Marseilles to Nice: 6.13.2007

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Last day in the historical city of Marseilles
as we venture forward to the popular destination of Nice, France
on the ancient Côte d’Azur (French Riviera)!
 

Map of Marseilles to Nice

Map: Marseilles, France to Nice, France

 

Early checkouts always required, we relocate to the familiar Etap courtyard to enjoy our breakfast

of French bread with meil (honey), tuna, and kiwis.

Thinking ahead, we also request the front desk to make reservations at an Etap in Nice.

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We soon make friends with the lingering hotel cat

and share the drippings from our tuna.

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After some very enjoyable leisure time, it’s back to the train station to continue on to Nice.

This time, the train seating arrangements are much more accommodating

as we are able to sit at a table facing one another.  Another train, another game of UNO breaks the ice,

and it does not take long to make friends with the fourth passenger sitting at the table,

EV, a mechanical engineering student from Cannes.

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We thoroughly appreciate his company and sense of humor,
but soon it is time to exchange addresses as we arrive in Nice,
and he continues home to Cannes.

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At the station, we take a small rest to gather our bearings

before setting out to catch the bus to another Hotel Etap.

Near the boarder of Italy, the cultures begin to blur.

A quick bus ride to the Etap with the aid of a British local, we arrive with daylight to spare.

The view out our window is a beautiful surprise…

…the sparkling Mediterranean Sea is in view!

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Downstairs, a corner bodega market provides the comforts

of self-catering required for a fine dinner.

Bleu cheese, French bread, salami, and a tasty variety of Amsterdam Dutch beers.

Back at in the room, we make something like a plan.

After a snack, we venture a block away to

the Promenade des Anglais (Walk of the English) bordering the waterfront.

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The evening walk in front of the residential buildings facing the sea becomes more active,

and a group of transvestite prostitutes at work was one unforgettable feature.
 
Hungry, we decide to locate a dinner.
Unfortunately, the French prices were a bit too steep.
Crepes from a street vendor become a fair goal for a meal.
 
As we search for a crepe monger, a sign reading, “Mother India” promised another possibility.
Narrow and dark, the alley houses a luxurious but expensive hookah lounge.
Decorating the front entrance is two men.
One older drunk in a suit, and the other
is a young accented man named “Safe” claiming to be from Tunisia.
Safe said he spoke not only English, but French, Arabic, and Spanish. 
 
A mess of interaction, the old man dances,
clothespins drop from the window of an apartment above,
Safe becomes carelessly affectionate,
and we are ejected from the alley by the maitre’d of Mother India.
 
Continuing forward to crepes, it’s obvious that Safe does not know how read his situation and relax.
With an arm around my shoulders and neck,
Safe is interrupted by the guys informing him in rusty imprecise French,
“Pardon moi, mon frere, c’est mon fille…”
misprouncing “fil” (girl) for “fillet” (cut of fish)
Pardon me, my brother, that’s my cut of fish.
Blinking and not understanding, the phrase is repeated,
but this time in clear Spanish, “Pardon, mi amigo, esta mi novia…”
(“Pardon, my friend, she is my girlfriend…”)
Still not hitting home, I laugh and exclaim, “I thought you said you spoke French and Spanish!”
Whether Safe understood or not, it was enough for him to slip off into the shadows and disappear.
 
Shortly after, we find some crepes topped with nutella.
Tasty but a bit sweet.
The salty variety is preferable eaten as a dinner rather than dessert.
 
Straggling back to the Etap, an underpass features
a beautiful blue light by night that we are unable to avoid.

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Finally, we retire to our dorm beds for a restful night.

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