23 March, 2011

Nice Journal - Spring 2011 - 1

Wednesday, 23rd was a very long day by my standards. My alarm got me up at 5am and we left the house at 6:45 to get the 7:15 train from Cambridge to London. By 9:25 we were on our way to Paris on the Eurostar train. We arrived at Gare du Nord within seconds of the timetabled time and took the RER-D two stops to Gare de Lyon. That station is currently a complete mess, thanks to rebuilding works, but we were eventually able to find our way to the TGV for Nice in time to get settled in our seats well before departure.

Said seats were so comfortable (European high-speed trains are wonderful!) that the next five and a half hours passed blissfully. Having been served a second breakfast at our seats on the London-Paris train, we had to get our lunch from the buffet car on the TGV but, this being a French train, the croque monsieur and pasta salad were of very acceptable quality.

The TGV was non-stop as far as Avignon but, once we reached the Riviera coast, there were many stops before we were delivered to Nice, right on time, at 7:30pm. A short taxi ride up to our apartment on Boulevard de Cessole and the journey was complete: longer (12 hours door-to-door) and more expensive than flying but infinitely less stressful. I don't believe we have ever arrived in Nice in such good shape! We dropped our bags, called Perry to let him know we'd arrived safely and immediately headed over to the neighbourhood Monoprix to shop for dinner and breakfast.

Thanks to the mode of travel, we slotted into "living in Nice" even more immediately than usual. We bought three bags of shopping and schlepped them home. We cooked a dinner of sauteed salmon pavee, tagliatelle sprinkled with grana padana, and a mixed leaf salad with a simple vinaigrette that Lisa rustled up on the spot. We enjoyed a very fine bottle of 2009 white Graves with that.

Dinner over, Lisa cleared up after the meal while I tackled the unpacking (a job she loathes!) and all was done by 1:30am.

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