beaches, baguettes and bordeaux wines
21.06.2008 - 25.06.2008 30 °C
The French riviera is absolutey gorgeous. We stayed in nice for 4 days, doing day trips to Villefranche, Monaco, Cannes and Cap de Ail. All the beaches were packed to the brim, everyone enjoying the perfect weather. We found the strength of the sun to be much weaker than Australia, we could stay out in the sun for 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon with no sunscreen without burning. Needless to say we have the best tans of our life now.
Monaco was pretty impressive, the casino was a great sight to see, an endless procession of very very expensive cars. There was a 10$ cover charge just to enter the gaming room. The harbour was full of multi million dollar yachts too. The princes palace and gardens were quite nice but the rest of the town seemed to be getting on a bit and did not look as impressive as we were expecting.
Cannes was also really cool to see, lots of shopping and good beaches. We walked along the promenade and took photos in cutouts of spiderman etc.
Cap de Ail was one of our favourite beaches, we could swim out to a beautiful cave and jump off rocks. And it turns out that pebble beaches are not so bad, if they are small pebbles they arent too uncomfortable to walk and lay on and no sand to stick to you!
But the highlight was actually Nice itself, when we arrived it was in the middle of a free music festival. There were live acts all along the streets - singers, dancers, drummers, dj´s. excellent! In the main square they had put up a massive stage and there was a french band singing Queens songs. The lead singer was hilarious! Dressed in white with a little yellow jacket. Nice itself was really cool, we found it quite similar to melbourne, it was very multicultural, which we hadnt seen in many other citys.
Ahhh Bordeaux.... just about the best place in europe. ok well i may exaggerate, but seriously we had a good time. We had originally just wanted to go to taste the famous bordeaux wines on a wine and cheese tasting course run by the tourist center, but when we got there they told us that the course was full but Bordeaux was having a 4 day wine festival - Fest de Vin. which is held every 2 years, that just so happened to be starting that day!! So we bought a ticket to taste wine at the festival and a ticket on a wine tour of the graves and sauternes districts.
The Festival was excellent, we got great value for money as most of the stalls would not even bother to take the tasting ticket or we would chat with them and they would give us more tastings. There were many free stalls and free bavarian ham (sweet proscuito) all around. Fi won a bottle of wine at one stall too! they had a live entertainment shows - classical orchestra, light show and the most entertaining quartet! The end of each night was finished with a MASSIVE fireworks show, it was setup on a barge on the river. including some types of fireworks i have never seen before. they would shoot flares on the water, some would then explode up later like normal fireworks. there were one that fall like a chandelier and others that were like fairy lights suspened with parachutes at each end. these fireworks lasted for so long i think they were even better than the turn of the millenium ones
Our favourite wines were the reds from the medoc region and the sweet whites from the sauternes.
Wine tasting in Sauterne - famous for its sweet white
So sad to leave bordeaux, wished we could stay another night or two, but spain was booked, san sebastian awaited us and it is great to be seaside again.