The blissful coastal road ends in chaos as we enter a Nice in the midst of what can only be described as an extreme makeover. Arguments with the satnav ensue as she repeatedly tells me to go down roads that are either shut or one-way in the opposite direction. If I’m honest, the satnav was lucky to remain in the car with us. Anyway, we eventually make our way into the neighbourhood of our hotel. Did I say neighbourhood?? Scratch that, read ghetto! Gangs are hanging out on corners as we approach the hotel and I’m relieved that we can park the car immediately outside the hotel tonight.
We arrive at the train station in the morning to find that there is a strike. In France? So, we head to a café for un croissant et un café à l’américaine. I’ve never been to a coffee shop that had a VIP area before. Seriously.
Eventually we get the Train des Merveilles to Breil Sur Roya, a small town in the French Alps. It’s as much about the breathtaking train journey as it is visiting the sleepy town as we head over valleys, arched bridges, and through mountain tunnels. If you have a few hours to spare, it’s a beautiful little trip.
Mussels and escargot on the menu. It HAS to be done, right? And Mira’s face as I ask her to sample France’s most popular signature dish suggest that it’s going to be me sampling the more exotic culinary delights on the trip – cricket curry, anyone?
We say adieu to Central Nice and head across the coast and through the port of old town Nice. This place and the road is stunningly beautiful. Crystal waters with yachts reflecting the city lights that emphasis the centuries old architecture and provide ambience for the hundreds of French taking evening jogs along the promenade – and why wouldn’t you in a place as incredible as this. Speechless and in awe, we soak it all in on the way to Monaco…