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.

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