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Schnauzer, live from Paris, Lyon, Nice, Averyon and Dordogne, join me

Schnauzer, live from Paris, Lyon, Nice, Averyon and Dordogne, join me

Old Jun 19th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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I'm thoroughly enjoying these updates, they are great fun to read.

Your poor feet, I think lots of us can sympathise. Iced water is definitely the best treatment, although excruciating at the time. Do you have more than one pair of shoes? I've discovered that changing shoes at some stage during the day can be very helpful and will ease the pain somewhat.
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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Really enjoying your trip report.

Like you, we generally prefer to eat in after a day of sightseeing. Have you found Picard? We really enjoyed some of their delicious frozen foods. Favorites so far are tajine de poulet with apricots and spices, tartes tomates, and taboulé with raisins and mint. The tomato tarts are especially good.

Here's a list of Picard locations in Nice:

http://magasins.picard.fr/search?query=nice

A couple of years ago, I started this thread where I got many other suggestions for apartment cuisine:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...m#last-comment
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 06:08 PM
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You have sold me on Lyon, schnauzer. And sorry to say that your bus misadventures in Nice and environs have me laughing out loud. But you are an admirably ambitious traveler (and bus-taker). This report is so, so enjoyable. Thank you!
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 08:16 AM
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Leely, I think you would really like Lyon, particularly as you are a fan of great food. It is so easy to get to from Paris, even an overnight with an early start and late departure could be good.

Maine I will check those choices out, I did go in the other day. I didn't know what to look for.. Tks.

20th June Thursday
Antibes, single men, and more buses.

I was woken very early this morning with a storm coming through Nice, oops had put some washing on the terrace so leapt out of bed to rescue it. Back to sleep for a bit longer but the day was still looking a bit grim when I finally got up. Phoned my mum and had breakfast whilst deciding what to do. The clouds appeared to be breaking up so decided to try for either Antibes or St Paul de Vence. Looked at the timetables and realised I needed to get my skates on. There is a stop at the corner of the Promenade and rue de Congres (according to the timetable) but of course it wasn't actually there but another 100 metres up the road, right outside the Negresco Hotel in fact, wouldn't want the rich folk to have to walk to the bus eh? Okay, checked timetables, still haven't decided where I am going, love the excitement of making last minute decisions... The Paul de Vence bus is due to arrive first, meant to leave the originating stop (only one away) at 10.15, hmm should be along any minute then, waiting, waiting, waiting, nothing. Okaay, the Antibes bus is due 5 mins later, still no sight of either, finally at 10.35 the Antibes one shows up, god only knows what happened to the 400. Decision made, on I get, flash my weekly pass to have him refuse it, had to pay the princely sum of one euro. The bus was very slow but I do enjoy seeing the "real" France and watching normal folk going about their daily business.

Eventually we arrive in Antibes, a quick visit to the T.I. to get a map and off I go. If you want shoe shops then Antibes is the place to go. Well I was in the market so in and out I went, trying on numerous sandals in numerous shops. My feet were feeling a tad better today after resting them a bit and I had put on the short boots with sockettes, cute look, not. To be honest none of the shoes really felt comfortable, I have dodgy feet at the best of times so decided to wait until my feet actually recover and then buy some at home. In the last shop the lady owner was up for a long chat, I couldn't get away and we discussed ageing parents and their ailments, having single sons and will they look after us in our old age? Also how the education, handwriting and speech of the youth of today has deteriorated. Phew, it was great practice for me and we left on great terms, having agreed with each other on everything and she didn't seem to mind I hadn't even bought anything.

I had left Nice three hours ago and upon my new chum's recommendation went to a cute cafe nearby in Place Clemenceau, with orange chairs. Had a jumbo bruschetta and coffee, one of the best so far. A single man of a certain age actually came and sat down at the table next to me, this was a first, I tried to look seductive but he was more interested in his iPhone than me. It was probably those damned sockettes that spoilt it. Oh well, fortified, I figured I should start looking around, and look around I did. I don't think there were many streets I missed. I loved the feel of Antibes, not picture perfect but very quaint, a town where life goes on as normal and the tourists fit in. Sure there were plenty of touristy shops but there plenty of normal shops and houses and local folk as well. Anyway walking down one old street this older "cool" guy from Cannes stopped to chat with me, obviously a sockette fan, where was I from, etc etc, the usual stuff, but that was it.... No invite for coffee or to get in his car.... Oh well again, but progress, maybe I need to go to Antibes again. Yes, I liked Antibes, big tick from me.

Decided to change the mode of transport home and took the Envie bus to the train station. Lucked out again at the ticket machine, the SNCF man was collecting the money from the machine and did my ticket for me. Thanks... Train in 10, it went from the platform on the other side and then realisation hit, I hadn't composted my ticket and had to run all the way back to the main hall to punch my ticket, phew ran back in enough time. A quicker journey but still had to catch a tram and a bus home from the SNCF. You should see me jumping on and off those buses now..... (When they turn up).

