the other hikes on my list!

Hello, it’s me. Did you miss me?

Hello, it’s me. Did you miss me? I did. It’s been a month since I last blogged, I told myself I was going to get better but alas, here I am a month on, finally putting fingertips to keyboard (pen to paper sounds so much better but that would be a lie).

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The Last 24 Hours.

It was just a normal Thursday. I had dinner in Monaco with Factor Bikes owners, Baden and Rob, I got the train home around 9.30pm hoping to make it back in time to head down to the beach and watch the Bastille Day fireworks display. I dropped my laptop at my apartment, grabbed a beer from the fridge and started walking down in the direction of the Promenade des Anglais. About halfway there, I turned around. I went home.

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Three Weeks in the South of France

I have been in Nice almost three weeks now and I’m finally moving into an apartment this weekend, I’ve had both my passports stolen, I’ve had some crazy nights out watching the Euro 2016 football and I’ve surprisingly remembered a whole lot of my high school French.

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Don’t Lose Your Passport…Trust me

It’s that one thing all travelers dread. You get to your hotel after hours and hours (or days in my case) of travel and your passport is nowhere to be seen. You check all your bags, even though you know which one it should be in, surely there has been a mistake and you’ve just misplaced it in another bag. But alas, after pulling out everything you own, it’s confirmed it’s gone.

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A Week in Ostende

What a whirlwind past ten weeks it has been – my week in Ostende, Belgium with the USA Paracyling team marked the end of an incredible trip to Europe that started with the UCI Paracycling Track World Championship in Italy in early March.

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Imagine if the Tour of the Gila was on TV

Imagine if the Tour of the Gila was on television.

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The Netherlands Part Two – Bikes Bikes Bikes

After returning to The Netherlands from France, I found my way to the south west of the country to the area where Dad spent some of his life as a child. Not far from Rotterdam, I stayed with the sister of one of his classmates and her husband. Despite not seeing each other for 30 years, they have kept in touch and they very kindly gave me a bed for a week.

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The Netherlands Part One – Amsterdam

London 8pm: I had trained three hours to get to the airport, waited in the security line for 45 minutes, my flight was delayed, I was exhausted and then I checked my reservation.

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