A travel blog of Ireland and Europe

A Nice long weekend

One of the reasons for moving to Dublin was that it is close to many interesting European destinations and since Dublin is a hub for both Irish budget airlines, Aer Lingus and Ryan Air, there are few places which are not directly linked. We recently took a long weekend, flying out Friday, returning Monday, to Nice in the south of France, a flight of just over two hours each way on Aer Lingus.

We had hoped for some Mediterranean warmth, packing our swimming gear, but this proved to be a bit optimistic as, although it was warmer than Dublin, it was not swimming weather and there was quite a bit of rain. Nevertheless, we enjoyed the weekend, beginning with a walking tour of the Old Town by Ciaran, a knowledgeable Irishman resident in Nice which gave us our bearings and provided much interesting background on the city.

On all three nights we found excellent and moderately priced restaurants: Le Vingt4, Casa Nissa (see photo of paper placemat Pip retrieved to laminate as a souvenir) and the curiously-named O’Palermo Pizza Cafe (Irish Italians?). We also discovered a new (to us) French wine which we had on two evenings: Cotes du Rhone Villages. Rich and red – a beauty!

Our hotel, Hotel de Suede, was just a 3-star so no frills but the bed was comfortable and the room was quiet – what more do you need?

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Saturday afternoon was very wet but we nevertheless strolled along the Promenade, pausing to wonder at the Hotel Negresco, the Casino Hotel and several others but were dissuaded from entering by the fierce pricelists at their doors. The rain persisted so we gave up and went into the bar at Le Meridien hotel, which has a good view over the bay. Note proud Mme’s brand new bag from Galeries Lafayette.

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On Monday our flight was not until late afternoon so in the morning we went to St Paul de Vence, one of the oldest medieval villages on the Cote d’Azur. As is typical, it is a walled village on top of a hill, a good defensive position against invaders. In recent years it has been home to artists, literary figures and actors and there are many shops selling modern works of art.

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