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Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

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Galveston, TX
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Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Soon I will be spending 4 nights in Nice then 2 nights in Eze at the Meriden hotel and the Hotel de Terrases respectively.

Please advise on these hotels, what to do/see around these hotels, whether a car rental will be necessary/advised for at least part of the trip?. Does the Terrases hotel have parking? Can I access the Eze village by foot from the hotel? Would it help to try to contact these hotels to ensure a higher floor and a non-smoking room?

In addition to lounging around Nice I wish to visit:

(Please tell me how to do so without renting a car, i.e. bus route/train route)

St. Paul de Vence/Vence-- Foundation Maght

Villfranche-town itself, beach

Monaco-casino, castle

Antibes-Picasso Museum

St. Jean Cap Ferrat- Villa Ephrussi

possibly a Kerylos villa--- not sure where this one is though...

Grasse-Perfume factory (or is the one in Eze just as nice?)

Is Menton worth the trip?

Am I leaving out a must see?

Also, I have heard of glassworks of Biot-- is it worth a visit?

Where do I find the bus to take me to the Chagall musuem?

Is there a 4 day train or bus pass that would get me to all the places I want to go?

What's a paninni?

Is the socca good?

Other than nutella what is a favorite crepe filling?

If I get a visa to France do I need a separate visa to Monaco?

Thanks for all of your assistance!

Stratford-Upon-Avon...
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1. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Hi,

I have recently stayed at the Meridien. It's an ideal location from where you can visit most of Nice - especially Vieux Nice and also the Port area. Your idea of "lounging around" in Nice is good.

Try to get upgraded to a room on the top floor with a balcony (I was lucky enough to get a free upgrade). The view is fantastic, and the night-time sound of the sea on the pebbles is very relaxing. Be sure to visit the roof terrace/pool.

I would suggest you also consider Mougins, Gourdon, and maybe Cannes for visits. Renting a car is a good idea. Buses and trains also good as you prefer.

Panini is an Italian filled bread roll, usually served hot.

Chocolate is obviously the king of crepe fillings. Often you will see "supplement chantilly €1" on the menu, and this means yummy whipped cream.

No border controls for Monaco.

Have fun.

David

Paris, France
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2. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

A socca is a typical pizza from Nice which is made with chickpeas flour, if I remember well. It is delicious.

One of my favourite filling in crepes is chesnut cream (creme de marrons) : not diet at all but so delicious !

As has been said by a previous poster Mougins is not to be missed. I also think that Juan les Pins is fun in the evening, it has no charm but it is full of young people, has a lot of terraces and loud music. I am quite a reserved person but I like it for one evening.

Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

If by soon you mean in August then I would try and do without a car. From September onwards a car would be useful though by no means essential, the public transport system is excellent, mostly.

For St Paul you need the 400 bus which will stop near the Meridien, definitelt at Place Grimaldi, may be even closer to your hotel - they will advise you, though if you want to guarantee a seat then catch the 400 from the bus station or Gare Routiere on Jean Jaures, about 8-10 mins walk from Meridien.

Villefranche and Monaco and Menton are on the east bound 100 bus route from the Gare Routiere, also by train. All 100 return trips are free if you return from the eqivalent stop and show the driver your original ticket. Villefranche town is closest by bus in the west, bus stop Octroi by the tourist office, and the beach in the east end of Villefranche is closest by train but it is such a small village, it is a very pleaant walk to either end whichever transport you choose.

Cap Ferrat can be walked to, easily from Ange Gardiene stop on 100 or take the direct bus there, forgotten the number, will try the TAM link below for info, or the local bus 81 will take you to cap ferrat for 1,30 euros. local bus info: www.lignedazur.com

For Antibes, the 200 west bus, starting from Gare Routiere but will stop closer to the Meridien at Place Grimaldi, probably the closest stop to Meridien, or take the train. I would say the Meridien is a bit closer to the bus station than the train station but the train will be quicker. The buses are clean, air-conditioned and have seat belts and the 100 has a lovely coastal route through all the villages.

I quite liked Menton once I'd found the Old Town, so quiet and peaceful compared to the Old Town of Nice but St Paul would be my first priority, then Villefranche, Monaco and Antibes as well as Eze Village and the walk down to eze by the sea.

Leaving out must-sees, well apart from the Chagall, you haven't mentioned Nice itself! I would recommend you take the open-top bus tour, its hop on and off and you can get to the Chagall AND Matisse museums, also you could get a a ticket for 2 days so you can take your time a bit. There is also a regular bus to Chagall and Matisse, link on www.lignedazur.com as above. That way you'll get a feel for Nice but the Old Town with the flower and food market every day (antiques on a monday) and Chateau Hill need to be explored on foot so don't forget to allow time for this. You have some very nice shops close to you too from the Meridien, Hermes, Chanel, Bonpoint, Armani et al are 2 minutes away towards Ave verdon, rue Paradis.

For 100, 200 and other inter town buses use this link for info:

http://www.cg06.fr/tam-html/

It's not a brilliant site and can be temperamtal but you can just about extract timetables and bus stop names even though no map if given other than a genral map of the local towns.

By the way if you do want to hire a car, rather than use the airport car rentals, you could rent a car for a day or two from Budget which is about 50 m away from the entrance to the Meridien, which would be very handy for you.

Don't know anything about Biot.

Paninis are the Italian equivalent of toasted sandwiches, they start off cold with what looks like a ciabatta bread sandwiches, in fact they look as though they should be eaten like this and I expect you could, but when you order one, they are taken away and squashed flat and toasted, very yummy, cheese and ham is a popular filling, be careful you don't burn your mouth on the cheese.

