After graduation, I rolled my suitcase down the hill to catch the bus into Nice. G arrived Friday afternoon and we planned on meeting up at Hotel les Cigales. I stayed there when I arrived. It was nice and a good location. Most everyone else had ordered taxis but I just couldn't justify the 50 euros into Nice. The bus was 1.30 euro and it took me a bit over an hour.
I walked into the room and G had just returned from walking around the old town. He had really enjoyed the piano player in Place Massena - Steve Villa-Massone. He had spent time listening to him play. I remembered seeing him several times as I walked around Nice. Here is a video about him. Maybe you have seen him also?
G was doing well but I thought it would be best to eat early. We headed off to Rue Massena to have pizza at La Pizza. We had eaten there on our previous trip. They serve the pizzas as a half-crescent overflowing the plate. They are cooked in a wood burning stove. Great fast food for about 30 euros with drinks. After we walked to the old town and had an ice cream (of course!)
We both crashed and slept well. At 10am, we headed over to Eurocar to pick up our car. I rented it through AutoEurope. It was supposed to be an economy car but it got upgraded. It was a Fiat. After it was cleaned and we got a short explanation of how things worked, we headed off down the Promenade des Anglais towards the airport. I had visited St Paul on our school trip and I knew which way to go. I was hoping to find a way so I didn't have to go onto the Autoroute like the bus did. We were following the same route as Bus 400 that I took to Biot but when we passed the Hippodrome I knew we must have missed the turn off. We backtracked to Cagnes sur Mer and found the road.
We arrived around 11 so we decided to go into the town first and eat lunch. We explored the shops and climbed the walls. You could see the snow dusted foothills of the Alps fro the storms earlier in the week. We were walking in the cemetery when I got a call on my cell phone. Who could that be? It was Europcar calling. The previous renter was missing his computer and would I check to see if he left it in the car? Hmmm. I doubt since I watched the agent vacuum the car but I would go check. Nothing.
But it was time for lunch. This time I choose to eat at the Restaurant Hostellerie des Remparts. It was very good. I had a white fish in a pesto sauce and G had a Linguini aux fruits de mer. We also had a bottle of Chateau Minuty, a rosé from around St. Tropez. It was to become one of our favorite rosé.
Our next stop was Fondation Maeght. It was as enjoyable as my first visit. I love the Miro statues. There were several musicians throughout the museum playing music from Spanish composers which added to the ambiance. It was getting late and we needed to get to Menton so we headed back to Nice. We drove along the Basse Corniche. I had wanted to drive up by my apartment and show G where I stayed but we were running late. We did stop at the Villefranche sur Mer overview.
Around 5pm, we arrived in Menton, the city of citrus and gardens. The traffic was busy from Monaco on to Menton. We followed the directions to the apartment the owner sent us. It said to go down a street 'where you think you can not be in the right place' until you come to a small arch - Porte St. Julien; our entry from the 21st century to the 17th century. We didn't see anywhere to park so we carefully turned around and went back down about a block. We rolled our luggage up to the slatted door. We turned on the minuterie and climbed the stair. The door opened to a wonderful apartment.
The Vieux Ville area of Menton reminded me a lot of Venice. Menton is a very Italianate town. The Vieux Ville buildings dates from the 14th to 17th centuries. Our apartment is on Rue Longue which is part of the Via Julia, an ancient Roman road between Vintimille and La Turbie. It was originally owned by a member of the Grimaldi family. Menton area was once an independent country before joining France in the 1800's.
We opened the window and discover the most wonderful view of Italy. It would enchant us throughout our stay.