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Day 220: A dash to Antibes

In order to just squeeze in that extra little side trip before returning to Paris in the evening, my friends suggested we go to Antibes for a short walkabout before taking my train there instead of from Nice. Sounds good to me. Antibes is not that small a town by any means, but flanked by the tourists- (and celebs?-) favoured Nice and Cannes, it just doesn’t get as much mention. Strange, considering the number of expensive yachts sitting at the harbour…

The time came too soon when I had to make my way to the train station. However, as the TGV pulled away from the platform and choo-choo-ed its way along the Cote d’Azur towards Aix-en-Provence before heading for the capital, I was rewarded with amazing view from my window seat. Like a soothing balm to my soul, it was an apt ending to an otherwise perfect weekend getaway. Now, I just have tons of photos to sort and to upload for my friends. Be patient, my dears.

Day 219: Monaco

Everyone I spoke to told me there isn’t much in Monaco. Still, I was curious and would like to at least see it for myself. Its proximity to Nice means there is no reason for me not to take a day trip across the border to the principality. Of course, a gazillion other tourists have the same idea in mind as we all packed TAM bus number 100 on this Sunday morning. At €1 for one-way trip, it’s a bargain even just to sit in the bus (take the right side, window seat) to enjoy the view between Nice and Monaco.

Perhaps with my expectations lowered in all way possible, I found myself quite enjoying the quaint central area of this micro-country. Monaco-Ville is the main quarter of attractions (I’m sure most people there were tourists, not Monegasques) including Palais Princier, Monaco Cathedral and the Oceanographic Museum. I also went for a visit along the east of the principality, taking a peek into the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (NMNM), Grimaldi Forum and the adjacent Japanese Garden. All in all, not bad for a day-trip effort, don’t you think? I wished I have more time to explore other parts of the principality but alas, it was time to get back to Nice so I wouldn’t be late for dinner with my friends.

Day 218: Vallée de la Vésubie

Day 2 in the south and today we headed towards la vallée de la Vésubie for a taste of the great outdoors on offer. I could not put down in words just how gorgeous the region is. The view along the ride is breathtaking (of course, the narrow and windy roads would also literally take your breath away when a bus or 4×4 decide they should be kings of the road and eat into your lane) and if it was up to me, I would be making a scenic stop wherever possible along the route.

After about 90 minutes journey, with the cars safely parked at Le Boréon, we started our hike up the circuit de Trécolpas, pausing every so often along the well-marked paths to take in the scenery before our eyes. Running streams and waterfalls peppered around the national park, and wild alpine flora decorating the landscape with flickers of colour everywhere. At 2,150m sits the natural glacial lac de Trécolpas, the perfect spot for our picnic lunch break. However, as the day progressed, the clouds began to descend ominously. Time to make our way back it was.

Day 217: Nice, niiiiice!

Woo a trip to the south!

I’ve been invited to stay with friends in Nice for a few days, and after an overnight journey on the Lunéa, I’m seeing sunshine, blue sky and azure sea once again. Quite a nice change from Paris which has been rather dull and grey lately, and no sea to talk about of course. Paris Plages do not count.

The villa sits high atop the hills of Nice, overlooking the city and its environs. It is a day meant to be taken very easily, with dips in the pool (I now can float!), dining al fresco, leisurely stroll in the old town area of Nice, and a couple of ice cream sessions. No rush, no hurry, no worry. Now, that’s what I call a holiday.

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