Milan, Italy to Nice, France ... or 5+ hours on a train!

Published: May 8th 2015
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Today it was time to leave Italy behind and start the next leg of our holiday in France. After our last breakfast on the beautiful terrace at LaFavia 4rooms we re-packed our bags and hauled them to the station. It has been so much easier using the trains for the last three days without our bags in tow!! Our train to Nice from Milano Centrale was not until 11.10 am so at least we weren't getting in the way of peak hour commuters. As usual we allowed heaps of time so we were at Milano Centrale just after 10.00am and had to wait for our platform number to come up on the board. The platform number was finally put up, but only about 15 minutes before our departure time.

We headed off to Platform 19 and then just had to locate Coach 19. Aaargh, wouldn't you know it, Coach 19 was right at the other end of the train. As we reached Coach 17 we were getting a bit worried because the train didn't look like it had two more carriages on it ... and it didn't. For some inexplicable reason it had no Coach 18. At least we had tickets for Coach 19 unlike the group of girls standing around wondering where they were supposed to be with no Coach 18 on the train!

With our luggage stowed we settled ourselves into our window seats for the long haul train trip to Nice. Bernie went to great lengths to choose a service going directly from Milan to Nice without any train changes so we didn't have to stress out about making/missing any connections along the way. We didn't even have to worry about missing our stop at Nice because the service was terminating in Nice! Of course because we could have relaxed and had a snooze on the train, both of us remained awake and alert for the whole journey.

At lunchtime Bernie took a hike almost right to the other end of the train where the dining car was located and bought us really, really bad toasted ham and cheese paninis. We should have done what most other passengers seemed to have done and bought our food at the station before we boarded. Ah well, you live and learn.

Our trip was going really well until we were about three quarters of an hour out from Nice and then we sat around in a tunnel for ages. We have no idea what the cause of the delay was but, eventually, we were on the move again and pulled into Nice-Ville Station about 45 minutes late.

We had to haul our bags once more from the station to our accommodation, but this will be the last time for a while because we are picking up a hire car on Sunday. Yay! We found the Nice Garden Hotel without any trouble and checked into our room which is on he ground floor. What a bonus, we didn't have to carry our bags up any more stairs ... we'd had enough of that negotiating our way out of the station!!! If there were any lifts, we couldn't find them. Judging by the number of other people trying to negotiate the stairs with luggage ... and pushers ... it would seem that there weren't any lifts to assist passengers.

We popped out to the local supermarket and bought beer, Coke and water. With our beverage supplies organised and the sun shining we thought that we had better check out the Côte d'Azur. We literally walked to the end of the street and we were on the Promenade. We turned east and walked along the Promenade towards the Port de Nice.

At the bottom of the Parc de la Colline du Château we discovered that until the end of May the park hours are only until 7.00pm. Since it was 6.50pm we decided that we had better not venture into the park. We wouldn't want to get locked in!! We walked back to our hotel through the Cours Saleya where Nice's famous flower market operates in the mornings. In the evenings the area is filled with al fresco dining. We are in accommodation for the next three nights that doesn't supply a kettle and cups/mugs so while we were out I bought a mug that I can use my immersion heater in.

Next we ventured into the large pedestrianised area that extends from Boulevard Jean Jaurès almost to our hotel. We were about to photograph the reflections in the water resting in the new fountain - Miroir d'eau - when it actually started fountaining! The multiple water spouts ran for several minutes of randomised fountaining before returning to an 'off' phase. Kids were having a ball playing chicken with the water jets.

After watching a giant bubble maker in action (we did the right thing and put €2.00 in his container seeing as Bernie took photos) and then finished the walk back to the hotel. After dropping the cameras off we went out to one of the local restaurants recommended by the hosts at our hotel. Another delicious meal and too much red wine. A bottle of red wine between us every night is going to pickle our livers!!

Steps for the day 14,400 (9.81 km)

Additional photos below
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8th May 2015
Miroir d'eau

blue sky days
The weather looks wonderful, really shows off the photos well. It's chilly here in Toc and will no doubt be colder in Melb on our return tonight. Oh for the blue sky of Nice!! xx
9th May 2015
Miroir d'eau

Winners or Losers?
Hi Janet and Phil, How did the bowling go up in Tocumwal? We took the bus to Monaco yesterday and we're off to Cannes today. Very excited about picking up the hire car on Sunday and having more freedom of movement. 💜 T
9th May 2015

Trophy decided
Well, we left the trophy behind this year after winning two years running. Good to share it around. They are so hospitable in Toc and we all had a great week. The weather was colder than usual however the rain held off until today so that was a blessing. I can imagine you will welcome having a car to go further afield without the usual bother of train timetables. I quite like using public transport when we travel because you see places and a side of their life that you may miss driving around. However sometimes it is too hard to get to certain places without your own wheels. Good to see you both enjoying your adventures to the max! xx

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