Au Revoir France

Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2008

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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We have had a fantastic 3 nights in Villefranche sur Mer in the Hotel Welcome. A different way of life from Caromb but so nice to be on the waterfront and enjoy the sights of the Med. Villefranche is about a 15 minute bus ride from Nice on the way to Monaco and was a much quieter place to be. There were some great restaurants on the water which we managed to check out. The boys all tried escargot and they proved to be reasonably popular despite having to fork them out of their shells! I also managed to have a go at the steak tartare which was pretty good also. When in Rome....

We headed off in to Nice on one of the days. It was very busy and again the heat made it pretty difficult walking around and being Sunday, many of the shops were closed, so we headed to the beach. It is a stony beach so not really one from the Coromandel tourist guide but the water was clear and warm and we enjoyed ourselves. Deb went back in the next day to have a look at the shops but again failed to do any damage. While it may be too early to call it, the credit card appears to be surviving remarkably well....although we did see a couple of boats in the old harbour that could be tempting albeit out of our league.

Monaco was well worth visiting. We caught the train there and decided that we were going to go to the palace and see the changing of the guard as we thought that would be interesting for the kids. It was short and sweet but the crowds were large and was enjoyable all the same. We did go in to the palace itself afterwards and had a tour around the Grand Apartments there which we were so pleased we did. The history and the splendour was amazing and we all came out very impressed The boys were staggered that people from so long ago had been in the rooms that they had just visited. Thomas chased a bus that arrived at the palace to see who was on it, and being him, he saw Prince Albert wander off the bus and go inside which he was very pleased about

I disappeared out that night to a cafe to watch Italy play Spain in a relatively boring 0-0 draw which eventually went to penalties. I was sitting with an Italian couple, and two German guys who hated Italy because they knocked Germany out of the last World Cup. Dilemna, but......the Italian girl was better looking than the Germans so I ended up backing the losing team. Sam, Thomas and Ollie have swung from Portugal, to Holland and now they are with Spain. I suspect Germany may be too good for all of them.

We left Villefranche yesterday morning and drove through Monaco and along the coast in to Italy. Nothing that a quick 17 euros on the toll road can't sort out. Still, it probably looks like better value than an English newspaper at 3.2 Euros ($6.50!). But for those who know of my habits - you will know that I stump up every day!

We spent the night here in Rapallo and today we are doing a boat trip to Portofino and then driving this afternoon to our base in Tuscany. Had a great pizza dinner, finished off with a complimentary limoncello and a red rose from the waiter. Nice touch.

That's it from us for now. The hotel here is in a great spot and the sun still shines above 30 every day for now. You've gotta love it.

Thanks to those who have sent us email. Is good to know you are enjoying our blog. Will continue to update from Tuscany.

Bye for now
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