Wednesday May 29, 2019
Today is kind of unusual for us as we have a train in the afternoon. Originally, we were going to spend three nights in Nice, but they are working on the tracks tomorrow and a bus train alternative was not easy so we had changed it to two nights. We did however book an afternoon train so we could have some more time here. We coordinated with Marie to leave our bags here and pick them up at 1300.
We head out the door a little before 1030 and walk along the beach. We sit in one of the famous Nice Blue Chairs and just people watch and enjoy the varying colors of the blue sea. The beach here is very rocky which was surprising as it is a very popular riviera locale.
We enjoy more morning walking toward a place called Castle Hill. Before the hill, we find the I Love Nice sign and since I am the epitome of nice, Carol takes a nice picture of me. The nice double entendre is obligatory here. It has been strange seeing all the nice signs and being American, reading them as nice instead of NICE. There rare nice hotels, patisseries, ice cream, and restaurants scattered throughout the town.
We make it to the base of Castle Hill and take an elevator up to the top. The views up here are really…you fill it in. Nice was founded on this hill. It’s residents lived here until the 12th century as it was too dangerous to live in the flatlands below. It’s fortifications were used by the military in the 15th century and updated in the 1600,s.
Today it is a nice park with views that are phenomenal. We get a view of the whole beach, the airport in the distance, the city, the foothills of Nice, and the alps off in the distance. They still have quite a bit of snow. We walk back down instead of taking the elevator and then find Georges Seafood Roll, a small restaurant that only serves, seafood rolls of lobster, crab, shrimp, and trout. There are no seats so we opt for a crab roll and a shrimp roll to go. We take our sandwiches and sit on the blue chairs with a million dollar lunch view. After that it is time to head back and get our packs. Marie lets us in at the guesthouse, we retrieve our packs, and head to the station. This is our first Ouigo train. Ouigo is the discount train of France. Cheap fares but some inconveniences like luggage size limits ( or you pay fee), etc. You have to check in also and he has trouble scanning the ticket from our phone. Luckily, we have our confirm number and he is able to type that in his computer. They also asked for my passport which we have never been asked for. All is good and we allowed to move on and find our coach. It is a long train and we walk quite a way down the platform. Our bags do not fit in the overhead so we just put them on the seats across from us. If someone sits there, we will have to move them. The train departs and our bags are fine for the whole trip to Aix en Provence. We have a connection here to Avignon TGV and then take the regional train from there to the Avignon Center station. The transfers all go smoothly and a nice train employee in Avignon TGV station sees us looking for our regional train on the screen and asks where we are going. We tell him and he says I will show you and walks with us to a place where he can point out the rest of the way. It was very nice of him. We get to the Avignon Center station and find our way pretty easily on the mile walk to our apartment. No meeting anybody at this place, just a lockbox to open and get the keys from. It all goes smoothly and we are in our apartment by 1840.
We have decided to go to Chez Bodus for dinner. We walk along narrow streets and find the restaurant. It is basically a homemade burger place and we each order our burgers and one order of fries to share. I try an artisanal brown beer from Luberon and Carol just has a light beer. My beer is good and so is the burger.
It is amusing to watch people come in and he only has one English menu which he gave to us. Almost everyone speaks English except one French guy that shows up. I guess when you have a burger joint in France, you attract all the English speaking people. It was the same way at the fish and chips place in Nice. We finish and head back, stopping at the market for breakfast supplies and of course some beverages for our stay here. Shopping complete, our day is done. Tomorrow we will begin our exploration of Avignon.
Lunch from Georges Seafood Roll 16E
Train from Nice to Avignon 55E
Sunset Design Touristic Center Apartment 55.31E
Items from Supermarket Beer, Wine, Breakfast 25.25E
Dinner at Chez Bodus 26.40E
Walked 8 Miles