Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Don't eat the oranges

It has been 2 months since I was in France but I am just finishing off my post of the trip now in February and post dating them to when I was in France.

On the 24th I visited the Matisse museum in Nice and than caught a bus to Antibes. I had bought a day pass for public transport but for some reason this must not be good on the bus to Antibes. It seemed to really piss off the bus driver when I tried to use the day pass and I was really happy to give him a euro to reduce his stress level that my stupidity had inflicted on him. This was the only bad experience I had on the trip and since I was the only passenger on the bus at that point and no one was waiting in line to get on I have no idea what it was all about.

I did not do a lot in Antibes just walked around the harbor and took a couple of pictures of the Picasso museum. The museum appeared to be closed so am glad it was not on my must see list.

After walking through the center of town I walked towards Fort Carre and visited the World War 1 memorial. I found out later is the largest war memorial in southern France but apparently the rifle is in the wrong position and a good French solder would only have it by his right leg and never his left.

It was here where it started to rain on me so I headed back to the bus stop but pasted the train station on my way so returned to Nice via the train and avoided any anger bus drivers.

I did not know specifically what I wanted to do or see in Southern France when I booked the flights and the days off. Once I got into the specifics I seemed to have too many or too few days. I would have like to add in Arles and Nimes to my agenda but felt the time getting there and back would impacted the things I wanted to do around Nice so ruled them out.

I decided before arriving in Nice that I would set one day aside to rent a scooter and ride one of the roads that the guide book called the Corniches (costal roads). I did not think the temperature would be only 2 degrees warmer than Amsterdam. The scooter was out with the clothes that I packed so I decided to take the train to Menton on my day to spare which is a town close to the Italian border and the train gives views of the lower Corniche. I saw the middle Corniche on the buss to Monaco so only missed the top or grand Corniche.

I really enjoyed just wondering around Menton. It was a sunny warm day with a great view over the water with the cliffs in the distance. I stopped a few places for a beer and when I first got off of the train I noticed all the orange trees loaded with fruit.

I would not recommend sampling the oranges like I did. It was a bit sour but had an horrible exhaust fume type of after taste. I learned why the homeless don't feast on oranges every morning for breakfast but still it looked appetizing.

I stopped on my return train ride to Nice at the Villeranche Sur Mer stop and it made for a fitting finally stop on my visit to Southern France and Monaco.


  1. You've bought back fond memories. I've only visited 4 or so coastal cities in France myself, Stray also spent a week in Paris.

    It is hard to know how long to stay in one town/city when planning a trip. These days we try to just have our flight in and out booked and a rough idea of where we want to go and hope for the best...that and doing quite a bit of research prior to landing.

    1. Thanks Snap,

      Looking forward to your posts on Thailand. It looks like you hit some cities that I have not visited. I also always seem to learn something about places I have been from other blogs.

      I really don't do enough research prior to travel. When I took a couple of years off and traveled I loved just taking a day off and planning what I was going to do next week. I could just change it up if I liked or disliked a place. It was easy to travel this way in Southeast Asia just because of the low cost and having the time.

      This was my 5th time in France but the first time on the coast. Skiing once, Paris twice and once just popping over for a short visit from Germany. I would like to see more of France but some many places I want to visit.