We stay at the free aire in Saint Laurent du Var for 3 days and each day we cycled to the coast. It was so nice to be by the sea and it felt like a mini holiday. First cycle ride we took a right at the coast and the second day we took a left. Each time cycling for most the day…our legs felt the pain on day 3, so a short cycle in and around St Laurent du Var.
No destination rolls out the blue of the French Rivera than Nice. Several miles of nothing but azure blue ocean to dip your toe in to. Or if you’re Mac n Tosh your paw…but no dogs allowed. The whole of the Rivera is off limits to the dudes, so sadly they make do with a cold tap dip! The majority of pebbled beach is privately owned, so access is via private steps once the obligatory cash for the privilege is coughed up. We cycle along the new refurbished promenade admire all the seafront sights. The majority of Nice is new with high rise hotels, shopping centres and gastro delights.
Head towards the far end and the old town is located at the base of Le Châteauand hill. Alleyways that wind in ever direction, so you completely loose your sense of direction. It is a rabbit warren ladened with unique shops, bazaars and bistros. Old squares, churches and chapels seem to appear without notice (click to enlarge image).
On the second day we cycled via Cagnes as well as an evening motorbike trip to Antibes (very nice). We also went to see a few haunts…click here
For a special treat, one evening just before sunset we head over to Monaco on Eor our little motorbike. We take the Grande Corniche road built by Napoleon with beautiful views over the attractive coastline. In between the dense trees you can spot the millionaire mansions and celebrity pads. Out to sea yachts and liners cruise the wonderful shoreline of white rocks, secluded beaches and wind-bent pines.
Once in the centre or should we say ‘the sunny place for shady people’ we made our way to the harbour. The streets were immaculately clean and the buildings neatly decorated in shades of terracotta or mellow yellow. All rather homely looking compared than sterile glass and steel you normally get in cities. Down at the harbour the huge millionaire yachts bobbed in the water. But where is everyone? It was dead as a dodo.
With the streets abandoned it would be a shame not to do the Grand prix. With that, Craig dropped Eor in to second and shot off. We zoomed around the Grand Prix track on Eor. Up and down, in and out, it was ace. I asked Craig how he new the circuit and where to go…his reply “Gran Tourismo, of course”.
After a couple of laps we drove towards Monte Carlo but we didn’t get too far. A smartly dressed police officer jumped in front of our path. Craig slammed on the breaks. Hand raised high and shaking his head the police man walked towards us. “Oh shit Craig what have we done now?”. I quickly lowered my hand and pressed stop on the mobile phone video (and then pressed another button, so no video!). In a very polite manner he said “Sorry, guests only and bow tie” and smiled. As we peered in to the posh cars we could see everyone in full tux and ball gowns. Ah well, maybe next time.
For the return we take the Corniche Inferieure, the coastal road. Its a superb drive as we weave through the lovely Villefranche sur mer and Cap Ferrat peninsular. We remember driving Vin right in to the harbour of Cap Ferrat in the hope we could find a sleepy spot. And you guessed it, we failed.
With Nice done the question is where now? Towards Spain or Italy? Rather than spin the bottle because knowing our luck it will send us back home! We toss a coin…heads Spain or tails Italy? Decision time