Friday, January 28, 2011

Trenitalia to Genova (May 22, 2010)

Crossed the italian border a hour back and purchased the tickets at Ventimiglia to the ride into Genove and Pisa from there on. Mangesh should be waiting for me at Pisa to pick us up.

Nice was heaven again. A city built on the pebbled beach of the mediterranean it has hills to both sides and is nestled in between them. To its east is the state of Monaco and an extremely rich city in Monte Carlo.

We landed here on Thursday evening and checked in to Nice Home Sweet Home which is a bed and breakfast I had booked by dropping an email to the owner Genevine. Out of all the places I stayed on this trip so far, this was the best by a far margin, as we got a huge room with a TV, a balcony overlooking the street, two good beds and it was very clean. After dropping our bags we headed off to the beach, and took a stroll on Promenade de Anglis. This is a strip of pavment which runs parallel to the beach and one can walk or sit on the benches and view the people or the sunset.

Also this beach too has loads of topless women seated around. We went on the promenade, and then took a stroll through the gardens out of which the Jardain Anglais is a must see. Finally a stroll through the old city and the port and we were tired.

There was one more destination on our walking trip which we decided to undertake as the sun had not yet set. We walked up a hill in Nice to the Le Chateau to get some good views of the city and the French Riviera itself. We reached at 7.30 and took many photos until we were told that it closes at 7. So we had to get out of there through some side gate and make it back to the B&B.

That night I had the urge to dance and Nice is known to have some good nightlife we went out on Rue Massena and the old town at 10pm. We saw many many bars with a lot of people eating till even 11 in the night, but no dance clubs. Tired we decided to head back and drink the bottle of wine which had been purchased in Toulouse.

The next day after a hearty french breakfast we set off to lie on the beach. The beach is good but very pebbled. As it was still not summer the water was cold, and not many people ventured into the water. This beach drops off quite fast and it is quite deep.

In the afternoon we went to the Musee Massena to see a very well maintained old house. As the next day we were planning of heading to Monte Carlo we decided to get some information at the tourism office. Luckily we came to know that there are no luggage lockers in Monte Carlo, and we changed our plan and decided to head to Monaco that afternoon itself.

The bus to Monaco costs a flat 1 Euro and takes 45 minutes. We got off at the Place de Armes, went uphill to the palace and walked the old town checking out the Cathedral and the stunning views.

After that was my favourite part – we walked the F1 street circuit of the Monte Carlo GP, and as it had just happened last weekend there were still some stands, tires and traces left over from the weekend. It was fun walking one of the greatest circuits of racing, and along with that we also took in the Monte Carlo casino. This roughly took us two hours, but we pretty much ran about. A better suggestion is a half day visit here.

Looking at the casino and the people around you can see the richness of this place. Even the cabs are Mercedes brands, and we saw every type of car – from porsches to lamborginis in a matter of 5 minutes.

That night we headed back and ventured out again. This time we found a neo rock place called tapas something. This was pretty cool with two live bands, some decently priced drinks and a cover of only 2 euro. Also, listening to english songs which I had never heard of before made me realise how much I have lost touch with music in general and rock in particular.

Today morning was more of the same with a visit to the beach, and an interesting museum in the Contemporary art museum which I would recommend. It is a look at the newer age of art and is quite fascinating. Plus it is free.

That ended our france part of the trip and we bought tickets on the regional to Ventimiglia from Nice for 6.30 euros to head across the border and into Italy.

Nice – again highly recommended.

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