After a long day of trains and train delays we had crossed back into the south of France, and the popular riviera city of Nice. Despite being autumn the pebble beach was still quite popular for relaxing during the day and young groups of people drinking and socialising at night.
Our first day, we took a walk along the beach to admire the sky blue waters before checking out the old town and heading up Castle Hill for a great view of the city that extended along the beach and around to France's second busiest airport which juts out into the sea slightly. We sampled some shops and French patisserie treats in the afternoon before spending the night in at the hostel which did tasty dinners at the bar.
For day two we took a day trip to the well known tax-free haven of Monte Carlo, Monaco. It was good timing as the place was quite abuzz with it's 20th Annual Yacht Show, meaning the already impressive marina was boasting even more big toys. The standout in this regard was one boat which had two helipads and (as I later found out) a Ferrari parked in a garage on deck.
We made it up the hill amongst the Bentleys, Aston Martins and Porsches to the famed Monte Carlo Casino. We'd read it could be quite strict on the dress code, but after having no issues in that regard, took a bit of a tour much to Barry's delight. The crazy minimum bets on each table saw us stick to the 5 cent slot machines, which saw us win a few euro, though still not enough to cover the entry you have to pay! The inside of the bulding was very elegantly decorated and the whole feel of it was very formal and old-school compared to the bright flashing lights and drunken stupor of a place like Crown in Melbourne. We avoided the temptation to get a 'shaken, not stirred' from the bar which has featured in Bond movies GoldenEye and Never Say Never Again, as it would undoutedly have been the most we'd spent on a single drink anywhere!
Back in Nice the following day we sent some parcels and postcard loving back home, then spent a bit of time on the pebble beach although were too chicken to take a dip with the suddenly colder weather. Having been made big fans of moules (mussels) since our visit to Belgium, we took the opportunity to enjoy them for dinner one last time, as they are available in every second restaurant in Nice. Elle even managed to track down the same all you can eat moules place from her time in Nice last year.
Thanks to the French whining over the Government increasing the pension age from 60 to 62, there was a full day of public transport strikes on the Thursday, meaning come Friday when we planned to travel to Lyon we hit a bit of a roadblock due to the droves of people all needing to travel. Regardless, after parting with a bit of extra hard earned, we were on the way there.