Beautiful Nimes

Old Feb 13th, 2020, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
@cheska: You will be very close to the station, which will be convenient for transport but less so for tasty restaurants and quality shops. There are a few interesting ethnic ones there, including a rare vegetarian-centric middle eastern place. Around the corner on Rue d'Italie there is a small cluster of Middle Eastern fruit/veg markets and boucheries.

There are more restaurants the closer to Jean Medecin, the main boulevard where the tram runs to the east of the Hotel, and down towards the water and Place Massena in the Carre d'Or (and on the other side of Jean Medecin). You may find it more pleasant to walk down Jean Medecin (pedestrian) or take the tram down to the Old Town or take Line 2 to get to the Port (the now trendy, formerly up and coming area, where Chez Pipo is located). You can also walk directly to the water, where the road will turn into Rue de Congres and will intersect the western end of the pedestrian zone and then the sea.

You may find it easier to park once and get a 10 trip bus/tram pass to cut across town (validate each time you mount), or simply walk. I don't know if you are just there for a couple of days, but there is a large car park at the train station that sometimes offers online only parking discounts.

The famous market is at Cours Saleya, in the old town. Chez Theresa is the socca vendor most likely mentioned above. A must to try. But there is also a locals market everyday but Monday at Liberation, one tram stops on Jean Medecin from the train station stop. A the Gare du Sud is a new development that resembles a local food court, but with table service. This is off the tourist grid.

Unfortunately the weather has cooled down, I saw posts on FB over the weekend from friends that it was 20 to 22C.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 09:38 AM
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gooster thanks. We are travelling by train, and knew the hotel was near the train station. We love to walk everywhere even in cold weather and to be honest could do with a few days of at least 15ks per day.

Thanks to the people on this forum we have some great things in mind to visit. We are especially looking forward to some different kind of food. I am packed already, and will do a quick clean of the house as we need to be up early to catch the 8.07 train. We should arrive in time to drop our bags and head out for lunch, then walk and walk.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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That is an awesome list, St. Cirq - I am copying that one. Thanks!
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 11:00 AM
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After a fantastic train journey we have arrived in Nice. Todays train trip reminded me how people of different nationalities can get along. We were seated next to a gentleman in our set of four seats and across the aisle from two French women. The women spoke to us in French and we apologised that we could only speak English. They then asked if we were English and we replied we were Australian. They were so happy to chat in in English as one of the women had been to Australia.

My husband showed the women where Canberra was on the map and the man then wanted to see. Turns out he was Turkish, and he showed us on the map his hometown. Then the French women showed us where they lived. We were all passing the Ipad around, talking and smiling a lot.As the man departed earlier than us there were waves and smiles all round.

To cut a long story short one of the women gave us her phone number with the hope that we will meet up when we are in Angers. We have been invited to stay ( we wouldn’t) and would happily meet her and her husband for coffee/dinner. Another example of how welcome we have been made to feel in this beautiful country. When they departed they made the comment they were very happy to meet us, and stood on the platform to wave us off.

The experience made me think that after employment where you were not allowed to show kindness or generosity because someone may take advantage of you, my core belief of being kind and generous of spirit is coming to the fire. Glad I hadn’t lost it completely.

We had a walk around this beautiful city, and a glass of Prosecco at sunset along the Boulevard. All I can say is wow this is a fabulous city and look forward to exploring more tomorrow.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I will be fascinated to read your continuing adventures through France.

Meanwhile, an internet friend from Adelaide (yes -- friend!) wrote this recently on another site:
There are many in Australia who have not forgotten nor forgiven the French for the atmospheric testing of nuclear bombs at Mururoa Atoll in the 1970s. These explosions damaged and killed the atoll and nuclear particles were blown over Sydney and coastal areas.
People protested by boycotting anything produced in France. For me, I haven't bought anything of French origin since...just can't seem to do it.
If true, it would appear that some Australians are living 50 years in the past. Thank heavens that France and Germany got over their "problems" and it didn't even take 50 years.

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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Just to be clear...”an internet friend from Adelaide ” isn’t me.
And “many Australians” ? I have never heard anyone even mention it, let alone boycott products. Weird friend, kerouac, most of us aren’t like that. But it is interesting (sad) about people carrying these grudges and then making online statements about it.

