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Travel Where have you been? Where are you planning to go? Where would you like to go?

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  #1  
Old Jan 26th 2014, 11:53 AM
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Default Going to Nice

I'm going to Nice in southern France for a couple of weeks in February. Weather is likely to be lame, but we've got a free place to stay, which is why we're going.

Anyone have any particular recommendations for the neighborhood? We're definitely into walking tours and sight-seeing old towns/churches/castles. Hopping a short train trip to visit outlying areas is okay too.

Shopping is zero interest. Inexpensive hole-in-the-wall restaurants/cafes are good. We will definitely avoid the fine-dining establishments as neither of us is into food enough to justify massively overpaying for the stuff. Likely as not, we will look for good bread, wine and cheese shops to stock up and carry a supply in our backpacks for casual eating.
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Arles:
2nd century Arena:



Pont_du_Gard:
1st century BC



Aigues-Mortes:


St.-Tropez:



Avignon:


But basically every little city or village in the region looks like this (e.g. Colmars):


or like this (e.g. Sévérac-le-Château)


Martigues (Venice of the Provence):


Draguignan:


Alternatively, nature appreciation:
Gorges du Verdon:


Massif de l'Esterel:


Calanque:


Nîmes is easy by train. Istres is very nice. Et cetera...

Also, the region between Montpellier, Toulouse and Clermont-Ferrand is very rich in historical sites but for that you'll need a car.

And take care, it's quite possible that some sites/churches/castles/whatever are closed to the public this time of year for restoration/excavation/lack of funds,.... It isn't exactly high season.

Oh, and they speak French there
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Wow! Your post is almost "MM&I-like" though, your pictures are way too small for that!

Anyway, thanks for the recommendations and the pics, they are excellent.

Arles, Nimes and Avignon are definitely on the list - I'm quite familiar with the medieval history of the region. The pope's big house in Avignon is also on the list.

I didn't realize there were Roman ruins in Arles/Nimes - that's a bonus!!! I'm also familiar with the famous pont-du-gard bridge, but didn't realize it was in the same area - I'll definitely have to see that. I had forgotten that this was the most Roman-dominated part of France.

Martigues looks delightful and worthy of visiting for sure, likewise with some of those beautiful medieval looking hilltop towns.

As for the scenery pictures, they are stunningly beautiful - but we're not planning to rent a car, so they are probably more difficult to get at. It would be nice to see such places, but we're much more likely to focus on visiting a bunch of old towns just to walk around.

By the look of a local train map, all of these old cities are really close by and easy to get to with 'short hops' - meaning take a train in the morning, walk around all day and then hop the train back home in the evening.

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Originally Posted by Dominick
Oh, and they speak French there
That's the biggest problem with visiting various places around the world - the locals always speak some incomprehensible foreign language!
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

There's lots more you know. That region is not the most touristically visited region in the world for nothing.

Another one for the list:
Les-Baux-de-Provence



They have one of these there (it's as big as it looks):


Alas, the demonstrations of it only start in April .

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence:


Aix-en-Provence:


Cassis:


There's always Marseille:


Pierrefeu-du-Var


Barjols


Cotignac


Actually, here's a whole bunch (in French though)
Nice villages in the Provence

And finally, don't forget that you're just across the border with Italy. Genoa e.g. is only three hours away by train. No need for passports or such, all EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael
That's the biggest problem with visiting various places around the world - the locals always speak some incomprehensible foreign language!
Need a guide ?
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Train map for the Provence:
Click

I'd consider car rental at least for some days. Trains aren't exactly abundant anymore.
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Old Jan 26th 2014, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Sounds like a great vacation, enjoy yourself.
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Old Jan 27th 2014, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Have a Nice time.
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Old Jan 27th 2014, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominick View Post
Train map for the Provence:
Click

I'd consider car rental at least for some days. Trains aren't exactly abundant anymore.
By North American standards, the local train service, rates and coverage looks to be very, very good. You Europeans are spoilt with the quality and availability of train service. I know its not as good as it used to be, but compared to over this side of the Atlantic, there is no comparison to speak of. Our passenger train service is just plain horrible in every way.
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Old Jan 27th 2014, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
By North American standards, the local train service, rates and coverage looks to be very, very good. You Europeans are spoilt with the quality and availability of train service. I know its not as good as it used to be, but compared to over this side of the Atlantic, there is no comparison to speak of. Our passenger train service is just plain horrible in every way.
Sure, but I wasn't raising a political issue. You're not going to get to any hillside or hilltop village by train
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Old Jan 28th 2014, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Going to Nice

Nice Nice Baby.
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