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Trip Report 16 days in Nice, France,: Report

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We spent 16 nights in a Nice apartment rented through Nicepebbles.com. in mid July. The weather was fantastic, with highs only 79 most days, and the temperature at home (Texas) was 107! We had no a/c, and were quite comfortable. The crowds were there, but manageable. The crowds don't go to museums, they were never crowded. Pictures and a daily blog are at : http://mcgheetravel2012.blogspot.com
The apartment itself was very clean, spacious, and comfortable. The negative was that the roof of the building was being replaced, resulting in lots of day noise and dust. Location was ideal, if you know upfront that Nice is a noisy place. Happily, we had double windows, shutters, and ceiling fans so we could sleep though the mopeds and loud pedestrians that otherwise will wake you up until 4 am.
Situated less than a block from what is now, at least temporarily, the stop for the buses to Cannes, Montecarlo, etc, and one block more to the tram, we could easily do excursions in and around Nice. The tram carried us to the train station, when we wanted to travel a bit more speedily. All buses and tram were 1 euro, so transportation is cheap. We had senior discounts on the train, so they too were extremely reasonable, most trips about 2-3 euro each. Old Nice was just beyond the tram stop.
The day generally began with reading newspapers online, then taking a long walk to various sections of the city, usually always ending with a view of the sea and a walk through the lovely open market. We left late morning or after lunch for trips to towns around us. My cooking was limited to large salads on the days we were in town around lunch time, enjoying the wonderful produce of the daily market, the cheeses and bread. Though we seldom drank Rose wines before, we loved the bottle given to us by the rental agency, and drank Rose most of the time, so delicious in the summer
We visited every museum in town, and those in Menton, Antibes, etc. We loved seeing all the yachts in the harbors in each town, particularly impressed by the one with it's helicopter onboard and those that had water slides from the top into the sea. We also visited hill towns of Biot, Vence, and Mougins. We skipped places we visited recently, like Montecarlo and St Paul de Vence, which we've seen 3 times.
We like mid-priced restaurants for dinners, and luckily the leasing agency provided a good list of places we enjoyed. We didn't always enjoy the places we chose randomly. Many restaurants don't accept credit cards, so always have cash handy. Rossitiserie, with a limited menu of roasted chicken, pork, veal or beef was tiny, delicious and very moderately priced. Oliviera has a few tables in what is more an olive oil shop than a restaurant, but the owner is very personable and the food (small servings) are fresh and delicious, then matched with the proper olive oil. It seemed there were more Italian restaurants in old Nice than French ones. BIstro Antoine was delicious and what a bistro should look like. La Favola looks touristy, but the Italian food is very well prepared, and we saw many Italians there on both visits. You wait a long time for a table outside, but usually can get a table upstairs immediately. A fabulous find was the bar at the top floor of the Aston Hotel, around the corner from our flat. On a Thursday evening we decided to have a drink there for the view, and found they offered an expansive buffet of cheeses, salads, I guess tapas plus a drink of your choice for 14 euro each. There was soft piano music as well. On week-ends it's a disco. It was a great evening for 34 dollars, and then we stopped for ice cream in old Nice.
A Jazz festival was taking place the first week we were there, perhaps adding to the foot traffic late at night.
On Bastille Day we enjoyed 10 pm fireworks over the water. It seemed like every person of every age went to the beach or the promenade Anglaise to view them, so streets were closed to traffic for 5-6 blocks. All street lights along the Promenade were turned off and there was much clapping and singing for the show. When it finished, I was amazed at how orderly and calmly everyone started back towards town.
Our stay was everything I dreamt it would be, great walks, interesting sites, some museums, and wonderful markets in every town. My husband likes "vacations", where one has quite a bit of leisure time. I like "trips" with sites to visit. Staying in an apartment for an extended stay in such a location fits both of our wishes. Now--where to do this next July or August?

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