Friday, October 30, 2020


Just a short drive or train ride from Nice, the Principality of Monaco is another great place to wander, particularly Monaco City (Monaco-Ville), the historic old town city on a bluff extending into the Mediterranean.  Monaco City is the south-central ward of the Principality of of Monaco and contains the Prince's Palace, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, the Oceanographic Museum, gardens, chapels, and residences on narrow streets packed with tourists.

 View of the port from Monaco City

Descending from Monaco City, it's a short wander to Monte Carlo, the administrative region that contains the famous complex with the Casino, the Opéra de Monte Carlo, and Les Ballets de Monte Carlo.  Outside the Casino, are, pre-race, parked cars that will compete in the upcoming Grand Prix.

Grand Prix soon

Walking away from the Mediterranean, the streets and paths from the Casino lead up hilly, narrow ways winding around the modern city.

Up the hill in Monte Carlo, Monaco City across the harbor

There are stairs everywhere that provide steep shortcuts between the streets for those of us on foot.  Monaco is a great walking city and a fabulous day trip from Nice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Nice, France

On the Mediterranean, in the south of France, near Monaco and the Italian border, Nice is always a great stop to wander around and enjoy Cote d'Azur life.  A day in Nice often starts with a walk along the beach to Castle Hill (Colline du Château), 300 feet above the city, for sweeping panoramic views of Nice and the Baie Des Anges (Bay of Angels).

To the east is the port of Nice, with a small fishing fleet, ferries to Corsica, and the occasional cruise boat.  To the west is the Promenade des Anglais, the famous walkway along the beach with grand hotels facing the Mediterranean, separate lanes for walking, skating, and biking and, of course, the beach.

 Views of Nice from Castle Hill

The mixture of Mediterranean seaside and French city life is fabulous, combining work, leisure, and play in a fantastic climate on the sea.

Scenes of Nice

From Castle Hill, it's a short walk to the port to pick a restaurant on the water and enjoy mussels (in wine, one with mustard and one with chorizo) and fish salad with octopus, calamari, shrimp, and mussels. And, for desert, profiteroles.

Fish salad

Mussels, profiteroles

From our table, we look out on the old harbor, with ferries coming and going, large yachts tied up on one side and traditional fishing boats lined up on the other.

View from our table

Nice is always a great spot to relax and enjoy French Mediterranean life

Friday, October 23, 2020

Favorite Fun Things in Paris

There are so many fun things to do in Paris, it's hard to choose what to share.  Here are a few of our favorites, starting with walking through Paris at night.

 Lights of the city

The Arc de Triomphe on holidays looks especially spectacular with the large French flag flying inside.

 Flag under the Arc de Triomphe

Down the Avenue de la Grande Armée from the Arc de Triomphe, the Jardin d'Acclimatation (next to Foundation Louis Vuitton)  is a family-oriented leisure park, with games, rides, gardens, and collections of animals on display.

Jardin d'Acclimatation

Across the city, the Jardin du Luxembourg (next to the Sorbonne and the French Sénat, down Boulevard Saint-Michel from Place Saint-Michel) is always a great place to wander, rest, have a snack, or just watch the non-stop activity.

 Luxembourg Gardens, people at play, French Senate

All the wandering generally makes us hungry and we window shop at some of the food courts, particularly at the grand department stores (Printemps and Galeries Lafayette, both on Boulevard Haussmann).

Galeries Lafayette food hall

There are local street markets in every neighborhood.  We can't walk by any of them without wandering through and appreciating the offerings and thinking of what we might cook if we were to make a few purchases.

 Street markets

In the spring, the chocolate shop windows across Europe are full of great sights.  Paris has many such great displays to tempt and delight us.

 Chocolate shops

Alongside the chocolate shops are flower shops, spread across the city with great sights and smells to tempt us as we stroll.

Corner flower shops

Paris is one of the best cities in the world to wander, explore, discover, and enjoy.  And, we do!  Over and over again!