The weather is improving so maybe St Paul de Vence tomorrow if I can find the bus. Saturday is meant to be gloomy again so may leave Matisse for then.

Here is a funny article about travelling in France. I can relate to it...

http://www.paris-update.com/fr/hot-t...mation-railway
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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That's so funny, schnauzer, because I immediately thought of that article (just read it yesterday) while I was reading your post! The author is a friend of ours. I particularly loved "Il faut savoir." So very French!

Still enjoying your report - how great to just let the day lead you. And you will master those buses, I just know it. ;-)
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Oh, that article is so ridiculous. I have a colleague who lives in Moret and she comes to Paris each and every day. You have to take a COMMUTER train, not a main line train to get there. The information is on the Transilien site, not Voyages-SNCF!
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 11:58 AM
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Kerouac I think that may have been part of the article, that crucial information known to locals wasn't made available to tourists when searching on the net. At least that was my understanding.

After all my bus dramas recently I thought it was funny anyway....

Schnauzer
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 06:07 PM
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I hope we will soon be reading a romance. Having met schnauzer, I can say that she is as pretty as she is witty. Bon courage, dear.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 05:08 AM
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TTT
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:45 AM
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Schnauzer, such a fun read. Merci. Really hope that you get to see the Matisse soon! I love Nice….
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:45 AM
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21st June Friday. St Paul de Vence and Vence

I set my alarm for the first time this trip as I wanted to get a jump on the day. I walked to the first stop for the 8.35 no. 400 bus not wanting to miss out again. However we didn't disappear into a black hole but stopped right where I was yesterday. Hmm, something different about the 10.15 obviously. In just over an hour we had arrived at this magical village. I was determined to get some photos without the tourists but the Japanese tour bus had got the jump on me! I pushed through and got some great quiet shots. However I did speak severely to another group, god only knows where they were from but they were just hooping and hollering all through the cemetery, no respect at all, really got my goat up. I don't think they understood English but my message was more than clear... I told 'em.

Did a half tour around and then visited the Chagall photo exhibition at the T.I. and picked up a map to see what I had missed the first time around. They weren't open until 10.00. I had to laugh, I was reading about the tourist office in Nice which is open at 8.00 except in the summer when it opens an hour later.... Umm, when do the tourists come to town? Got to laugh at the logic.

Spent hours traversing every street and side street, it is amazing how few people actually bother walk beyond the main tourist drag as you can see from the photos.

At about 3pm decided to head 10 mins further up the road to Vence, this town also has a medieval section but not a patch on St Paul. However it did have a friendly "nice town" feel. I had exchanged a few words with a lady on the bus going up, I had seen her walking around St Paul and thought she may wish to walk around together, but before I could say allons-y, she had disappeared into thin air. After an hour it was back on the bus for home, another huge day for the feet! Funny the fare up had been 1 euro but the way home was 1.50. I do like the way the young automatically get up out of their seats for the elderly when travelling on the bus, very respectful.

Tonight was the fete de la musique to celebrate the first day of summer. There was going to be music and bands all over town so I decided I had to get out and about tonight. Donned my cool Nice evening attire and headed out to the old town. I wandered about trying to find a couple of the Restos that had been recommended. It it is such a maze I could only find one and it was closed! I did find rue l'Abbaye which had also been suggested for good Italian and Corsican food. I came across Ville de Seville and they found the last remaining table for une personne, cue violins...I ordered the rigatoni Sicilian gratinee. Chocked full of roasted Mediterranean veges it was superb and enough for a family. All their servings were enormous ....

Feeling veritably stuffed, couldn't even begin to think about dessert, I headed out into the throng that had formed and followed my ears, finding bands, drummers and DJs. It was much better than the last fete I was at in Paris. Finally at about10.30 I made my way home, the music had followed me and it was hard to get to sleep. A big day.....
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:48 AM
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Two days in a row..... Latedaytraveller thanks for joining me, nope didn't get to Matisse see today....

22nd June Saturday Nice

A very slow morning after such an exciting day yesterday. About 12.00 I hopped on my local bus and headed for Place Massena and the shops. I decided to give Matisse the heave ho, couldn't be bothered to shelp all the way up there again. I needed a couple of things so visited FNAC and some other shops along the way. Took the tram to Place Liberation to check out the market but as usual I was too late, same in Antibes, oh well, I guess I am not a get up early for the markets kind of gal. The architecture is just amazing in Nice and nearly every building is worth looking at for the facade, so spent some time looking up and around. I also love that in the smaller towns they make such an effort with the baskets of flowers everywhere, all the public places are so colourful.

