Chateau Versailles. A nice little place.

Versailles, ĂŽle-de-France, France

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

**some of the attached pictures of Chateau Versailles weren’t taken by me, because I was too busy snapping away on the SLR and forgot to take any on my phone. You’ll have to wait til we’re home to see the proper shots. Thanks google for these ones though. **

This absolutely perfect morning (no clouds or wind, perfect blue sky, temp around 16) we set off towards Chateau Versailles at about 8am, we took the metro from St Paul to Concorde, then changed trains and went to Invalides, where we caught a RER train to Versailles. The total trip was less than one hour. The Metro is simply amazing. I wish we had them back home. We waited no longer than a minute for any metro train to arrive. It’s so strange to see the locals running like mad to catch their train, even though there will be another one along in a minute. We were about to hop on one train this morning but it was so packed we couldn’t all fit so decided to wait for the next one (which arrived literally 30 seconds later!) and it was almost empty! Alex reckons she’s going to start a petition to have metro stations in Australia, and send it to Tony Abbott. 🙂

Once we arrived and lined up for half an hour to buy tickets, we lined up for another hour and a half to go through security to enter the Chateau itself. After that we were free to roam.

The Chateau Versailles estate is enormous and so opulent. To really be able to see all of it you would need to allow two days at least. There is so much to see we didn’t know where to look -the walls, the ceiling, the furnishings, the views… We started in the Grand Trianon and then headed out into the gardens. Down at the Grand Canal we hired a boat and rowed around for half an hour. Alex decided she wanted to do most of the rowing. There were heaps of people just sitting on the grass alongside the canal having picnics and enjoying the perfect spring day.

After the boat ride we wandered around for a while and then hired a golf buggy to tour the expansive grounds. Alex said she wanted to have a turn driving the buggy. Adam let her have a go, but unfortunately we got pulled over by a security guard who went mad at us in French – none of which we could understand. Alex is still, tonight, worrying that she’s going to get fined for driving the buggy. Or that Adam is going to go to jail for it. I think she got a bit of a fright…

We wandered down to Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet (these pictures are ours) to enjoy the fairy tale atmosphere down there. It’s understandable that she liked to retreat from the madness of the Royal life to such a place. It is so peaceful and relaxing.

We left Versailles at around 5.30pm, it felt like only 3.00. The day flew by. We got home at around 6.45 and I chose a restaurant for dinner. Les Bougresses is about 3 minutes walk around the corner, a beautiful French restaurant, old stone walls, very cosy and warm. We had the €26 3-course menu. Adam and I had baked Brie with bacon and salad, and Alex had onion soup for entrees. It was all divine. I tried Alex’s soup and honestly could have eaten it forever. Then for main we all had steak with eschallot and mushroom sauce with duck fat potatoes. If I knew we were all ordering the same thing I would have chosen the duck a l’orange. But then I wouldn’t have had the joy of eating the steak meal. You know how sometimes a meal is so delicious you feel sad when your plate is empty? Well that’s how I felt about my dinner. To finish, Alex and I had creme brĂ»lĂ©e and Adam had house made vanilla ice cream with strawberry coulis. Alex found the brĂ»lĂ©e to be too rich for her, I ate most of mine but was unable to finish it. Adam are all his ice cream so it must’ve been good. He’s not a dessert fan at the best of times.

Now time for bed. Another big day tomorrow – our last full day in Paris is here already. We’re making the most of it. 🙂

Advertisements

Valentine’s Day

Paris, ĂŽle-de-France, France
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Back in February, because we were saving like mad for this trip, Adam and I decided we’d postpone Valentines Day until we were in Paris.

Today, being our last full day in Paris, was declared our Valentines Day.

1.1397757433.we-went-all-the-way-up-there

We caught the metro to the Eiffel Tower at 8am. The tower doesn’t open until 9.30, but we got there early to avoid the massive queues. Lucky we got there that early because there were already a hundred or so people waiting. Once the ticket office opened, the line moved fairly quickly toward the elevator. Not being a fan of heights, I kept my eyes firmly shut as the lift rose so I didn’t see the ground moving further and further away. We hopped out on level 2 and lined up to take the next lift to the summit. We were lucky enough to have clear skies and pleasant temperature. And no breeze, which made our time at the top of the tower much more pleasant. The wind chill can be particularly biting up there. We could see for miles all around. Unfortunately the champagne bar at the top of the tower wasn’t open, but never mind.