Glad you had a nice experience on the train, Cheska, I am normally quite an introvert, but find myself chatting to strangers and enjoying those interactions.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 01:27 PM
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I too have never heard of Aussies boycotting anything french, and would be shocked to hear an Aussie say that. However I was a teenager in the 70s so would not know really. More importantly Aussies tend not to hold grudges for that long unless it is related to a sporting incident/ football team. Then the prejudice is passed on for generations.

Even if that was the case political events in the 70s in Australia gave people to reasons to protest about things that directly influenced them.

sorry kerouac your friend maybe a minority and I’m an Adelaidean ( albeit living in Canberra) as well.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Oh, she is a very nice person, which is why I was a bit shocked by her statement. But all of us probably have a number of irrational reactions to certain things, places, foods, etc. so it dosn't really worry me.

I did point out to her that Australia has placed an A$50 billion order for French submarines and that her personal boycott was probably not destroying the French economy.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 12:21 PM
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We were out by 7.30 am walking along the promenade and enjoying looking at the sea on a beautiful cool sunny morning. It was a shame there were no coffee shops open as it would have been great to sit and enjoy the view and have my coffee fix. The scenery with the mountains and the sea makes Nice one of my favourite places. As I am a city girl this is a place I could stay for quite awhile. Although wouldn’t want to be here when it is very hot. Now if only I can find that perfect villa. Total walk of 7 ks before breakfast.

The hotel is lovely and quiet, and we have a little balcony where we sat and had a leisurely breakfast. Thought I might then take my time getting ready to visit the old town and see some one or two things we had planned.

We received a message from an Aussie in France asking us if we would like a ticket she had for the Fete du Citron in Menton. We responded no thanks as we had them for next week. So I had a long shower, my husband then says ‘ I checked our tickets for the Fete du Citron they are for today at 2.00 pm, and there is a train leaving at 11.06’. We thought they were for next week when we are in Menton for three days.

We arrived after being mesmerised by the scenery, stopped for a prosecco, and then walked along to find our hotel and seating for the night time parades next week.

After a long leisurely lunch of calamari with a dusting of pesto (yummy), a creme brûlée for me, and an apple some sort of pastry dish for my husband. He wasn’t thrilled with his dessert as it was a bit burnt on the bottom. I am such a loving wife though as I shared half of my dessert with him. I didn’t mind his dessert and had a little.

The queue to enter the Fete du Citron moved quite quickly. It is an international theme this year with different countries being presented. Australia was represented by an Indigenous person sitting on a goanna. It was an amazing presentation and so colourful. Everyone walking around had smiles on their faces, and we were impressed by each of the sculptures. We really enjoyed the spectacle. One thing I did notice was how polite and respectful people were. Everyone seemed to get their photo opportunity.

We then came back to the hotel for a rest, and went out walking as Carnivale starts tonight. We were lucky to see some floats as they were arriving, and stood and watched and waved to all the people on the floats. There is a fabulous atmosphere when you are out and about. It is cool but not freezing. Nice has a fabulous vibe, people are friendly, and there are plenty of security forces around.

Total walk was 18ks today. At the moment it feels good to have walked this distance, and hope I feel this good tomorrow. Now if I can only find a cafe open on the promenade at 7.30 am tomorrow morning life will be perfect.

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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Cafés are extremely variable in Pairs, too, but I imagine that working class areas have much earlier opening times than tourist areas like the Promenade des Anglais. Several cafés in my own uninteresting part of Paris are open by 7am, but when I go to the centre for my 9am movie (yes, that's what I do at the 27 screen multiplex), most of the café are just putting out their terrace chairs at 8:30.

So if you want to go to a café early in Nice, you should go to where the residents go, not to the tourist areas.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 01:03 PM
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kerouac I thought that being the weekend and with so many people out walking or running there would be something open. Presumption on my part I know.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 01:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2018
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@cheska -- it sounds like you are having a good time thus far, although it is a bit cool. For cafes, try around the Cours Saleya. At least one opens from like 6 am due to the market, and there are others by 7am. If you want a sea view, there is a line of bars and cafes that line Ponchettes. There is one, I think, Topaze? that opens early because it also has a boulangerie. These bars have an upper balcony with views over the Prom. The restaurant/cafe at le Meridien has a second floor (premiere etage) enclosed view that is great, if it is too chilly, although the window views may be reserved for breakfast guests. The roof deck of the Hyatt Palais is also great.

