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MmePerdu Feb 21st, 2020 09:32 AM

I've yet to go all the way to the south, or the souse as a French friend said. A huge omission I've known & this has only emphasized the hole in my experience. I've spent about 10 days in Uzes & Avignon, so close but, I suspect, so far. I must make an effort to remedy the situation while there's time.

kerouac Feb 21st, 2020 09:54 AM

I keep planning to return to Nice by train from Paris, but whenever the train fares are right, the hotel rates are not. I'll manage one of these days.

TDudette Feb 21st, 2020 10:55 AM

Glad you liked Menton, cheska15. I liked it very much also. DH and I took a local bus from there to Nice and wondered often how crowded it would have been in the high season. Did you stay near the sea there? Following along with you and Mr. cheska is super.

gooster Feb 21st, 2020 12:02 PM

@cheska -- I'm so happy for you to have found a "place" that just suits you so well. it is so beautiful there, with the Italianate architecture, bright colors, gardens the sea, and the mountains. If you return, there are many side trips into the mountains and just over the border.. There are some spectacular locations up into the hillsides/lower Alps. And when you do cross the border, the prices in the shops just plummet. And the access to the airport and to the larger cities is still quite decent with the train line.

I think in the summer and during the Fete things are quite lively, but things are much quieter during the offseason. Normally, Menton has the warmest winter weather of all of mainland France. But this past week its been a bit inverted, I see.

cheska15 Feb 22nd, 2020 10:42 AM

Last night we visited the Jardine Lumieres. I’m not sure that it is better to see the exhibits at night. The lighting didn’t really enhance them much, and in some cases was a distraction.

I was up early enough this morning to see the sunrise over the ocean. What a beautiful experience that was. This big pink / orange ball rising quickly was spectacular.

As it was another glorious day we caught the packed 100 bus to Monaco. It was a lovely trip of 25 mins with more beautiful scenery.

I was pleasantly surprised with Monaco. The town is lovely and clean with lots of green space. We spent some time at the Palace grounds and the cathedral. While the cathedral could be considered plain, the religious artifacts are something to behold. The jewels surrounding the pictures/ paintings are amazing. There are no photos allowed in the cathedral, however this didn’t stop people.

We also spent some time looking at the food markets. White asparagus was €39 per kilo. I have only had white asparagus once before, and I would never try cooking it, so I am looking forward to it being in restaurants soon.

We have loved our time here and three nights was nowhere near enough. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

we head back to Nimes tomorrow for our last few weeks in the South of France. Three weeks of simple eating coming up.

kerouac Feb 22nd, 2020 10:47 AM

Ha ha, 39€ a kilo. You were definitely in a foreign country. Here are the real prices for France:

YankyGal Feb 22nd, 2020 11:37 AM

Menton is my husband’s place, too. I like it a lot, but much preferred it in mid-September, with more activity but not super-crowded, to late November. Sounds like you had a lovely side trip. Have a good trip “home” and looking forward to more.

Coquelicot Feb 22nd, 2020 03:15 PM

cheska, you'll just have to return. Menton will always be calling you.

rhon Feb 22nd, 2020 03:23 PM

I certainly hope white asparagus is not 39 euro a kilo when we get to France!! My first attempt at cooking it was not great, but it did get better. This will be our first spring trip since 2014, so I am looking forward to the asparagus.

Sounds like you have enjoyed yourselves. Hindsight is indeed a wonderful thing. You never know when a place is going to strike a chord. Have a good trip back to Nimes as you prepare to move on to the next stage of your year.

cheska15 Feb 23rd, 2020 10:55 AM

rhon I think everything is expensive in Monaco. kerouac provided a very interesting link that shows the different prices.
I am going to have a look for it at the Nimes markets and might even try to cook some if I can find a simple recipe.

kerouac Feb 23rd, 2020 11:03 AM

All you do with asparagus is boil it until it goes soft. The "preparation" is the sauce or condiments that you choose to use. I don't like peeling or cleaning asparagus so mine come from Picard. They are always in season there, both green and white.

gooster Feb 23rd, 2020 11:21 AM

There are some wonderful things in Monaco and the Old Town and Palace area is quite nice. I think some people get put off by the sea of high rises and some high prices like the ones you saw. The best view I've seen of Monaco is from la Trophee des Alpes, in La Turbie, looking down on the city/state and the surrounding estates.

Enjoy your asperges blanches! I like mine steamed, with a lemony sauce and maybe a poached egg.

cheska15 Feb 23rd, 2020 11:47 AM

Thank you both. Sounds like I couldn’t muck them up. We made a big mistake arriving back in Nimes at 2.30 pm. Absolutely nothing open to buy bread, milk and stuff. We could be in town very early tomorrow morning so I can have my coffee fix. I miss the Australian shopping hours of 7.00 am-10.00 pm. Luckily we are not hungry either as all we have in the house is teabags, crackers/ biscuits, cheese and Vegemite. Oh well won’t hurt to be hungry for a change. Black tea just doesn’t do it for me though.

rhon Feb 23rd, 2020 12:44 PM

The first time I cooked white asparagus, I did not realise it needed to be peeled. We did not have WIFI where we were staying. It was very woody. I like asparagus very simple with some melted butter and salt and pepper. I have seen a nice recipe with jambon and cheese, so I may try that.

StCirq Feb 24th, 2020 02:23 AM

White asparagus is a treasure! You do need to peel it, and lop off the woody end. My favorite way to prepare it is to simmer it until it's tender (10-15 mins. depending on how thick it is) and serve it with serrano ham and chives in a sauce made with lemon juice, mustard, honey, and s&p.

cheska15 Feb 24th, 2020 04:05 AM

StCirq I found a recipe the same as you make so I will try that. Hope all is well with you.

kerouac Feb 24th, 2020 05:38 AM

At my grandmother's house, they were served warm with her homemade mayonnaise on them.

cheska15 Feb 24th, 2020 08:34 AM

kerouac thanks. Will try that one too especially if I can find a really good mayonnaise

StCirq Feb 24th, 2020 08:51 AM

M. de Turenne makes an excellent, though frightfully expensive, mayonnaise, but I'm not sure if you'd find it locally. And mayonnaise is very, very simple to make from scratch; just be sure to use fresh eggs and high-quality olive oil, which I'm sure you have access to.

gooster Feb 24th, 2020 08:58 AM

Or you can make a hollandaise. It's really not that much more difficult; use a bowl over a saucepan of water if you don't have a bain marie. Add some chives to garnish...

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