The height of the Eiffel Tower is 324m, comparable to the Q1 on the Gold Coast which is 322m. But they are dwarfed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is a massive 828m tall.

After the tower, we headed to Printemps, a luxury department store. There is a rooftop terrace with a lovely view of the city. They also have a brasserie restaurant where we had lunch, under a huge and beautiful stained glass dome. This is the restaurant I was looking for the other day. Turns out I had been in the wrong department store… Alex had pesto ravioli with Mediterranean vegetables, I had chicken Caesar salad and Adam had beef carpaccio. All was delicious.

1.1397757433.the-ceiling-in-the-brasserie

From here, we caught the metro to Les Halles and bought a cheap mobile phone from the FNAC store. Then we headed to Notre Dame cathedral for a look inside. It is beautiful but eerie at the same time.

After Notre Dame we strolled along the Seine, as you do when in Paris, to the Pont des Arts bridge (also known as the love lock bridge). This is the bridge where people attach a padlock to the bridge and throw the key into the Seine. It is to symbolise that they can only be unbound to each other when the key is found and the padlock is opened. We attached our own engraved padlock and tossed the keys into the Seine. It was the sweetest part of our Valentines Day.

As macabre as it sounds, we then strolled down the road from our apartment to 17-19 Rue Beautrellis, which is where Jim Morrison died. The Doors were a big part of our lives when we started going out when we were 18. They were like the backing track to our fledgling romance. So paying a tribute to Jim on our Valentines Day was somehow fitting.

Tonight we’ve packed our bags ready to head south tomorrow morning. We had chicken and roasted potatoes from the local boucherie, and grilled fresh asparagus for dinner. Accompanied by Riesling and Pinot noir.

Early start tomorrow, the train leaves Gare Montparnasse just after 9, and it waits for nobody.

PS: the new phone isn’t working – when we try to call a phone number, our mobile rings and then says we have a missed call. Oh dear… I give up.

Down in the Dordogne

Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, France
Friday, April 18, 2014

This morning we arrived at Gare Montparnasse for our train trip to Bordeaux. The train left on time at 9.28am. We found our carriage and seats easily and settled in for the 3 1/2 hour trip. Once in Bordeaux we had to collect our hire car from Europcar. We came out on the wrong side of the station, so after half an hour of wandering around and much map turning, we found the car hire agency. As we drove out of the car park we had to go around a roundabout, which Adam drove around the wrong way. Luckily there were no cars coming. After this little incident, we hit the motorway and it was smooth sailing. The drive to Sarlat was a bit over 2 hours. About 70km before arriving in Sarlat we left the motorway and started driving through beautiful countryside.

We arrived in Sarlat and found the real estate agency to pick up the key to Gite Barry, our home for the next few days. After a couple of laps of the city centre we found our way to the apartment. We tried to open the door but it seemed to be jammed at the top. By this time it was 5 to 6pm. We raced like mad back to the real estate to ask if there was a trick to opening the door, and I got a lift back to the apartment with the estate agent in his tiny smart car, with Adam in hot pursuit in the rental car. The agent (of course…) opened the door first go. Once he left, Adam turned up, and I locked myself inside and asked Adam to unlock the door with the key. Turns out you need to turn the key the opposite direction and pull the door handle towards you. Once inside, what a lovely cosy place this is! If it were a little larger it’d be really hard for us to leave at all.

1.1397842732.gite-barry1.1397842732.1-gite-barry1.1397842732.our-home-for-the-next-few-days-gite-barry1.1398106095.the-world-s-second-smallest-kitchen

After a couple of glasses of Bordeaux red we headed to a restaurant recommended by the estate agent, ‘Le Bistrot’. Classic French food, very tasty. We had to sit outside because it was full inside. Once the sun went down the temperature plummeted and Alex and I were freezing. Luckily the waitress gave us some fleecy blankets to wrap around ourselves.

1.1397842732.lovely-wine
Alex had duck confit with mushrooms and potatoes, I had roast duck breast, and Adam had steak with blue cheese sauce. We washed it down with a lovely bottle of red wine, ‘Chateau le Coustarelle’ from Cahors.

I think this part of France has weaved it’s way into our hearts already. I could live here in a heartbeat (after a crash course in French), Alex wants a holiday home here, and Adam could also imagine living here. Ahhh, dreams are free… for now!!

It’s strange to think that only this morning we were in Paris. It feels like a world away.

