On the third day, it rained again

Rained every day so far. OK, it was hot and sunny the first day but it still rained for five mins in the afternoon. Today, it was torrential. No matter, we met friends in the Old Town and had a 5 hour lunch at the Caffé dell'Arté on the Cours Saleya.

'Bistro' Menu for 10 euros has 2 choices:
plat du jour (Rissotto today) plus glass of wine and coffee
or fish and plain rice plus mineral water and green tea 'bien d'etre' option

The children's menu was the best value 8 euros for 3 courses (up to age of 10)

The view :-(

The morning wasn't too rainy, just thunder and lighting,
went for brief run around the Cap de Nice on the coastal path, over 200 steps up, slowed to a walk, going to try and run the whole thing by the end of the holiday, maybe even try the second half of the path to Villfranche.

the trail around the coast:

Been a long time away from Nice this year, this pic is from last trip - we skied in Isola 2000

April 2010

Nine days in Nice

Arrive without incident but in rain which seems to be a pattern. The next day was gorgeous and sunny, everybody out and about enjoying the Easter weekend, on the beach and a few brave souls in the sea.

We are here to declutter and clean the apartment ready for the summer. It will be our 10th summer in Nice and we still need bits and pieces for the studio so we have booked a small van and are heading out to Ikea in Toulon.

Brasserie Flo for lunch:

Brasserie Flo, behind Galeries Lafayette

Not all hard work - been to Brasserie Flo - love it there, reminds me of the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester - proper old fashioned service. Also a couple of drinks on Place Garibaldi - Le Danieli this time.

late afternoon sun in Place Garibaldi - drinks at Le Danieli We are working our way around the the whole square. We had a meal in the long established Au Petit Gari last visit - great for lunch if you can get in quick and grab the plat du jour before the locals take over the place.

Yesterday we took the 750 bus to Isola 2000 and skied for the afternoon, returning home to Nice in the late afternoon. Fabulous hot and sunny day. The snow was very sticky, it felt like you were skiing and turning in slow motion, even at the top of the runs. We finally made to the far side to take in the view of the sea. This involves a really steep drag lift which I always fall off and have to ski through wilderness and forests to find a piste and then an ancient 2-seater chair lift which scoops you up and tries to throw you off, in fact it did throw my daughter off but we got there in the end. Anyway, although the weather was perfect in Isola, there was low cloud in Nice and no view of the sea. Ah well, next time maybe.

supposed to be a view of the sea behind us!

Terrible day today, Thursday 8th April.

Needed a trip to Ikea so we hired a small van from car-rentals on the Port and set off for Toulon, it's about 150 km away, about 1.5- 2 hours drive. If you think it's bad in the UK, Ikea in France is the absolute pits and wasn't even Saturday. We queued to park, queued at ask questions, queued for lunch, queued to pay, queued to collect, all one big nightmare and we still have more shopping to do, will have to get the rest from Fly, Carrefour and Maison du Monde (Nice Etoile, top floor) The only consolation was the weather, nondescript and cloudy with some rain, as good a day as any to housekeep.

I am keeping up my running a bit in Nice - using the app RunKeeper on my iPhone. This morning I ran up past the Chateau Anglais - the pink frilly-lookin residence on the Cap de Nice: Here's the route:-

I usually just trot along the Prom so it made a bit of a change to add in a hill.

Extended stay in Nice...

We have just had our usual half-term week, skiing in Méribel. Our ski things are stored in Nice and we save a lot of money by flying easyjet to Nice, hiring a car and driving the long -6-7 hours to Méribel in the high French Alps. The cost of flights to Geneva and surrounding airports plus the tranfers costs are very high, even though the long drive from Nice is a pain.

Travel this year has not been without incident. Leaving Liverpool a week last Saturday, out flight was diverted to Lyon then coached to Nice - turning a 4-5 hour overall trip into 18 hours of hell. It didn't help that we drove back towards Lyon the following day on our way to Méribel. A week later returned to Nice on Friday evening - not to be recommended - as we were gridlocked around Grenoble for 2 hours. On Sunday, our flight back to Liverpool was also cancelled, the next available seats not until 3rd March. So, instead we have managed to get seats on the Luton flight tonight and have hired a car one-way to Liverpool. It is already over 1.5 hours late so we shall see if we make it home or not...

At least we had an extra 3 days in Nice. I experimented with running the length of the Prom then taking the easy way back on a velo-bleu bike - this worked very well so I intend to do this more often. Nice is in the middle of Carnival so the cycle lanes are closed from about the Negresco onwards which requires nimble skills avoiding the tourists.

We had a couple of sunny days and had some excellent, leisurely and boozy lunches out and about. One of the best was in Place Garibaldi where we are steadily working our way around the dozen or so restaurants lining the square. Not really a restaurant, more an open-air snack area defined by glass wind breakers and heaters or parasols depending on the weather, it is part of the ice-cream bar, Guiseppi et Papino. They serve huge portions of pasta or large Tartines (bruschetta) at relatively low prices plus fancy ice-cream sundaes. I never bother with ice-cream usually, but was tempted by the tirimisu sundae with ice-cream, cream and hot coffee poured over. They don't seem to have a set lunch hour, service is non-stop and they are as happy for people to stop by for a drink or food. Good place to catch the last of the afternoon winter sun from 2pm onwards for a late lunch. It was particularly nice as there was an antique market taking place and plenty to see. Service was very friendly but slow - they were very busy with the extra Carnival crowds but the atmosphere was excellent and as we were in no hurry, it was lovely to settle back and order an extra pichet of rose.