There are so many homeless people in France, they are everywhere and often accompanied by dogs, not only one, but sometimes, 2 or 3 and then the puppies. It of course pulls on all the tourists heart strings. Very sad to see the not so glamorous side of travelling. It is a horrible life for all of them.

The Russian Cathedral was only a bus ride away, worked it out and here I am sitting in the gardens typing away. Very peaceful and a good way to rest those feet.

Last night tonight in Nice but still a visit to the Negresco hotel and the Massena museum left for tomorrow morning.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 09:58 AM
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I really need to see the Russian cathedral the next time I go to Nice.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:56 AM
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We had read about the Russian cathedral in Eyewitness (can't remember if I saw it in Fodor's also)--we figured we'd never get to Moscow though.

Very enjoyable TR and you go girl for calming down the folks in the cemetery!
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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23rd June Sunday

Last morning, so a visit to the Negresco Hotel and the Massena Museum were on the agenda. Packed up and wandered down the road, first stop the museum which was the Massena family home, a prominent local family. Lovely old house with a semi museum, semi still a house feel to it. There was also an art exhibition on the second floor, a couple of Matisses, lots of olde paintings and a couple of Raoul Dufy who I like, but I do prefer his brother Jean's paintings having seen an exhibition of the Dufy Bros (not (Doobie) in Paris a couple of years ago.

Onwards for a squiz at the Negresco, sea view rooms starting at 450euros so won't be staying there. A bit over the top, but jealously will get me nowhere.

Back to reclaim my security deposit in cash from the owner, I was planning on tucking the flat screen telly under my arm if she hadn't turned up, but she did, good cos my bags are heavy enough already. I had searched for the Sunday bus times on the net so knew there was a bus at 1317, but of course when I got there the times on the timetable were completely different! Anyway I was actually early and caught one at 1306, three buses came at once, as always.

Caught the train easily enough and we zoomed along until Toulon where we had to wait because they were back burning and a fire had got out of hand. We were told there would be a two hours delay, whaaat? Within minutes bottles of cold water were delivered to each carriage. It was like a combination of Lord of the Flies and a Red Cross drop in the African desert. Gosh, no food or water for two hours quelle horreur. Everyone grabbing for a bottle.

There was another lady from Aus travelling to Crea Langues, she was travelling in the next carriage and we had introduced ourselves. It was nice to think that there were two of us in this dilemma. It is about an hour and half by minibus from Aix to the school so we borrowed a french persons phone and rang the school. The school already knew of the problem and was "working on it". The other lady and I decided we needed food so made our way to the buffet carriage and just as we were perusing the menu for SNCF specials an announcement was made to say the pompiers had cleared us for take off. Yay so only 45 mins late instead. Good stuff, no train treats needed after all.

We finally arrived 1.5 hours late and of course the arranged transport had already gone without us. Not to worry someone did eventually pick us up and we arrived at the Monastery at 9.30 for a very late dinner then bed.

Started school this morning and as anticipated I have gone backwards since last time, but I knew that would be the case. Oh well, not to worry. My room is lovely and the food sensational, so that is fine by me. For once I am trying not to get upset by being useless at French, I managed quite well thank you for the past two weeks.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Funny how a 45 minute delay doesn't seem so bad when they first tell you it will be 2 hours! Do you suppose they plan it that way?
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Looking forward to more.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 08:23 AM
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Hi everyone, I am been relaxing at Crea Langues a fabulous language school in Provence. It has been great and have only written a little in my journal.

Friday 28th June

Last day at Segries today. It has been wonderful as always, there is just something very special about this place. It has been much more relaxing this time, no flapping about doing homework etc. I have taken things slowly and enjoyed the company and the serenity of the "place" much more.

The food has been wonderful as usual, a lot but healthy Mediterranean cooking, at least that is what I am telling myself! No, it is really. We sat in the chapel of the monastery last night and sang french songs, which was kind of special, except for my singing that is..

I am of course getting nervous about my next installment.. I pick up a car tomorrow and drive from Provence to L'Aveyron which is about 400kms. I have all day and it doesn't get dark till late so fingers crossed I won't get lost.

I shall start reporting again when I arrive at my next stop, till then trust everyone is well. Stay tuned.....

Schnauzer
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Drive safely! I know how anxious one can get before picking up a car and driving on the 'wrong' side! Happens to me every time. But you will be absolutely fine once you've driven that first mile.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the past few days at the language school, and hope it has encouraged you in many ways.

Looking forward to travelling along with you to the next installment!

Take care.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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Thanks julia for the kind words of encouragement, they have made a difference to me. I needed that, merci. I know you have the done the same thing so it is coming from the heart, not an Aussie "she'll be 'right mate" comment.

I hear you are meeting with Barb, that should be great fun. I have been rereading her diva blog, still so funny.

Thanks again and tune in for the next episode,
Schnauzer
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