Market day in Sarlat

Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, France
Saturday, April 19, 2014

We woke up late this morning, after 8.00. The curtains in this place are very thick! It was market day in Sarlat, so we got dressed and headed out. I had plans to cook a lovely roast chicken and fresh veges for tonight’s dinner, so we had a shopping list in mind.

The market is huge, sprawling all around the city centre. The weather was perfect, although quite chilly in the shade. We bought a few gifts for friends and family, and then started gathering our dinner ingredients. The last thing we had to buy was the chicken. We went to a boucher in the market, and selected a chicken. The girl at the counter picked up the chicken, and to my horror it still had its head attached. I almost threw up and passed out at the same time… Adam almost passed out with laughter at my face I think. Even the girl was laughing at me. Adam asked her if we could have one without a head and she said ok. She took our chicken to a bench, and grabbed a cleaver. Bang! She chopped its head off in one clean whack, wielding the cleaver above her head. Apparently. (I had my hands over my eyes, so I have to take Adam and Alex’s word for it.) They haven’t let me forget it all day. At random times of the day Adam or Alex will suddenly say “can you take off its head? Donk!” With the big chopping hand motion and all.

1.1397933109.lunch-time

Our shopping done, we headed back to our gite for a rest and some lunch: fresh baguette, olives, duck saucisson, cheese and tapenade. After that we decided to venture out to explore some nearby villages before I had to start cooking dinner.

1.1397933109.domme

First stop was Domme, a beautiful fortified city at the top of stone cliffs, with commanding views of the Dordogne valley. We stopped for a coffee, ice cream and crepe, and a bit of a browse. We bought some local wine which we are enjoying tonight. From here we meandered down to La Roque Gageac, reputedly one of the most beautiful villages in France. A lot of the houses here are literally built into the cliff face. You will see in one of the pictures that there are windows in what looks to be an ordinary cliff. The village runs alongside the Dordogne River, and is really picturesque. I had a coconut ice cream with flecks of toasted coconut through it. Mmmmm!

We left La Roque at 4.30 towards home, but stopped off at a supermarket to grab a few necessities. It was called E’Leclerc, and it sold everything you can imagine. It was like Kmart and Woolworths combined. We bought a bottle of Mumm champagne for €22! I want to go back and buy a heap and post it home, but first we need to see how much postage is.

1.1397933109.still-daylight-at-8-45pm
Our place

We arrived home and I started preparing the dinner. I unwrapped the chicken and went to stuff it with lemons, garlic, butter and thyme, but there was something inside it (I don’t know what it was, didn’t hang around to find out and am too scared to ask). I freaked out and ran downstairs, telling Adam that I couldn’t touch it because it still had guts or something in it. He came to the rescue and removed the offending ‘whatever it was’ and came downstairs to tell me the coast was clear. Then I continued on my merry way, making asparagus, roast baby potatoes, steamed carrot and mushrooms sauteed with eschallots and garlic. It all tasted lovely.

Tomorrow we will venture out for more exploring. I’m cooking again tomorrow night, hope there are no more hidden gross surprises.

Happy Easter!

Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, France
Sunday, April 20, 2014

We woke up to a cold (top temp of 11 today) and wet Easter Sunday morning. After our croissants and baguette for breakfast, we made some chicken (leftovers from last night) and cheese baguettes and packed a few charcuterie items to take with us on our drive around a few nearby villages.
1.1398001210.jpg
First stop was Chateau de Castelnaud la Chapelle, a massive medieval castle perched at the top of a hill. It had plenty of displays of armour and weapons as it was used as a fortress during the Hundred Years War.
1.1398001210.chateu-de-castelnaud-in-the-distance
From here we drove through Belves toward Monpazier, one of the best preserved bastide towns in France. We stopped for coffee and hot chocolates after a short walk around the square. Seeing the weather was no good, and it being a public holiday, there wasn’t much open so we didn’t stay for long.

Most of the photos I took today are on the camera so there’s not much to show you on here.

We then made our way to Beynac et Cazenac, where the riverside scenes of the movie ‘Chocolat’ was filmed. It is a beautiful town on the edge of a cliff, and beside the Dordogne River. Again there was not much open, so we headed back to Sarlat.
1.1398001210.today-s-drive
Once we arrived back at the apartment we had a wine then went out and had a crepe each and wandered around the town. I was going to cook steak for dinner tonight but the butcher shop and the supermarkets are shut, so we will have to eat out at one of the few restaurants that are open.

