Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cote d'Azur in a Day: An Instruction Manual

Here are some instructions, in case they should come in handy, on how to get from Barcelona to Cote d'Azur and back on your way again in one day.

First, on the 12 hour rail zigzag from Barcelona to Nice, bond with everyone in your cabin because "first class" in Spain apparently means "put me in the beige car from the 1960's with the seats that spontaneously detach from the floor."

Hop from train to train with them: a couple in the Canadian army, a Kiwi husband and wife who import railway steel, and maybe a post-study abroad girl who seems happy to be in Europe, and indifferent as to where in Europe she is or in which direction the train might be headed.

At the reservations counter, hide behind your new Canadian friends because they speak French. When all else fails, use broken Spanish to communicate. As your third train of the day leaves the station, regret not bringing beer on board.

Plan to meet up with them later that night, but realize that the bar is closed on Tuesdays. Sip a Heineken on the doorstep waiting for them to come. Give up, and treat yourself to a meal of Moules Frites instead.

(Side note: Just now I asked a very sweet woman at the bus stop how to spell moules frites, and we ended up having an hour-long conversation. She promised to read the blog, so, hi Valerie!)

Back to the narrative. Wander the town and beach of Nice at midnight, admiring the spectacular urban lighting design.

Get a quick night's sleep at the hostel. The next morning, store your suitcase at the train station lockers because your hostel owner apparently takes a nap from 11 to 4 each day and that's when you need your bag.

Take the city tram to the 82 bus to Eze. Get off when you see a beautiful hilltop town that looks like this:

Meet a few girls from Philadelphia and wander the town with them for a few hours. Don't miss the cactus and sculpture garden.

Then quickly get back to the 82 bus, hop the tram to the rail station, grab your suitcase, and get on the first train that seems like it's going in the right direction.

Where to next? Oh, I don't know... let's say... Milan.

Location:Cote d'Azur, France


  1. I hope you gave the Philly girls some grief from the official World Champs of hockey ...
    Keep the photos coming!

  2. What role is your iPad playing in your travels?