Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Back to the French Riviera; having been in Nice 3 times, I've seen quite a bit of its environs. I have taken the narrow gauge train from Nice to Digne les Bain to see the lavender fields. It's a long 3 hour train ride each way. It passes Entrevaux, a lovely medieval town. I didn't have time to stop. I've been to many of the hill towns outside of Nice including Grasse, Eze, St Paul de Vence and Vence. I've also been to Monte Carlo and Menton. The coastline between Nice and Menton is spectacular. I love old Nice. I've never stopped and visited any of the towns south of Nice, only saw them from the train as it passes them on my way to Marseilles and beyond, whether it be Avignon or Toulouse. I visited Marseilles in my earlier forays to Europe when I was so scared and unsure of myself. Today I am much traveled and much more intrepid. There is a cute little restaurant in old Nice near Cours Selaya. It's not a fancy restaurant. I can't afford Michelin starred hotels or restaurants. It's decor is down home provencal farmhouse. They have long pine tables with all kinds of confitures laid out. We had breakfast there one morning. I had a cafe noir and muesli with yoghurt. I love French yoghurt. It's creamier. I tried to eat my muesli with yoghurt at home. It just didn't taste the same. We had breakfast there 2 mornings in a row. I still think of that place. I remember my first time in Nice 4 years ago. I walked into a travel agent to inquire about tours around the area. The travel agent told me to go to the bus station across the street. I did and found buses going everywhere in Europe and also local buses that went to all the hilltowns around Nice. For a little more than 1 euro each trip I took the buses all over. What a bargain! Nice has an airport and the train station is a major hub. You can take the plane or the train to anywhere in Europe. The city is not so big. It's manageable. I love Nice. It's got cheaper accomodations around the train station. I've stayed in that area. I remember getting out at 7am to take the TGV to Avignon. It was still dark and cold in March. I had only to walk 5 minutes to get to the train station.