CÔTE D’AZUR- ANTIBES & NICE
It is beginning of October and already getting quite cold here in Switzerland. Only a week ago we took 3 days off from work, because Top was starting his new Job this Monday. We took this chance to go on a short trip to somewhere we haven’t been yet. We decided to go to Nice and Antibes where we both have friends living there.
On Wednesday early morning we took an easyjet flight from Geneva Airport and landed in Nice at 9:20am. From the airport we wanted to take a train to Antibes, so we bought the ticket at Terminal 1 and then walked about 20min before we found the train station. Once you know how to get there it maybe takes you 10-15min by foot. We paid 3.70 Euro per person for an about 20 min Train Ride. Later in the trip we found out, that we could have taken the bus that takes longer but is only 1.50 Euro per person. Anyway I would recommend to use the local buses as they are quite nice and very affordable. You can travel 1 hour by bus and still only pay 1.50 Euro, which is pretty good.
When we reached Antibes, Tops friend picked us up from the station. Later we went for Thai food at another Thai Ladies house, which is basically an underground, unofficial restaurant. We ordered our food over the phone before we headed to her place. We had amazing thai food and ordered a little too much. After being completely full from lunch his friends headed back home, she is 7 months pregnant. So we went on exploring Antibes a little bit. We took it very relaxed. Our goal for these days was not to chill out, see something nice, enjoy the weather and some quality time.
We walked a lot that day. What really stood out to both of us was, all the elderly people playing boule in the park. There were many groups of retired people, enjoying a good time with their friends while placing their metal balls as near as possible to the small target ball.
We also realized that the Côte d’azur is not a cheap place, prices for food at the restaurant were almost as high as in Switzerland and this really surprised us. Because the people there for sure don’t earn as much as in Switzerland. But hey, the weather is nice most of the year and winters usually don’t get colder than 10°C. In Antibes the have sand beaches basically in the middle of the city. People were sunbathing and swimming in the Sea. The colors were so vibrant and beautiful. It was really soothing for our eyes and mind.
That evening our friends cooked for us and we had some Rosé with with them. Top has not seen them for about 4 years, so it was really nice to catch up and get to know them. We had such a great time.
The next day we walked around the old town of Antibes, we visited a market which takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The old town is so beautiful, small alleys, all the different warm yellow tones of the houses and the view on the sea in a rich, dark blue. It was about 25°C and the sun was warm but not to hot. I can imagine that in summer it is probably too hot to walk around the whole day. We filmed, took photos, sat on walls and observed the area and people. We had lunch at a cafe, Top had french omelette and salad (7.50 Euro), but was a little dissapointed that is was basically just a fried egg. I had the daily menu (14.90 Euro), because there was a glass of red wine and a dessert included. It was veal liver, mashed potatoes and some salad. As a dessert we shared the lemon tart, which was really delicious.
So with Top’s drink we paid 26 Euros.
That evening we planned to make Pizza for our friends, so we went to buy all the ingredients at Carrefour, which is the local supermarket chain. We also bought a bottle of red wine (3 Euros) , vegetables, pizza dough, bacon, mozzarella, tomato sauce, water, cookies for dessert and spent about 24 Euros in total.
We prepared the Pizza, had dinner all together and enjoyed the red wine. The next morning it was already time to say goodbye. But we expect to come to this area again next spring/summer when we start our big journey in Europe. So, see you soon!
WATCH PART I
On the third day, the Friday, we took the Bus number 200 from Antibes to Nice for only 1.50 Euro, it took us about 1 hour. The bus was basically empty, but on the weekend I am sure you would expect many more people taking this bus because it is a cheap way to get to Nice. We got of the Bus at Promenade d’anglais where the horrible terror act happened just a couple months ago (14.07.2016). It was sad to see the memorial, the are was filled with candles, letters, teddy bears, photos, flags and so on.
From the bus station we walked about 15min to my friends home. She had to work until 12:30 and would meet us at her place. She lives in an old building on the 3rd floor. It is a Studio, recently renovated. The space is quite clever, even though the room is completely open it seems almost like 2 rooms. After I mentioned this to my friends she told me, that is was also a 2 room apartment on paper. We had to laugh about that, but for one person I think it is a great space, with a tiny but cute bathroom. The rent for this apartment is 640 Euros, which feels very high, because the earnings here are not high and everything else is already quite pricy. But at least she lives in the city, near to everything.
We went to Carrefour got water Baguette, some turkey, cream cheese and carrots (7.77 Euros) then walked up the Chateau de Nice. It is on a small hill between the old town and the harbor. There is not really a Chateau anymore but it is a great viewpoint. For the not so mobile people or lazy ones there is even a elevator from the village side of Nice. We had lunch up there sitting in the park. Later Top and I explored the old town of Nice. And then we had a late and cheap dinner with chicken and Pizza from the supermarket, we were not that hungry that night.
On day 4 we decided to take a bus to Monaco. For 1.50 Euro we could ride the bus for almost an hour. The bus was quite full, we were not the only people with the idea to visit Monaco on this cloudy day. Our friend told us some stuff about history and the things we could see in Monaco, which was very interesting. There were a lot of rich people roaming around, because a Yacht show was happening this weekend. We could see the rich people getting shipped by small boats from one big Yacht to the next. Yachts with huge motors and whirlpools, where you need a crew of at least 5-10 people. When we were walking around it also started raining, in was not cold, it was actually very humid. After walking around for a couple hours we took the bus back to Nice. On a nicer day we would have stopped in Eze on the way back, because from there you have beautiful view over the coast and can visit a nice cactus garden. But we thought it would not be worth it on a day like that. Maybe next time.
Back at the apartment we took a rest and looked for a restaurant for the evening. We did not want anything fancy or expensive but a place where we can try some local food. We ended up going to “Lou Pilha Leva” in the old town. We found this in an article online and checked it on Trip advisor. We had Moule with fries (8.50) , over baked vegetables (about 4.50) and Socca (2.80) a omelette made of chickpea flour). The moules were quite tasty with the creamy sauce, but quite a lot of the muscles were empty that was a little disappointing, the fries were good, the vegetables were really delicious but the Socca is quite special, it is salty, dry and very filling. If I wanted to get full, fast and cheap it is a good option. It is not something we really enjoyed, but I am still glad we tried it. Socca used to be food for the poor.
Later we stopped at a bar with live music for a happy hour drink as it was our last night for this Trip, the next day we would need to get up super early to get on the bus at 6:20 to get to the airport.
We really enjoyed our short trip, it was a nice break from work and really relaxing. We took it very slow and just went with the flow. We got enough sleep and had some good food with friends. We were really happy to get to see friends we haven’t met in 4/6 years. And we are getting more and more excited as our big Journey is getting closer. Top works until end of March, and Tabea until end of February. Starting from April we will not be registered in Switzerland anymore. We can not wait to pack our stuff together and get going.
But until then we enjoy our short weekend adventures!