Au revoir Nice, à bientôt!

One thing we hadn’t planned in advance was how and when we were going to get back to Paris from Nice for our flight home Sunday morning. The options we’d considered were a 5+ hour long TGV ride on Friday or Saturday, or a one way flight (aller simple) from Nice to Paris.

Since we’d only spent an abbreviated day and a half in Paris, we both wanted to spend as much of the weekend there as possible, which meant leaving Nice either Thursday afternoon/night or Friday morning. Comparing the TGV to the plane time-wise (getting to/from airport and city, going through security), it seemed as though they’d be almost equivalent, and both would use up a significant chunk of a day.

So we decided to investigate a third option: the night train. Rather than take a high speed TGV from Nice to Paris, there was a sleeper train called the Corail Lunea that took 10 hours to make the journey, departing at 9:45pm. It picked people up along the coast from Nice to Toulon, and then sauntered nonstop all the way up to Paris, arriving at the centrally located Gare Austerlitz at 8 in the morning.

Even though it seems crazy to spend 10 hours on a train, it would essentially compress one night at a hotel and getting to Paris (well rested, sort of) in the same chunk of time. The bonus: we got a 50% discount thanks to Stephanie’s sister—who works as a travel agent. So two beds in a first class compartment of 4 beds only cost 160€.

Which meant squeezing as much as we could into Thursday, our last day in Nice. So we woke and packed up all our things, which was becoming a difficult proposition as we were acquiring lots to bring back.

Stephanie’s mom picked us up and brought our bags to Aurelie’s apartment. After a little food, the four of us drove to Chateau de Nice, which are the ruins of an old fortress on a coastal hill above Nice. On the way I jumped out of the car to get a picture of the incredible translucent blue water. The Chateau, or what’s left of it, is on top of the hill in the foreground on the left.

Chateau de Nice as seen from the beach

Amazingly enough, the whole time we were there, we never really got to the beach or even touched the Mediterranean. Next time :)

Here’s the view of Nice from the Chateau de Nice.

Looking down on Old Nice from Chateau de Nice

Stephanie finally took the camera out of my hands and got a nice shot of her sister and mom.

Aurelie and Chris at Chateau de Nice

Look at me, overlooking the marina

Justin at Chateau de Nice overlooking the marina

Stephanie touching Aurelie’s belly

Stephanie toucking Aurelie's belly

After that we went to old Nice, which is the older center of the city with narrow pedestrian streets and shops and restaurants. Stephanie and Aurelie tried on clothes, I ate a socca, which is like a crepe made with chickpeas. We bought a rotisserie chicken to bring back for a simple dinner before heading to the train station.

Before dinner I made guacamole with some avocados and limes we bought earlier in the week. Mexican food is not readily available in France, and I wanted to make something special and unique as a small thank you.

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