jn82’s Epic Adventure

Day 45 [15 Mar 09] – Nice

Posted in Nice by jn82 on March 15, 2009

On the last day in France, we took a day trip to the principality of Monaco. Monaco is probably most famous for Princess Grace Kelly, the royal family, Le Casino de Monte Carlo, the Grand Prix and the tons of celebrities and rich people that live there. The train ride from Nice Ville to Monaco was on an Intalian Trenitalia Euro Intercity train (the same one we are taking to Ventimiglia tomorrow), and took only ten minutes as it bypassed the stops in-between Nice and Monaco.

Upon arrival in Monaco, we headed to Monaco Ville, the district in Monaco where the royal palace was. Upon reaching the coast, the one thing which dominates Monaco’s waterfront is the sheer number of yachts docked there. There is such an insane amount of wealth which is pretty mind boggling.

Port Herculue.

Making our way up the hill to the royal palace, we managed to catch pretty amazing views of the principality along the way.

Panoramic Monaco.

Warnings for Aussies.

We did not actually go into the royal palace as the guide books said it was not very spectacular, but were fortunate to be there just as the changing of the guard was about to start. It was not very interesting at all though.

Token changing of the guard pictures.

We next went on a tourist train ride that went around Monaco, similar to the one we did for Nice’s old city. It was also not that wonderful, as we later managed to cover most of the same route by foot. After a quick and cheap lunch (2.50€ hot dog in Monaco, what a steal!), we walked down the hill and headed to Monte Carlo!

More signs of wealths on the way down.

On the way to Monte Carlo, we would walk past the majority of the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, and it was really cool to be able to actually walk on and see the various parts of the circuit which I had seen on the TV for the part 10+ years. The same cannot be said for walking on the Singapore F1 street circuit though I think.

Turn 1: Up Siante Devote.

Turn 4: Around Casino de Monte Carlo.

Turn 6: The Grand Hotel Hairpin, slowest corner in all of F1.

More of Turn 6.

Entrance of Turn 9: The tunnel.

Inside Turn 9.

Wow, amazing! Okay, you might not appreciate this if you are not a F1 fan. If you have noticed closely, most of the pictures have very expensive cars in them, which brings me to the second great attraction of Monaco (to me) besides the F1 circuit, the rare and expensive cars! There are the rarest and most expensive cars in the principality, and in the short time we were here we saw most of the current line up of Ferraris and Bentleys, a Ford GT 40, a couple of Mercedes AMGs etc etc. Check out the gallery link for all the pictures I managed to get.

What an amazing day in Monaco!

On the way back to Nice, we stopped at Villefranche, which was a small fishing village/port. The hotel guy recommended it as a place we could check out, but it seemed pretty quite and borning so we spent only an hour or so there.

Villefranche sur Saône.

Poor dude with his overturned little dingy, haha!

This marks the end of two weeks in France, which have been an excellent experience. France is an amazing country with so much to see and do, and most of the people are pretty nice, contrary to what many people will tell you. Off to Milan, fashion capital of the world, tomorrow. Au revoir.

Link to all of today’s pictures here.

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Day 44 [14 Mar 09] – Nice

Posted in Nice by jn82 on March 15, 2009

Woke up pretty late this morning, and did not feel like getting out of bed at all. Feet were kind of painful, and joints a bit achy also, from two intense days of sightseeing in Paris. We intended to hit the flower market around the old city around 9am, but only reached the area around 11am. Pretty interesting place, reminded me of Vic mart, only that they sold a lot more flowers, in addition to some cooked food, fresh fruit and vegetables. In the area around the flower market was also other smaller stalls selling the usual stuff they sell at markets, i.e. stuff that does not interest me.

Flower market.

That is a lot of potatoes.

Sun dried tomatoes.

After walking around the market for around an hour, we hung out on one of the world famous Nice beaches for a while and soaked in the surroundings. Indeed this place would be crawling with bikini clad babes during the summer, but no such luck today.

Weird dude with stones on his body.

Not dressed for the beach.

We next hopped on a tourist train ride around the old city because we were feeling pretty lazy to cover the place by foot. The “train” ride was pretty good because it brings you all the way up to the chateau hill park where you can get a good view of the whole of Nice.

Nice, from the top of Parc du château.

The next stop was lunch, where we had a mussel buffet for 13.90€! I think it was pretty cheap, given I had around five bowls of mussels, with an estimated 25 mussels per bowl. Was very nice, but after a certain point you have to stop because you just get sick of eating mussels.

Buffet king prepares for action.

The first of five bowls.

The final stop of the day was a 30 minute bus ride from Nice, to the small town of Eze. Now there is not that much to do in Eze, except to visit a mideveil village which was built on a hill on Eze. Now this might not seem to be anything much, but given Eze itself is already pretty high in the hills, this makes the view from the top of the village to me really something else.

Eze, from the top of Eze Village.

Pretty good day today, taking in the sights that the famous Cote d’Azur has to offer. Off to Monaco tomorrow!

Today’s pictures here.

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Day 43 [13 Mar 09] – Nice

Posted in Nice by jn82 on March 13, 2009

Took the TGV today from Paris to Nice from 7.46am – 1.16pm. It was a normal train ride, and the longest day train we have taken to far on the trip with a duration of around five and a half hours. After getting into Nice, dumping stuff at the hostel and having lunch, it was already past 3pm, so we decided not to do any sightseeing today.

Being Friday the 13th, it will not be right is something did not go wrong.

Yes, my “Nice” haircut. Back to the days of BMTC School 2, Leopard Company Platoon 3, sans all the MCs. As a result of lost in translation at around 3pm today, I am now botak. I am not noo bothered by this, as my hair should have grown back by the time the trip is over and work starts. The haircut itself only cost me 10€, though you do not need to exert that much effort for this kind of hair style.

Hope to have a rest tonight after doing a big load of laundry this evening, and then continue with what Nice and the rest of the Cote d’Azur as to offer tomorrow!

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