Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Nice 2 - Eze, Hot Stone Therapy and a Lazy, Hazy Day

8th October

Disaster! The patisserie was closed today (as are quite a few places in Nice on Mondays). We made do with toast and then went to the nearby Ile de Beauté at the head of the Port to catch our bus to Eze-sur-Mer. Apparently Ile de Beauté is a nickname for Corsica, and there is a ferry that leaves from Nice Port for that island.  The 100 bus takes you along the stunning coastline east of Nice as far as Menton beside the border with Italy. The journey only costs 1 Euro no matter where you get off.  The bus sweeps up Mount Boron giving you beautiful views of Nice and the Mediterranean, glistening sky blue on warm and sunny day.  The bus then glides down to Villefranch-sur-Mer, which has one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean and is a regular port of call for the huge cruise ships, indeed there was one in the bay today. 

We travelled on past the land-locked end of Cap Ferrat into Beaulieu-sur Mer which positively oozes of money with it's marina, casino and fancy hotels.  The mountains and cliffs rise high behind the small town and continue round the bay.  There is a short tunnel through the cliffs and shortly after that we arrived in Eze-sur-Mer set in the stunning location backed by huge cliffs and mountains.

Me on the Beach at Eze-sur-Mer
We were hungry so we first went to a small roadside cafe and went very local and had a Nicoise salad which was delicious. We then crossed the road went under the railway, and down a narrow stepped alley onto the beach. It is a pebble beach but the location is wonderful, there were huge beds of dry seaweed that were soft and bouncy to walk on.  The beach was surprisingly quiet, we found a lovely spot and settled for the afternoon.  Debbi was brave and went into the water, I did a little paddle and was surprised at how cold the water was on this warm and sunny day. The stones on the beach were hot and I lay down and Debbi put some of them on my back, a bit of stone therapy. As the heat spread down into my muscles I could feel the relaxation spreading through them (I've now booked a stone therapy session at my salon!)

After a lovely day that cost us the grand total of two Euros for our bus fare (the trip alone was worth the money) we headed home and had a rest and shower before we went out for our meal.  We ended up at La Barque Bleue at the Port, less than five minutes from our apartment. Again it was very mild and we sat outside. I had a goats cheese tart to start, followed by spaghetti carbonara all of which was very good.

9th October

Debbi Tucking into her Socca
We'd decided to have a lazy, moochy day today to really soak in the atmosphere of Nice. We had a lie-in and then breakfast of fresh palmier and baguette from our patisserie. We wandered up past the Port to Place Garibaldi and went to the Rue Pairoliere in the Old Town to Chez Rene Socca which is one of the most famous places to buy socca a Nicoise dish. Socca is basically a thin chickpea pancake made on a huge griddle about two feet in diameter and then kind of hacked up into pieces that you buy a plate of.  The restaurant was set on two sides of the small street with wooden tables. You went to where the socca was being made to buy it and ordered drinks from the waiters at the table. The socca was only 2.80 Euros for a large portion and it was quite nice, though I enjoyed it more when we got some lemon to squeeze onto it. 

After our lunch we went on further into the maze that is the Old Town, just wandering in and out of shops, we both bought some heavenly smelling violette eau de cologne, bags and garlic graters. We came across the famous Fenocchio ice cream shop and just had to try it! It certainly lived up to it's reputation, I had vanilla and it was one of the best I've had.  

More Cake!
We headed back to Place Garibaldi and found a seat at le Sully, one of the many bar restaurants in the square. We ordered half a litre of red wine. Unfortunately it wasn't good wine, but we forced it down before moving across the square to Le Paradis du Fruit and more  -this time good - wine. It was lovely just relaxing watching the Nice life pass by.  

After consuming a litre of the wine we wandered across to Serain Cappa for a cake and we both had delicious chocolatey ones that went down very well. We then wandered back to the Port with quite a spring to our step lol!

We ate in that night, and had some French lessons care of our Ipod Touch app. We learned a lot of, let's say, unusual French words that I don't think we'll be using much lol!

Our lazy, moochy day had gone very well, we are very good at doing nothing lol, we decided that in the future we will always set aside a day of our holiday for chilling like this!

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