Saturday, January 21, 2012

Extending our explorations of the French Riviera :-)

Flashback to November and our Thanksgiving week in France!

Well, Q likes Aznavour and enjoyed his concert so much that he wanted to go again!! And C was not against another romantic getaway with her Denmark-based hubbie... This time we went to Toulon, about 2 hours by train West of Nice, still on the beautiful Mediterranean.

We enjoyed the concert again (this time together with another 4,000 people) and a fine dinner, but C being under the weather, and the weather itself being under the weather (for the South of France, that is), we did not stay to enjoy Toulon very much.

Later that week (when it was still about 60 degrees outside...) we enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner with some other expats (two Canadian girls who lived in the US) and a couple of French friends.

The day before Q would go back North, we discovered enchanting Menton, the last French town East of Nice before the border with Italy. The town was nicely bathed by sunshine, so that we could enjoy a lunch outside along the sea. A few tourists around, mostly Italians. It felt like what Nice must have been 100 years ago, with a slower pace of life and no exuberance. Just a small quaint fishing and artistic place.

The main purpose of the visit was the new museum for French artist Jean Cocteau, one of our favorites. The museum is quite exceptional, both architecture and collection-wise. Highly recommended!

Menton is also famous for its delicious lemons, that are the theme of a major festival in a few weeks.
Stay tuned!

Happy New Year and welcome to the French Alps, Chrysa!

After celebrating the Christmas holiday with C's family in Maryland, we drove a couple of hours to the French Alps, near the scenic town of Briançon. The tiny and winding road going straight from Nice was blocked because of snow falls, so we went through Italy and the area of Torino. For an overview of our travels, check out our itinerary on Tripline.

We had booked 3 nights in a hotel right on the ski run front in Saint Chaffrey, a few miles up the road from  Briançon. We had not been on skis since leaving Colorado, so it had been a while! Luckily as we all know this is pretty much like biking or driving, it's still there (stretching was quite a requirement though). We skied on both January 1st and 2nd. Our first day was sunny and lovely, and our second day was powdery with some fresh snow flakes that made us look like snowmen. We loved every second of it!

And we ate twice for dinner at restaurant Le Triptyque, the kind of modern/traditional fusion bistro that we both enjoy. Unforgettable!

Back in Nice, we celebrated Epiphany with Sascha...