Now were back home relaxing with our bottle of Mumm, duck saucisson, baguette and tapenade, the heater on and books in hand (or iPad in my case). It’s a shame about the weather, but after the busy week and a bit we’ve had its nice to kick back and chill out.

Hope everyone is having a lovely Easter wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

Easter Monday

Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, France
Monday, April 21, 2014

1.1398106095.easter-monday-morning-on-rue-barry

When Adam opened the door to go and buy our morning croissants and baguette, he saw painted eggs on every doorstep and window sill in our street. We raced out in our PJs to have a look. There they were, duck eggs all spray painted red. We ate our breakfast and headed out for a wander around the town to see if there were more painted eggs around the place.

There sure were, and heaps of children running around with brown paper bags collecting them. We had stumbled upon an Easter egg hunt! Alex registered and was given her own paper bag and colour coded town map, and then we spent the next couple of hours searching for eggs in each different colour. Unfortunately we couldn’t find an orange egg, but Alex received a prize of a bag of chocolate fish (French Easter tradition) which she scoffed quick smart. She gave me a dark chocolate fish and it was beautiful. She ate all the rest of the fish, even saying that, though she isn’t usually a dark chocolate fan, this dark chocolate was lovely.

We lost Adam in town during the mad egg rush, so we headed back for our apartment and found he had gone back there. We decided to go to the grottos at Lascaux, but when we arrived we were told that the next English speaking tour wouldn’t be until 3.30pm. Seeing it was only 11.30am we decided not to hang around, and made our way to Vitrac, where Adam and Alex hired canoes to row down the Dordogne River to Castelnaud la Chapelle. I wasn’t interested in rowing, so I drove to Castelnaud to pick them up. I sat in the park on the edge of the river and relaxed with my book while I waited. After about 2 hours they arrived, and Adam was soaking wet to the waist at the back due to a leaky canoe. Alex tried to tell me that he fell out and she rescued him.

On the way back to Sarlat, we stopped in at La Roque Gageac again for ice cream. We popped into the local Casino store for some dinner ingredients, then went home to put them away, with plans to go straight back out to Le Jardins de Marqueyssac. On the way home I started to feel a little unwell, so sent Adam and Alex off to the gardens. While I was feeling ok, I started preparing dinner. We had steak, I made a sauce of sautĂ©ed mushrooms, eschallots, garlic, red wine and creme fraiche, and served it all with carrots, grilled asparagus, and roasted baby potatoes. All was lovely. It was the last meal I’ll be cooking til I’m home in my own kitchen. It’s kind of bittersweet, I love sourcing the fresh ingredients and cooking with them, but I really miss having bench space. As you can see, the kitchen is a little smaller than mine at home…
1.1398106095.ice-cream-time-at-la-roque-gageac
Adam and Alex said the gardens were awesome, beautiful, had amazing views of the Dordogne valley because it was up so high. It would be a good place so spend a day. Unfortunately on this trip we don’t have time to do that so it will have to go on the to do list for next time.

Tomorrow we leave Sarlat and head for Rodez, our first stop on our way to Nice.

The Paris Apartment

Sarlat-la-Canéda, Aquitaine, France
Monday, April 21, 2014

Talking about the tiny kitchen in Sarlat has reminded me that I haven’t told you about our apartment in Paris.

1.1398108095.our-apartment-was-on-the-floor-above-the-balco
Our apartment was above the balcony

It was on Rue du Roi de Sicile, in the 4th arrondissement (the Marais district). The location was fabulous, walking distance to Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Latin Quarter, la Bastille etc. Our street was parallel to Rue St Antoine, the main street running through town. We were about 2 minutes walk from the St Paul metro station and a taxi rank. We had a Starbucks almost across the road, and several excellent restaurants, cafés and bars within easy walking distance. Not to mention the clothing and shoe shops. They were everywhere! I restrained myself though, only buying a couple of skirts and a T-shirt in preparation for the warmer weather we were expecting in southern France, Italy and Prague.

The apartment was on the 3rd floor of a lovely old building without an elevator, but with a spiral staircase instead. It was lovely though rather awkwardly small in places. Like the toilet and kitchen. The toilet was so narrow that my shoulders almost touched both walls simultaneously. And the kitchen had almost no bench space. The shower sprayed water all over the floor so we had to have our wits about us when stepping out to avoid going for a slide. Having said all that, they’ve done the best they could in the space they had. It was beautifully refurbished with all the mod cons. Alex slept on the queen size sofa bed in the lounge room and Adam and I were in the bedroom on the other side of the wall.

