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Report 2028: Two Travellers on Corsica

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Spring 2012

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Page 13 of 14: Nice, Monaco & Home Again - Saturday-Monday October 13-15

photo by Doug Phillips

Monaco

The ferry from Bastia back to Nice was scheduled to leave at 8:00am, but we didn't start boarding via a shuttle bus from the terminal until well after that time. We arrived back in Nice shortly after 2:00pm. When we were waiting to disembark, I noticed what I assumed was a sports team of young athletes, both male and female. I approached one of the young men and inquired as to their sport. It wasn't a team, but a phys ed class of university students from Denmark who had spent a week at the university in Corte competing in a variety of activities. From Denmark to Corsica for a week as part of a university class - looked good to me.

While we had taken a bus from our hotel down to the port, we decided to take a taxi back to the same hotel. The #7 bus from the hotel cost €1 each. The charge for the taxi was €23. Well, it was a Mercedes.

Our hotel, the Best Western Roosevelt, was on rue Marechal Joffre at the corner of rue Alphonse Karr. Boulevard Victor Hugo is one block north, rue de la Liberté one block south. It was a short walk to the attractive Place Massena.

Much of Nice is very pedestrian friendly. There are several restaurants in the immediate area, but when I checked several on my computer, none were reviewed very highly. From our experience, the best options would seem to be in the old part of the city, south of Boulevard Jean Jaurès, so that's where we headed around 8:00pm.

On our last full day we walked up to the train station in Nice and bought two tickets over to Monaco - about a 20 minute ride. I wasn't keen on Monaco - had heard it was over the top, but we had a great time. We arrived on a heritage day in Monaco - buses and museums were free - a pleasant surprise. We took the local bus over to the old town and walked through the narrow alleyways arriving at the Place du Palais, with tourist shops facing the Princely Palace across the open square. The Place du Palais occupies an elevated position, providing great views of most of Monaco on one side and Fonteville on the other. We toured the palace, then a local history museum on a side street, before walking over to the Cathedral and Law Courts, then down along the parcours Princess Grace to the harbour, where we paused for a light lunch at the Brasserie de Monaco. The outside seating area is actually on the track of the Monaco Grand Prix.

You may read some discouraging words about Monaco, but I would recommend a visit if you are in the area. You won't see anything like it anywhere else.

In the afternoon, we stopped at Villefrance-sur-Mer on the way back to Nice.

Up early Monday morning and an uneventful return journey home - a short walk in the direction of the Promenade des Anglais, catch the #98 bus to terminal 2 at the Nice airport, 8.5 hour flight to Montreal, three hour drive to our home in eastern Ontario. We've had a couple of "eventful" return trips - much prefer the boring ones.

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