Socca is lovely if you ask me and awful if you ask my husband so for about 2 euros, you will have to buy some and see if you like it, it's a chikpea pancake, eaten with salt and pepper out of a piece of paer , real fast foos, 'Theresa' has a socca stand in the middle of the Cours Saleya and is as good a place as any to try a portion.

lovelydave is spot on with the crepes, it is always nutella or chocolate top of the menu.

best wishes

Galveston, TX
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4. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Thank you so much for all of your very valuable input...there's so much information that I've yet to read it all and take notes but I surely will later on! Again, much thanks!

Galveston, TX
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5. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Dear David,

I am glad you enjoyed your stay at the Meridien because I was not sure about it-- but the location appeared ideal and the pictures from the pool area quite lovely.

We are considering not renting a car while at the Meridien to explore Nice on foot/?open top bus and then renting one perhaps our last day at the Meridien as we are invited to a wedding that night-- and I don't plan on wearing my evening gown on a bus or train and I hear that taxis are outrageously priced. If you have tips on whether renting a car would be best done in advance or not (internet vs. in person) please let me know.

Please advise on how I go about getting a free upgrade at the Meridien-- shall I e-mail them in advance, should I attempt to write them in imperfect French asking for a high floor and a non-smoking room, or do I wait and ask them in person? Thanks!

What are some pannini fillings I should definately try out?

I will try the chantilly (probably a crepe to share) after the nutella and marron ones, thank you.

I appreciate all of your input!

Galveston, TX
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6. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Dear Anne,

The hazelnut creme crepe filling you describe sounds even better than nutella if possible. I will definately try it. The socca as well I will take your word for and try-- is it a dessert (sweet?).

What's in Mougins? I have heard of it in reference to painters perhaps? I mean, is the town itself worthwhile or is there something more?

One night in Juans les Pins will be attempted but not promised as I am not sure I will get to all that I want to see and do in 6 days as I really only have 4 nights as 2 of the nights will be taken up by a wedding parties (the reason for my visit).

I have heard about dining on the beach there-- is there anywhere in particular you would recommend? Also, can I take the bus back to Nice from there after dinner?

Thanks again for all of your input!

Galveston, TX
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7. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Dear allaboutNice,

It's really amazing the depth and breadth of information you have about Nice. At first I considered taking notes but then saw that I will probably need to simply print out your advice and take it with me.

Please advise where and when to learn about the open top tours you describe (tickets, starting points, points along the way.) There are four people in my party.

Here is a sample itinerary based on your input & my "to see" list:

Day 1- Monday-- Arrive 9am-- considering taking a bus to the Meridien but not sure if I will be allowed to leave my luggage there or if early check-in would be allowed. Perhaps they will watch it for me at the front desk? Get two day open bus tour pass. Visit: Old Nice, The Russian Church, the ?vista at the end of the Promenade de Angalis where there used to be a castle. Crepes, panninis socca :)))

Day 2: Tuesday--Continue visiting on open tour bus--Chagall & Matisse Museums, window +/- shopping,

Day 3: St. Paul du Vence & Vence itself, Foundation Maghte, perhaps also squeeze in ?Cannes, Antibies (Picasso place), and dinner at Juan les Pins on the beach?

Day 4: Morning Villefranche, Enjoy the beach/pool at the hotel, rent a car, walk around Old town more and then get ready for a wedding party!! If time, consider St. JCP for Villas Ehprussi & Kerylos??.

Day 5. Checkout Nice, travel to Eze, explore Eze village, consider Eze perfume factory?, relax at the hotel/pool, day 2 of wedding St.JCP.

Day 6. My last day :(. Drive to Menton, ?Roqubrune, Monte Carlo then back to Eze. AM departure...

I am now considering adding Mougins (not sure when to squeeze it in-- please advise) and Juans les Pins-- if you don't mind advising on transers Nice-Cannes-Antibes-JLP-Nice. It would be great!

Let me know what you think!

Thanks so much!

Paris, France
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8. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Dear NYerin TX,

Socca is not a dessert, it is salted. You can have it as a "hors d'oeuvre" before having dinner.

Mougins is a tiny provencal village (a bit like Saint Paul de Vence) with its main place, its restaurants and its small boutiques. There is not much to see but I think it is great to spend an evening and eat at my favourite restaurant : le bistrot de mougins (not to be confused with le moulin de mougins). The owner Alain is very nice, speaks english and love americans. Test "blette tourte" and "cod gratinee with spinach". To die for. The "chocolate fondant" is also something not te be missed.

guidegantie.com/en/restaurants/detail.php…

At Juan Les Pins, la reserve is a restaurant on the beach (you can even have dinner barefoot) and it is very good.

Have a nice trip

Paris, France
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9. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Strange, I answered to you and my answer disappeared...Well, so here it is again :

Mougins is a tiny provencal village with its main place, its restaurants with terraces and its small boutiques.It looks like Saint Paul de Vence. There is not much to see but it is great to spend an evening there. There is my favourite restaurant there called "le bistrot de mougins" (not te be confused with le moulin de mougins) : Alain the owner is very friendly and the cuisine is great (taste blette tourte, cod gratinee with spinach and chocolate fondant).

guidegantie.com/en/restaurants/detail.php…

The socca is salted, you can have it as a "hors d'oeuvre" just before having dinner.

In Juan les Pins you can have dinner on the beach (barefoot if you want!) at "la reserve". the food is good.

Have a nice trip

Paris, France
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10. Re: Logistical Help Needed Please--many, many questions!

Now my previous answer came back !! Sorry for the double post!!