My kids plan this trip as a surprise for me. Walking at the airport in Montreal to our gate, I saw them walking toward me (They just landed from Vancouver where they work.) A trip with my two sons, what a treat.
They map the trip with the hotel, train, and where to go and visit, no headache for me. I am a lucky mom.
*Nice and from here*Antibe *Sanremo *Vence *Ventimiglia
Lyon, France 2016
We arrive in Lyon for two days visit.
Lyon is the third-largest city and the second-largest metropolitan area in France. It is located in the eastern-central part of the country, at the confluence of the rivers of the Rhone.
I love Lyon, City of Lights with small streets, history, food, architecture, and market on Saturdays. You can walk everywhere from our hotel, better get good shoes, you’re going to need them.
And tomorrow we are taking the train to Avignon.
*Paul Bocuse, Lyon's mythic indoor food market.
This market has an international reputation for offering the best gourmet food with almost five dozen stalls selling innumerable culinary delights.
If you love food, this is the place to visit, the variety of meats, cheeses, bread, pastries, seafood, is beyond what I’ve seen before, the quality of the products is world-class. I don’t think this is the least expensive place to buy food, but you have to go for a look if you want to be surprised, this market is a must-see, all I can tell you now is WOW!
The local people go there to eat, many of the stalls have small seating areas where you can sit and have your lunch, one of the reasons that Lyon is dubbed France’s capital of gastronomy.
La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a minor basilica in Lyon, built with private funds between 1872 and 1896 in a dominant position overlooking the city.
It is located on top of Fourvière hill, you could walk up the hill, but I recommend taking the funicular railway. You Have an amazing view of the old town.
The Gallo-Roman Theatre (Theatres Romains de Fourviere) is the breathtaking Roman ruins located near Fourviere Basilica. You can walk downhill from the Basilique to visit this theatre. On your way down, you will need good legs to come back up.
“If you are coming to visit Provence, don’t stop in Avignon!
Once here, like a siren, the city will entrance you and you won’t want to leave.”
We took the train from Lyon to Avignon, the train is not direct, so make sure you are changing at the right station because it’s not indicated.
Ask the local people, which train to take it will be easier.
From the train station, we walk to the inside of the fortress, our hotel was inside. You can spend days roaming the neighborhoods inside the city walls and never be bored.
Avignon charms me with its ancient streets, its restored medieval ramparts, and the immense Gothic architecture of the Popes’ Palace. Visit the castle ruins near the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and sample the area’s famously well-bodied wines in a wine cellar nearby. Don’t be surprised if you spot someone dancing: in France, the bridge is known as Pont d’Avignon after the nursery rhyme: ‘Sur le Pont d’Avignon/L’on y dance, l’on y dance…
Avignon is a small city that has everything a big one has, and then some…
Palace of the Popes
The historic city center, the majestic Pope’s Palace. The largest gothic palace in the world, the Palais des Papes dominates the Avignon cityscape and draws all eyes to its grand towers and angular battlements.
While you can certainly appreciate the palace from the outside – perhaps while sipping a café creme in the square out front – you’ll appreciate it all the more after taking a tour of the interior. It’s an interactive experience that makes the tour so much more informative and enjoyable. By paying for admission, you’ll also be able to scale one of the palace’s towers for incredible views over the city, the river Rhône, the île de la Barthelasse and beyond. You have to learn the history of the Pope Palace, unbelievable.
THE BRIDGE OF AVIGNON
The world-famous bridge in Avignon France is officially called “Pont St. Benezet”. It is the subject of a very famous song that is known by children around the world entitled: “Sur le Pont d’Avignon“.
The bridge, built in the 12th century, once spanned the beautiful Rhone River. Much of it was washed away by flooding over the centuries, however, four of the original 22 arches still remain
You can enjoy a relaxing walk along the Rhone river and magnificent views of the bridge from various angles. Alternatively, one can pay a small fee (4.50 euro) to walk on the famous bridge.
My son rented an apartment a walking distance from the train and right by the water on the “Promenade des Anglais”
The deep blue waters of the Cote d’Azur are the dramatic backdrop from our balcony. You stroll the famous Promenade des Anglais, be charmed by the quaint streets of Old Town, or get a panoramic view of the whole city from atop Castle Hill. You can Indulge in classic Provençal dishes, the wines cafes, or bustling brasseries. And don’t pass up the chance to experience other places by taking day trips to Saint Tropez and Monaco.
Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya * Vieille Ville * Promenade des Anglais
There are seaside walks, and then there’s the Promenade des Anglais, which is more than just a grand walkway next to the Mediterranean. Parades for the ebullient Nice Carnival come by in February, while the rest of the year joggers, couples skateboarders, and families pass all day long.
This horror happen in front of our apartment, one week after we left.
A large truck rammed into a crowd gathered for Bastille Day fireworks in the French Riviera city of Nice on Thursday night, killing at least 84 people and injuring at least 202, French officials said. Ten of the dead were children.
The oldest part of the city is a change from Nice’s broad boulevards and expansive squares like Place Masséna.
It’s a mesh of alleys with local shops and restaurants, darkened by tall ochre-painted apartment buildings and dominated by the Colline du Château to the east.
