Thursday, 2 July 2009

Nice 2009/07

Another example of mixing holiday and racing – this time we off to Nice on the French Riviera (Côte d'Azur).

Nice turned out to be a lovely place with the small streets, old houses being nicely renovated, charming restaurants on the shores of the Meditorenian Sea.

The only disappointment for us was the long but narrow beach made of the polished pebbles. Along the beach was running dual carriageway called The Promenade des Anglais ("Promenade of the English").

The Place Garibaldi (below) is one of the nicest architectural squares and is home to the antic market. It is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, hero of the Italian unification.

On Sunday was a big day, Ironman. As usual early wake up, Mike stressed at the start desperately trying to change the tire that just exploded. The race course turned up to be very difficult, more hilly than expected, but Mike finished in 10:27 finishing overall 250 (still in 1st top 10%).

Monaco, tax heaven, full of rich people, area of 2 km2 and 32k population - it's only 20 min on the train from Nice; it was lovely day out; on the our last visit there was F1 taking place so everything seemed different this time.

We've started our sightseeing from the Palace, the residency of the current royal family Grimaldi, who first captured the throne in 1297 - one of the longest reining families.

Monaco Aquarium fully deserves the name of the best aquarium in Europe - it has a wide collection of fishes and one of the most interesting commentaries we ever see e.g. stone fish is the most poisonous fish with 25% of all wounds inflicted by man being fatal. The water is pump from the Mediterranean Sea.

And you can't visit Monaco without visiting Monte Carlo Casino - that is where all the celebs spend their cash, but interestingly if you citizen of Monaco you are forbidden to enter the gaming rooms.

We’ve spotted some ceb outside the casino but unfortunately it wasn't from the sport world so we don't know the name but he arrived in very distinctive Bentley (so he definitely wanted the attention) and was greeted by the screaming tourists and everyone wanted to take the photo of him so we fallow the suit and taken the photo as well.

Cannes is a busy tourist destination and host of the annual Cannes Film Festival, founded in 1946; It's was only 30 min on the train from Nice

Overall very enjoyable and relaxing long weekend away; Nice is the very good base point with the airport only 20 min by bus and good connections with Monaco, Cannes and other attractions. Staying in the quiet hotel Oasis with the garden/bar definitely added to our pleasant stay in Nice.

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