Friday, November 29, 2019

An Afternoon in Paris

I fly from Nice to Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport and stay at the airport, taking the RER train into Paris for an afternoon in the city, walking along the Seine to Place Saint-Michel, then following Boulevard Saint-Michel to Le Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens), which is full of people enjoying the beautiful fall day.

 Along the Seine

Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Returning to the Seine, I cross over to the Louvre, proceed up Avenue de l'Opera to the Opera, over to L'Eglise de Madeleine, then to Place de la Concorde, up the Champs Elysses to the Arc de Triumph, and over to the Jardins du Trocadero, across from the Eiffel Tower (along with the thousands of other people relaxing and/or taking pictures at the Trocadero).  A great stroll through the city!

 Back to the Seine

 Louvre and Opera

 Madeleine and Grand Palais

 Up the Champs Elysses to the Arc de Triumphe

 Jardins du Trocadero and Eiffel Tower across the river

Eiffel Tower in the background

Now that I've had my walk through the city, it's time to eat.  I've been observing the people in the cafes and the food in the windows as I walk by and I choose a restaurant a few blocks from the Trocadero, where I settle in for fois gras and a platter of home-made sausages.

Tempting views along the way

 Fois gras, sausage platter

After dinner, it's back to my hotel at the airport for an early morning flight to San Francisco.   It's great to wander through Paris, even if only for an afternoon!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Dinners on the Mediterranean

I have great meals on my journey along the Mediterranean, starting in Montpellier, then travelling from Perpignan (near the Spanish border) to Sanremo in Italy (near the French border).  The general theme is fish, lots of fish, prepared incredibly and served simply in small restaurants near or along the sea.

In Montpellier, I dine at Cafe des Arts on pate with raspberry coulis, sea bass (fillet de bar) with mashed potatoes, an apple tart, and a small carafe of wine, all for 19 euros ($21 USD)

 Cafe des Arts, pate, sea bass, apple tart

In Perpignan, I dine (twice) at La Galiote, on the beach near my hotel in Canet-en-Roussillon.  The first night, I try anchovies fried with pepper, cassoulet de mer (mussels, clams, squid, white fish, and potatoes), and a small desert, along with a small carafe of wine, all for 24 euros ($27 USD).  It's raining, but I choose to dine in the outside patio on the beach (covered and with heat lamps to hold off the fall weather).

La Galiote

Anchovies, cassoulet de mer

The second night, I dine inside (heavier rain) on 6 huitres (oysters), fillet de loup, desert, and wine.

 6 huitres and carafe of wine

 Fillet de loup, desert

My largest meal is in Sanremo, where I chose a restaurant by the port and they recommend the mixed grilled fish platter, although it is a lot of food.  It sounds fabulous and I dig in.  Wow!  It takes a while, but I consume most of it and truly enjoy it.

Mixed grilled fish platter

Making progress!

I have incredible seafood dinners on this trip and the food alone is reason enough to return (not to mention the beaches, the climate, the sea, the mountains, the people, the culture, the history,.....).  I could go on for quite a while, but, instead, I'll just plan to return soon.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Small Towns Along the Sea on the Way from Sanremo to Nice

I drive from Sanremo to Nice, initially on the two-lane road along the sea, and pass through several charming small towns on the Mediterranean between Sanremo and France:  Ospedaletti, Bordighera, and other tiny communities in between, sitting on small stretches of land between the mountains and the sea.

Ospeladetti has narrow streets down to the Mediterranean from the main road and I wander down to find a beach and seaside district.

 Along the main road

 Down to the sea

Just outside town, there are more fabulous beaches, beautiful on this fall day, with the contrast of sand, sea, and sky.  On the edge of town, the cactus farm is a delightful surprise.

 More beaches (rocky)

 Cactus farm

A little further on, Bordighera is a larger town with a good-sized shopping district and more commercial activity than seaside relaxing.

 Streets of Bordighera

The seaside road comes to an end and I head up into the hills to catch the highway to Nice in France.  It's a windy drive straight up into the hills to the autoroute, the toll road that stretches past Monaco, to Nice, and all the way to Spain (travelling backwards on the path that brought me here two days previously).  The drive is fabulous with incredible [increasingly higher] views of the Mediterranean around each corner (unfortunately, the narrow, windy road is not conducive to taking pictures).

Arriving in Nice, I drop my car at the airport, check into a nearby hotel, and walk along the Mediterranean, past the famous grand beaches of Nice, to the old port, with its side-by-side contrasts of small fishing boats and large yachts tied up. by each other.

 Beaches of Nice

Old port in Nice

I head back to the old town and relax with a quick dinner of sardines, moules-frites, and a glass of wine.  After dinner, a nice stroll along the sea brings me back to the hotel for an early flight in the morning.

 Sardines and moules-frites

Statue along the sea in Nice