Nice and other stuff

Last week (just a few days after our return from Paris), we drove up to Nice to swap our car over.  Due to a bit of a contract mix-up, it turned out that we were supposed to return it on the 10th, which would have been good if we’d known as we were near Nice at that time. Instead, we were driving an unregistered car for a few days until we could get up to Nice on the 14th.  Long story short, the company in Australia who organizes our car needs made it all OK in the end. Thanks UK and Europe Travel! If you’re looking for a long term lease in Europe, then they’re your guys 🙂   Anyway….we made it to Nice OK, but then spent an hour driving around looking for the car place.  The GPS did a good job getting us there, but it turned out that the car place was in the middle of an industrial complex and not obvious from any of the roads.  After asking some French locals, we got the car to the correct office and then went to the airport to get a rental car until our new lease was ready the next day.  It turns out that there are school holidays in Nice and there were NO cars to rent.  The only car available was a BMW and at an outrageous rate!  Once again, thanks UK and Europe travel 🙂

We had a great time in Nice, despite me having a very bad head cold the whole time. One thing that is good about France is the availability and low cost of drugs. We went to the Pharmacy there and stocked up on good pain killers (no “pissing in the wind” Panadol!) and Vitamin C.  We did a fair bit of walking around the city as driving is suicide there. We also drove to Cannes and Monaco for a bit of sight seeing.  We left France with our new car (another Citroen) and went back home to Italy. Chris deserves 100 driving points for some of the most difficult driving situations we’ve experienced so far.

Looking out of the window in the hotel in Nice.

Nice: Chris in the BMW we had to rent. He didnt mind too much....

Parking the car, Nice style! Observe the huge scrapes along the side of the car where the pole wouldnt get out of the way while the driver "jammed" it into the parking spot. We witnessed drivers pushing other cars out of the way with their car so that they could fit into a park. The driving on the roads was just as bad.

The view of the Côte dAzur from the main promenade in Nice. Ah the French Riviera!

OK, Ill admit that I shot this out of the car window on the way up to Monaco, but check out the colours of the water!! So thats why its called the Azure coast.

Stopped off on the way up to Monaco. Fantastic coast line and spectacular views. I was sick as a dog 😦

This week, we had a lovely visit from some South Australian friends: Drew and Caroline Lenman.  Drew is a photographer (www.orangelane.com.au), like Chris, so there was much “shop talk” and excursions out and about with the cameras.  It was so nice to have them around for a couple of days and we showed them some of our favourite spots.  I have permission to post some of Drew’s shots, and I’ve marked them as such in the following images.

Chris and Drew in Pontremoli

Hanging out with the Lenmans in Pontremoli (well, Caroline anyway!). Photo by Drew Lenman

Chris taking a photo of me outside that awful Nazi door in Ponticello. Photo by Drew Lenman

Resulting pic of me

The boys playing table soccer in Filattiera. Photo by me using Drews camera.

Old lady on the street in Mocrone, where we had dinner

Having an afternoon aperitif with Gabriella and husband (Drew and Caroline were there also). Photo by Drew Lenman

The Groppo Gang! There arent many people in Groppo, let alone kids, so our boys hang out with Matteo quite often - he lives just down the road.

Right before the Lenmans left, we discovered we had no photo of all of us together! So this was a self-timer job, early in the morning. It was great to see you guys xx

With Easter upon us, we have been sharing some of our Easter traditions with the locals. Our good friend Lucia (who is also the school principal, and now running for Mayor of Pontremoli) was interested in hearing about the Easter Egg hunts in Australia.  She organised to have one at the school and the kids had an absolute ball running around the park finding the eggs we’d hidden for them.  I hope they will continue the tradition next year. Who knows?  I have also been telling Alice/Italian-Melanie about Hot Cross Buns.  She has never heard of such things, so I’m going to make some and let them experience the yumminess for themselves!

Easter egg hunt with Denvers class

Easter egg hunt with Balins class

Denver and the teachers who kiss and hug him OFTEN! They are nice ladies 🙂

The kids are on school holidays now and we are heading up to Lucca on Easter Sunday to spend some time with Christina and Enrico.  Unfortunately, poor Balin has my head cold now so he’s spending the start of the holidays convalescing.

Some more random photos:

It was Denvers birthday last week. We took him into our favourite Gelateria (Iceberg) and Lucca, the owner, gave him this for his birthday. Denver was wide-eyed with delight!

My little man is 7 now! Such a sweet little boy in this candid shot.

My handsome boy 🙂 xx

Chris and Denver at Lucias Mayoral speech in Pontremoli

The boys in Zeri (the mountains above Pontremoli)

The autostrada, looming over a country road just outside of Pontremoli

The handy thing about having a photographer visit you is that you dont need self-timer for family portraits! Thanks for this great shot Drew.

Bouna Pasqua tutti!!

Ciao
xx

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About missrini

Global citizen. Travel blogger. Eccentric dreamer.
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3 Responses to Nice and other stuff

  1. Sharon Morgan says:

    What the hell am I gonna read when you guys call it quits over there……..might have to bring out the old Agatha Christie novels 😦 Fabulous Rini xxx

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