As a base it was excellent, but if I were going for a self catering trip I’d choose somewhere with much more bench space.

Rainy Rodez

Rodez, Midi-Pyrénées, France
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We left Sarlat at about 9 this overcast morning, and started driving towards Rodez. We drove through a few lovely villages, and one particularly ugly one called Gourdon. About an hour into the trip Alex started feeling carsick so we stopped for her for a while. Then on we went, with her in the front and me in the back of the car. She was fine after that. After about 2 1/2 hours we arrived in Rodez, where it was raining and chilly. We checked into our hotel room and set off in the rain for a walk around the town to find somewhere to go for dinner.

The weather wasn’t conducive to exploring too far, especially because we didn’t have an umbrella. We ended up stopping at a Monoprix and buying one but it was pretty small so one of us was always still getting wet. Usually Adam, but he toughed it out. We looked in other shops for another one, but didn’t buy one because they were so dear. €22 for an umbrella? I don’t think so. The tiny one we bought was €10, that was bad enough. We stopped in at a Salon de Thè for a coffee and hot chocolate! and something to eat. Adam had a Croque Madame (ham, cheese and mustard toasted sandwich with a fried egg on top), and Alex and I had tagliatelle carbonara. The meals were very filling so we couldn’t eat it all.
It turns out that I didn’t waterproof my ballet flats as well as I thought, so we went back to our apartment so I could get out of my sopping wet shoes and tights, and we could warm up with a nice glass of red wine. The weather started easing after a couple of hours so we went around the corner to a restaurant we’d discovered called La Bistroquet. I had escalope of veau (veal) with eschallot sauce, Alex had beef kebab with Roquefort (blue cheese) sauce, and Adam had rump steak with Roquefort sauce. We received baguette and delicious sarladaise (fried in duck fat) potatoes as accompaniments. It was washed down with a lovely red from the Loire Valley.

We are back in our room now, Alex is having a bath, I’m next. We’re making the most of having a bathtub!

Tomorrow we are heading to Aix en Provence for two nights before moving on to Nice on Friday.

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence, Provence-Alpes-CĂ´te d’Azu, France
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Yesterday we left Rodez at about 10am, with the GPS set for Aix-en-Provence. The weather was beautiful, cloudless sky and about 22 degrees. What a change from the day before.

We checked into our apartment at about 2pm, it is just a few streets away from the famous Cours Mirabeau. Our apartment is rather basic, but clean and in a good location. We went out for a wander around the town, and stopped at a cafe on Cours Mirabeau for a couple of Kir Royals and a lemonade, and a bite to eat with a side of people watching.
1.1398282913.jpg
After some more wandering around, we stopped at another place for a couple of cocktails. We went back to our room and decided to try the Italian restaurant downstairs. It seems that the closer we get to the Italian border, the more Italian restaurants we see.

After a wine we had dinner. Alex had a delicious porcini mushroom risotto, Adam had veal with pasta, cheese and tomato, and it had a veal ragu with pasta. Mine tasted rather bland like they forgot to add garlic and seasoning. The other meals were nice though. Afterwards we came upstairs to unwind and get ready for bed.

This morning we woke up at 8.30 to a perfect morning (top of around 23 today I think )after a restless night. Our bed is really hard and uncomfortable, and the pillows are strange. Adam said his pillows feel like “a bowl of bloody feathers wrapped in a pillowcase.” Alex is sleeping on a rollaway bed and is the most comfortable of all. I came out to the lounge room and conked out on the couch early this morning and it was way more comfy than the bed. I’m tempted to sleep there tonight, but might have competition for this prized pozzie from Adam…

We got dressed and took a drive down to Marseille. What a maze of a place it was! So many tiny streets to try to drive down. We made our way down to Vieux Port and went for a ride on the Ferris wheel. What a great view of the city we had from up there, it was a great way to get our bearings. There was a fish market along the port, selling fresh seafood straight off the boats moored behind the stalls.

