Sherman, enjoying the sunset at St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Photo taken March 24, 2011.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Cabri Regional Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Where are they going next? We're here at the park until late September!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We made it to France!

I can't believe it took us 55 years to make it to France! Country #31 for us. Now, we're only going to see a tiny corner of the country so we'll have to make it back for more at some point. But at least we're here!

The day started off in Savona, Italy. Our train didn't leave until 1:30pm, so we did some computer time and then went for a walk along the waterfront in Savona.

Lots of blue sky and sunshine, with a high of about 18C (65F). Beautiful.

Savona waterfront.

There were workers out cleaning the beach. Winter is definitely over in Savona, and it looked like beachfront businesses are getting ready, with some signs saying they reopen next week.

This section looked like the doggy beach, with a lot of pups out playing.

Ruth, and Savona waterfront.

We then went back to our AirBnb apartment and picked up our bags. It was a 1.5 km (less than a mile) walk to the train station, where we waited for the train headed for Nice.

It was a coulple of minutes late arriving, and then we were on our way. Paid €20 ($29.80 CAD, $23 USD) each for the two and a half hour journey.

Ruth on the train. 

Tough to get decent photos from the train!

The journey followed the coast, but a lot of it was through tunnels.

Arrived in Nice at 4:30pm, almost half an hour late. At one point, someone had pulled the emergency cord an the train came to a stop. They never explained why. Then, at the France border, police came on board looking for illegal immigrants trying to get into France. From what we understand, there are a lot of refugees set up at camps in Italy at the French border. Don't know why they aren't happy staying in Italy...maybe France has better social programs? Maybe the language? Not sure.

Anyhow, the late arrival meant nothing to  us because we couldn't access our AirBnb apartment until 7:30pm when our host arrived home from work.

We looked into checking our bags at the train station, but they wanted €5 ($7.45 CAD, $5.60 USD) each for two hours. No thanks. They're on wheels, so it's easy enough to just drag them behind us.

We walked down the main drag from the train station to the waterfront.

Nice is the 5th largest city in France (pop 350,000, but over 1 million in the greater area) so it's a big busy city.

Statue of Apollo.

Funny story that I read about this statue. It was unveiled in 1956, and apparently there were gasps from the crowd. Apollo's manly bits were a little, shall we say, out of proportion! It was a scandal back then, and the sculptor was made to chisel things down to size.

Even then, by 1979 a local Catholic women's group succeeded in having him removed from display and put in a city storage yard. But in 2005, a newspaper reporter did a "where are they now" type of story, and there was huge support to have Apollo put back in his rightful place...where he still stands today, in all of his glory.

Neat water fountain display.

These two girls were having fun trying not to get too wet as the fountains went on and off.

Eventually they got out of the maze.

We sat and people watched at the fountain for a while, and then made our way to the waterfront.

The side of this building is entirely painted! There are no windows or balconies on this side.

We sat at the seafront and just watched the world go by for an hour or so.

And, then we started making our way back north and to our AirBnb flat. Our host Will was there to greet us. Interesting guy. He's originally from Senegal, but lived in London for quite a while. He owns a security company here in Nice. Speaks fluent English, French, German, and his local language from Senegal, Wolof.

Nice modern apartment, and we're happy here for two nights. The city of Nice in general seems fairly costly, and this is the most we have paid all winter for somewhere to stay, at €35 ($51 CAD, $39 USD) per night. But it's cheaper than Monte Carlo, where the best price I could find was €50 per night!

And speaking of Monaco, that's where we're headed today. The second smallest country in the world!

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We like our Merrell boots. Today, they have some of their shoes on sale...





24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I think the people who gasped were just jealous of Apollo, lol!

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  2. Just moving on down the road some more. Enjoy.

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    Replies
    1. We are totally enjoying ourselves!

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  3. When we were in Nice some years ago we were driving our brother in law's mini van, we went exploring down some back roads and lanes. We almost got stuck in one that was so narrow we had to pull the side mirrors and then we just managed to get through! Enjoy your day. Cheers

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    1. Yep, lots of those narrow streets here for sure! There is definitely a big parking problem as well. Lots of cars that double park and then it makes it hard for traffic to get through. I would not want to have a car here, you get around faster on foot.

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  4. Hope Chris sees your Amazon advertisement today for the Merrell hiking boots on sale. The sale price is the same as I paid for mine at the Merrell discount store. With the combination of leather and fabric materials, the boots felt like I was wearing a comfortable pair of sneakers and light weight, too.

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    Replies
    1. We hope so too, especially if he wants a pair! Our Merrells have always been comfortable right from the first time we have put them on our feet. We have never had to work them in, which we really like.

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  5. Interesting post and I find that you train photos are just fine. They don't need to be perfect.

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    Replies
    1. That's because Kevin only put up the ones that turned out half decently, we trashed the others.

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  6. Beautiful city nice pictures we must go there sometime. 31 countries so far wow! Enjoy your stay!

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    1. Nice is a pretty city and maybe one day we too will come back sometime and see a bit more of it and the area around it.

      Yesterday was country #32 and today will be country #33! :-)

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  7. Beautiful pictures and looks like a lovely train ride! We loved France more than we thought we would (2009 for one week) but did not spend nearly enough time in Paris (only one day) and never made it to Monaco even even though we were Cannes for 4 days (well, 3 days were spent at a conference and a tour with the conference)! Silly us!

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    1. Oh, and thanks much for the tip on the Merrell Amazon sale. I was just trying on a pair yesterday here locally but didn't want to cough up $130 (US) for a pair. Great deal so snagged a pair of new hikers!

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    2. Tina, you won't regret it, price wise and comfort wise. The price was the cheapest I've seen for the same level of quality for comfort, and my feet are picky!

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    3. P.S. Merrell also sells hiking socks. Even though their hiking boots are breathable, if you are a person (like me) whose feet sweat a lot while hiking in cool or warm weather, I found when I removed my boots the socks kept my feet bone dry.

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    4. Well Tina, you will have spent more time in France than we have. I know that one day we will return and spend way more time exploring the cities and the countryside. Again, it is a country that I know would take us a while to explore, it has lots to offer.

      Glad that you bought a pair of Merrells, We have now had at least 3 pairs each over the last 11 or so years and ours get used a LOT, especially when we are traveling in the winter, they are worn almost exclusively each and every day.

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  8. It looks nicer in your pictures than I remember from my several visits:) Of course, I was there for business:(

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    1. It is quite a pretty city but the blue skies certainly help to make it look even better. I hope that you managed to get out and see at least a bit of the city when you were here and not having to work the whole time.

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  9. You waited to 55 before entering France, but -- hey, you're there! I'm way over 55 and I haven't stepped foot in France yet! You're way ahead of me. Funny story about Apollo. Would've been something to see the sculptor chiseling away! (chuckle chuckle)

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    1. I can't believe that you haven't visited France either, guess we aren't the only ones then. ;-)

      I wonder if the sculptor had to work on the "whittling down" back at his private studio or out in the public where he stood!

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  10. Love the building with the faux side windows and balconies. I would never have known unless you pointed that out. Creative!

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    1. I loved it too! It was so well done that they even included fine details like having the sheer curtains in the windows either opened/partially opened or closed. They included the shadows from the balcony railing and the window frames. So much detail and so well done, it was amazing.

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