Thursday, May 08, 2014

Nice and Monaco

This past bank holiday weekend, we traveled to Nice for a little getaway. We had heard good things about this little southern town in France and were looking forward to going to a place where we could just wander around and not feel like we had a lot of things to do (as you can see from most our trips, we are heavy into site-seeing). Nice is a great place for this! The Cours Saleya market is full of food. The Castle Hill has great views of the town and ocean, and a nice playground (as well as a lift up for those hot days). The old town has plenty of little shops, ice cream, and food to keep you interested for a few days. There is a 2.5 mile pebble beach with a Promenade for bikes and walking. And, Monaco is a 20 minute train ride away, to see how the 1% lives.

Our highlights were playing in the Promenade du Paillon, with water features and playgrounds, Castle Hill, throwing rocks in the ocean, taking a bike tour, walking the markets, and eating ice cream. Fenocchio is well known for its crazy flavours, and we tried quite a few (beer was average, a local specialty torte de blette was quite good, cola was great on a hot day, violet was quite good, and cactus was quite good). None of our meals were outstanding, but eating at Patin Couffin was probably the best meal we had there (even though the service was probably the worst; they completely forgot my food). I did try frog legs and I did enjoy them; it is like delicate chicken. We stayed at Hotel Univers and I do recommend them if needing a triple. We also walked to see the Russian Orthodox church when we were out by the station, but it was closed. We were able to just take in the view from the street, though.

Monaco is quite small, but the large buildings and the hillside make it seem larger than it is. We took the bus from the station to the old town and walked out toward a lookout. There are beautiful flowers everywhere. We walked through the gardens toward the cathedral, and then a couple blocks to the palace. We didn't go in to see the car collection, but just took in more views of the port and town from there. We could see that stopping at the port/harbour area looked less interesting than we expected, so we just took the bus to Casino Square. After walking for a bit and enjoying some more gardens, we took the bus back down to the station to head back to Nice. We only needed two or three hours to walk around and eat lunch, and it was enough.

Pictures from Nice can be found here.

Pictures from Monaco can be found here.