We stopped for pizza at a lovely little restaurant behind the Church of the Accoules. After this, we headed up to the Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde. Saint Eugene de Mazenod was instrumental in the construction of this church, as a place of worship for pilgrims and the poor. There is a statue in his honour at the entrance to the crypt. The chapel is very beautiful, lots of gold and ornate paintings. Outside, there is the most amazing view of Marseille. Damien (my boss for those who don’t know) told me about him when I was telling him where we were going on this trip. He learned about him at school. So I went and visited St Eugene’s statue on his behalf. 🙂

This afternoon we came back to our apartment, Alex was feeling tired so stayed home while Adam and I went for a wander around on our own. We sat and had beer and champagne and did some people watching, and then browsed a few shops, and got happily lost in the alleys, discovering new things along the way. When we looked at the time it was almost 7pm, although it was still broad daylight still. We went back and got ready for dinner. We all just wandered around without any real direction or idea of where to go or what to eat. During the afternoon Adam and I said we’d seen restaurants of do many nationalities, but no Indian. So when we saw an Indian restaurant tonight, we went there. The smells wafting out were so inviting! We went in and there were only two people dining there. It was a funny little place, a little bit daggy but you can’t judge a book by its cover. We ordered some rosÄ—, and some naan bread. I had chicken makhani, Alex had lamb korma and Adam had chicken korma. It was all absolutely delicious! It has to be one of the best curries I’ve ever had. Authentic tasting, not dumbed down like most curries we get in Australia. They didn’t ask if we wanted mild, medium or hot, it was all just perfect as it was. We wish they delivered to Wellington Point.

1.1398282913.riding-in-style
Riding in style

Now we’re home again, getting ready for bed. Tomorrow we go to Nice.

It’s nice in Nice

Nice, Provence-Alpes-CĂ´te d’Azu, France
Friday, April 25, 2014

We checked out of our monastery-style apartment in Aix en Provence at approximately 9am, on our way to Nice. On the way we decided to take a detour to Cannes. It turned out to be a lot like Nice so we just bought some takeaway coffees and kept going. The man we bought the coffees from didn’t speak English, but understood when we said ‘cafe’ (he didn’t understand Adams request for ‘doo cafay cremm see voo play’ though) – mind you, I applaud Adams effort, it’s really hard when we are trying to speak their language but they don’t understand us with the Aussie drawl mixed in, and they don’t understand English. Anyway, the man said ‘americain?’ And we said yes because we thought we’d just get a white coffee, having never ordered an americain before. Well, it was as thick as tar and just as black and strong. I think I managed to down about a third of it before giving up. Adam drank all of his, goodness knows how. It was the grossest coffee I’ve ever had. The servo coffee from the other day runs a close second.

We arrived in Nice at around 12 and checked into our hotel. It is in a great spot, a couple of streets back from Promenade des Anglais and around the corner a bit from Place Messina. Once we had dropped our luggage into our room we headed out for a wander around the block. Adam decided he had to go to McDonalds to order a ‘Le Big Mac’ to see if they taste the same. Yes. Yes they do… Once he had his burger, we went to a real restaurant where they sold real food and ordered some lunch for Alex and I. I had a real burger (as opposed to the plastic Maccas burger) and Alex had nuggets. It was ok, not the best. After lunch we went up Castle Hill for panoramic views of Nice and the port. It’s a lovely area at the top with a good playground and lots of gardens to picnic and relax in. If we get time tomorrow it’d be nice to take a bottle of rosĂ© and a baguette and cheese, and just sit and relax. We strolled back down the hill again, and along the Promenade back to our hotel.

When we got back we had some rosĂ© in our room and eventually decided to go and get some dinner. I didn’t want to eat along the tourist strip, so we walked in the opposite direction. Up a side street we found a restaurant with a nice looking menu, called Cafe de Nice. I chose roasted lamb cutlets with garlic and rosemary (melt in the mouth good), served with veges and roasted potatoes, Adam had a big rump steak and potatoes and veges, and Alex had pesto gnocchi. It was all delicious, one of our best meals so far. Washed down with a lovely bottle of rosĂ© and then ice cream – coconut, and mint chocolate chip. Alex had lemonade with her dinner, and the label tickled my fancy so I took a picture. We had a lovely waiter who spoke very good English, who thought I was a bit odd wanting to take a photo of the lemonade bottle until I explained why.

1.1398424020.ohhh-pschitt-i-ve-run-out-of-lemonade
Oh Pschitt! I’m out of lemonade!

When we left the restaurant we were going to walk along the Promenade for a bit. We crossed the road, and there were a few people sitting on the chairs on the boardwalk staring out at the Mediterranean Sea, even though all you can see is pitch blackness. It was weird. Maybe they’re trying to reserve their seats for tomorrow? Anyway, Alex was too cold to hang around out there so we headed home.

Now we are in bed. The other two are asleep already. We are hoping to take a train to Monaco in the morning for a look around.