Back in Nice for the summer 2008

9th July 2008 - back to Nice for the summer

One of our worst flights with easyjet out from Liverpool to Nice, a three-hour delay with very little communication. We were meant to depart at 18:30 due to arrive 22:30pm in time to take the express bus 98 but eventually arrived 01:30am and had to brook the cost of a taxi - 35 euros including the tip as all express buses stop before midnight. We did better than the crowd off to Alicante - their flight was cancelled.

It's been the longest break away from Nice, we were last here in December other than topping and tailing a ski holiday in Meribel in February. We've been here about a week now, it's going to be a hot summer I think, temperature has stayed around the 28°C mark most days. As usual, I'm overweight at the start of the holiday and I can really notice it with the heat. I've started to run again in the mornings but not for long, about 20-25 minutes most mornings.

We are economising this summer, meals on our balcony, no private beaches etc, I would like to say as a response to the credit crunch and an urge to live thriftily but mostly due to me
blowing the holiday budget on our second day here in Monte Carlo.
Monte Carlo Casino reflected in a mirror sculpture in the gardens in Place du Casino

I've been studiously avoiding all shops since, even harder when they are still in the sales period - 'Soldes' signs in all the windows. outside Hermes in Monte Carlo

Monte Carlo is still fabulous, I like it more and more every time I go - so neat and clean. We took the 'xpress 100' from the Gare Routiere, it's 1 euro and knocks about 20 minutes off the regular 100 bus to Menton. More info about the xpress service here.

A few changes that I've noticed already:-

1. All bus fares appear to be just 1 euro this year, not 1,30 euros like last year. This is for the lignedazur buses in and near Nice and the tram and also the TAM bus network linking Nice with surrounding towns and villages. Such great value.

2. Place Garibaldi is 99% finished at last and looks wonderful with trees, seating, re-sited fountain and statue. It's quiet too with 2 one-way roads, a bus lane and a tram line only. It's now possible to walk across serenely. That's if you can take the sun - the trees need to grow a bit for shade or you can stick to the long way around under the arcades. There's just the water in the fountains and some edging and signposts to complete for full renovation/restoration.

daughter standing in the newly restored Place Garibaldi
It's made a big difference to the Café de Turin restaurant and the café Garibaldi - far more pleasant to sit outside with just the tranquil hum of a tram going by - traffic is reduced to one way here and it is generally much less busy.

3. One of my recommended restaurants appears to have closed - Chez Pistol next door the the Petit Turin, from the renovations it looks as though the Petit and Garnd café de Turin have bought it and are expanding sideways.

4. Our local Tabac on rue Pairoliere in the Old Town has been renamed 'Charlotte' and now sells cheap jewellery and local papers and postcards, we have to travel a bit further to buy an international paper.

5. Just like two years ago, the 98 express bus from the airport will continue on to the Port until about the second week of September - extremely handy for us. The fare for both the express buses remains at 4 euros and serves as a one-day bus pass within Nice for the rest of the day. Last year, it was the turn of the 99 to continue to the Port, I think the 98 route is better.

6. Prices. Noticeably more expensive in than last year, in supermarkets, restaurants etc and compounded by the weak pound. We continue to shop in the supermarket 'Ed' on rue Cassini, by far the best value though a bit limited in choice.

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Anonymous said...

Nice reading news again on one of my favourite sites! Have a good time in Nice.

Mirjam, The Netherlands

AllaboutNice said...

Thanks very much Mirjam