Last edited by gooster; Feb 15th, 2020 at 01:48 PM.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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I, too, have not heard anyone mention the nuclear testing or of anyone boycotting France or french products. All of us here definitely do not fall into that category!!! I am counting the days until our trip which begins in April, and recently bought a lovely case for my sunglasses with van Gogh's sunflowers. Made in France.
I am interested to read about Nice. we have never visited Nice. We did stay in La Brigue in 2010 and did plan a day trip by train. But that was a week of strikes, so we did not risk it. We are going to visit the cities when we no longer hire a car. But I like to take notes for future reference.

Have fun.
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Old Feb 17th, 2020, 12:02 PM
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We have been up early every morning walking along the promenade before breakfast. Even though we don’t live near the coast I have missed the sea. It is beautiful looking at the sea, and watching the arrivals and departing flights flying over the water. Some even get a little low for my liking.

We have had some great food at the Waca Bar, and especially Van Demen’ Australian Pub. The prawn toast at Van Demen’s was the best I have ever eaten in my life. I couldn’t talk as it was that good. Rare for me to be speechless, and has only happened once before in Rome.

We have walked through the old town, looked at the beautiful flower markets, visited the Russian Orthodox Church ( stunning place) and visited Lou Casteu.

When visiting Lou Cadteau you can take the free lift to level two and then either walk down or use the lift. This park is stunning even on a cold, grey and windy day. Great views and really lovely gardens. The Mimosa ( wattle in Australia) is only just staring to come out. It is lovely to see Australia’s National flower, and bunches of the flowers seem very popular at €4.

We are very happy with the hotel we are staying at. We have a spacious room, small bathroom and seperate toilet. We also have a small balcony where we sit and have breakfast. It is so good to have a kettle in the room although my husband wasn’t that keen on the Licorice and fruit tea. Most importantly the hotel is very quiet and we are sleeping well. Total cost for six nights is € 525.

The overall food prices are on par with those of Sydney, and a glass of wine varies between €6-9. We are hoping to eat at La Galet on the beach if we have a good day before Thursday.
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Old Feb 18th, 2020, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Mar 2018
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I hope the weather improves and you are able to take a few more day trips. I had to smile at how quickly you two found the Aussie pub. Waka bar get packed in the summer but I've never been to the Australian one.

BTW, restaurant and alcohol prices begin to drop a bit as you head inland and the mix of locals increases.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 10:30 AM
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We have had beautiful sunny weather and not too cool. We have been to Grasse and Eze and as most places not a lot happens in Winter. Eze has a wonderful mountain backdrop, and if I had been feeling better would have walked up to the town. I absolutely love seeing the sun shine on the water. It is mesmerising, and so good that there are seats to look at it for as long as you want. It has really surprised me that I have loved the water as much as I have. The actual beach in Nice does have a lot of rocks though.

I love the view of the ocean and I am so glad we have come to this area. The dream of a villa by the sea has had a reality check. There are beautiful villas but do I really want to hear the noise from a train every hour, as the train track in some parts is quite close to the houses. There are also lots of apartments that get great views. The second reality check is we can’t afford that villa by the sea anyway. Oh well no harm I dreaming.

We leave for Menton tomorrow and haven’t felt that great today, with an eye lid condition that I haven’t had for quite sometime. The Panadol has kicked in, and with the constant bathing of my eye hopefully will be better tomorrow.
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Take care cheska, hope you feel better tomorrow and enjoy the visit to Menton. The Côte d’Azûr is beautiful, though the summer months are to be avoided!
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Old Feb 19th, 2020, 12:57 PM
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Geetika it is always a trade off isn’t it. All the cute little villages would be humming with people, but at the moment there is nothing there. Perhaps September may be a good time. All we saw were people like us wandering the streets to find something open.
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Old Feb 20th, 2020, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 164
Did you take the bus up to Eze le village? The view from up top is well worth it. I am sorry you are not feeling well. That always detracts from things.

In the hinterlands, some of the villages do shut down quite a bit. November and January are the worst, I've found thus far. I went to one village in November and all three restaurants were closed for a month long vacation (some business owners take their annual holidays in November or January it seems, even in the city). Although people warn about July and August, I've not found either to be too bad thus far, although generally we are not in town. Last August was not as busy as I expected, except in the main tourist market. The smaller towns are the ones most impacted in July/August, and the beach resorts like JLP. The city has the space and the infrastructure to absorb the tourists, but I find the small villages can be swarmed by the tour buses and the cruise ships. In general, April through June are good and September/October.
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