On our way to Nice

Trip Start Jul 30, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, September 15, 2006

We were up early in Perpignon to catch our train to Nice. Passing Narbonne, Montpelier, Arles and Avignon for a transfer in Marseilles past Aix-en-Provence, Toulon, Cannes and Antibes arriving in Nice ('Nice Ville' Station) we headed outside bearing left to the building next door for the Tourist Information Office. Inside they were pretty well organized and suggested a hostel near the 'Old City'. We stopping at the first pizza stand we saw for a couple of slices while we waited for the rain to lighten up. Then headed down Avenue Jean Medecin, the street was barely passable on foot as they were constructing a new tramway up the center of the street to be completed 2007 or 2008. After a bit of confusion we reached the hostel. 22.90 Euro each = 45.80 in a dormitory style (6 bed) with the bathroom down the hall. After the ordeal we just dealt with getting to Nice, we decided we needed a private room to unwind and catch a nap. So, we were off once more. Carrying our bags over our raincoats with an extra bag on backwards, covering our chests. The hotels had their prices posted on the outside which made it more convenient but left us w/no escape from the rain. Most were over 100 Euro (over our budget). You could see the frustration building in Lyn's face. I thought she was going to breakdown but she held out and we finally found a nice B&B (Hotel Wilson) for 38 Euro. Nice big room with TV, sink, double bed and single bed and a small terrace overlooking the street from the third floor. After a short nap and a shower we headed out to explore the city. We were only a couple of blocks from Boulevard Jean Jaures which is nice and wide to accommodate the outside seating for all the restaurants, stands, shops and street performers. This street led us right down to the beachfront. There was a nice view of the huge bay. You could see the airport to the far right, and follow the line of villas and hotels that ran along the waterline. One building, Hotel Ingresso really stood out. This building seems to be in every picture of Nice I have ever seen. Following the line of buildings is a wide boulevard, the promenade, a few restaurants and the beach. I was surprised that there was no sand, only rock... larger rocks at first, which get smaller until they are the size of pebbles where the beach meets the surf. Looking to the left there was a huge hill/small mountain that sat right behind the beach. Most of the hill is a park with the ruins of a castle (Parc de la Colline du Chateau) and on top is a large waterfall that looks out of place, but still very interesting. We walked towards the park were the beach became a rocky outcrop. Following the now rocky coastline, we soon caught a glimpse of Nice harbor filled with luxury yachts. We walked around the port checking out the restaurants and boats, circling back around behind the mountain ending up in the 'Old City'. This part of town has a lot of character, many interesting shops and narrow medieval streets. We found a small restaurant with a sign out front advertising a price fix menu. Two glasses of wine, Socca (which is similar to pizza), Soupe de Poisson (traditional fish stew), I had a HUGE bowl Mussels Provencal. Lyn had Fettuccine alla Funghi and ice cream for dessert for 17 Euro each.

Travel Trips ( Accommodations) - Looking around for a place to stay, B & B's or Hotels are private, cheaper and nicer to stay at then hostels.  We recommend Hotel Wilson.

Hotel Wilson - 39, rue de I'Hotel des Postes - 06000 Nice
www.hotel-wilson-nice.com or e-mail hotel.wilson@infonie.fr
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