Glaciers, crêperies, and cafes all flow onto the squares, which are often lively until the early hours.
There’s a strong Italian feel about the architecture.
In the old quarter is this lovely flower and fresh produce market, which is set up every day except Monday when it’s replaced by a flea market.
When you are holidaying in an apartment then this market is a godsend, selling fresh produce, regional delicacies, and flowers sourced from the Provence and Alpes-Maritimes countryside.
Try some samples, you will want to buy everything.
Beat the tourist rush and get there as early as possible.
Also, you can travel all the little streets with boutiques and restaurants around the marketplace.
Located in the Vieille Ville, the exterior of this landmark is rather unprepossessing, apart from its patterned dome.
It was built in the 17th century with a lavish baroque design, composed of ten highly ornate chapels with sculptures, paintings, and gilding.
Once again, it’s the kind of building you’d expect to find in Italy or Spain.
Also, The Russian Orthodox Cathedral is located in the French city of Nice.
You can walk from the Promenade des Anglais to pretty much all the churches. You have to be ready to walk in the small streets. We found most of them by accident.
This good dog was sitting in front of the church waiting patiently.
Vence for the day.
The bus pass just in front of the apartment at the “Promenade Des Anglais”.
The bus took us way up in the hills of the Alpes Maritimes. Venice is a community set in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France between Nice and Antibes.
Vence is a great medieval historic town with lots of narrow streets and squares to explore and enjoy. Once you have entered the town, just wander around the maze of cobbled alleyways, passing underneath refreshing vaulted passageways, to admire Place du Peyra Renaissance its famous fountain photographed innumerable times (1822). The town has conserved much of its historical heritage. We loved meandering through these streets with no itinerary, no time pressure.
When you have had your fill of artistic treasures, enjoy some well-deserved rest as you lunch on the terrace of one of the many small restaurants scattered around the pretty squares that are everywhere in old Vence.
Vence is one of my favorites places to visit. This town charmed me immediately, also a town not on my list to visit during our trip to Nice.
I am glad we did.
This time we took the train to go to Antibe.
Antibes is a resort town between Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera (Côte d’Azur). It’s known for its old town enclosed by 16th-century ramparts with the star-shaped Fort Carré.
Although Antibes was traditionally the centre of the local flower trade, tourism now dominates the local economy. Apart from the attraction of the beaches, the area offers a series of large yachting harbours.
The place is beach, parasol and sand.
Antibes, but still worth the visit for the day of rest and beach goer.
We took the train this time to visit Sanremo in Italy.
Sanremo or San Remo is a city on the Mediterranean coast of Liguria, in northwestern. There is nearly as much French spoken as Italian.
Took half a day to the Italian market in San Remo. It’s a must-do. The beautiful sea-coast, have lunch at the seaside and visit the shops
Our last train ride to Ventimiglia.
The last town in the Italian Riviera before hitting the French border, Ventimiglia is another of our favorite destinations in northern Italy. With its fascinating history, beautiful beaches, open-air markets, and gorgeous gardens. Another reason why you should plan your trip there.
In Ventimiglia, not only do you have an open-air market, but it’s in the most picturesque spot possible—on the extensive boardwalk. On Friday, the boardwalk is lined with open-air stands offering deals on handmade clothing, leather goods, furniture, produce, freshly caught fish, Italian food specialties, wine, and, of course, flowers.
Campanile Lyon Centre – Berges Du Rhone
4 rue Mortier, 69003 Lyon France
We stayed at the Campanile Berge du Rhone at the center of Lyon. The hotel has a good location near the river and closes to the trams, buses and easy access to the main train station and all the sights of interest.
The rooms are small and clean and the beds have been very comfortable. The rooms have a decent hairdryer, showers, free wifi, tv and tea, and coffee facilities, which the staff is only too happy to top up.
Breakfast is mainly continental, you can choose bacon, sausage, and egg available lovely and fresh selection of meats, cheese, fruit, cereal, slices of bread, juices, and hot drinks – self serve.
The staff is friendly and helpful. Perfect location – the price is good.
We enjoy our stay.
Hôtel Le Bristol,Avignon
Hôtel Le Bristol Avignon
44 Cr Jean Jaurès, 84000 Avignon,
France•+33 4 90 16 48 48
Perfect location, clean hotel right in the middle of lots of restaurants and pubs within walking distance of everything.
The service was excellent, the room was clean, quiet, and a decent size.
But make sure you have cash with you at the point of check out otherwise you’ll be nagged by one of the clerks to make sure you’ll pay the city tax before noon, check out time. And they don’t take debit.
Apartment we rent in Nice
La Promenade des Anglais.
The view from the apartment my son rented.
We have the ocean, the view, buses pass in front and you can walk everywhere/almost.
The place was clean with all the amenities.
One thing I did not like is you pay for the week BUT, you have to add more cash for the cleaning crew.
When you rent, ask a lot of questions..
Good To Know
*Language: The official language of Spain is Spanish, some people do speak French the level of English spoken there isn’t high.
*Currency: The currency in Spain is the Euro.
*Credit Cards and ATMs: You won’t have any problems finding ATMs around Spain unless you go really off the beaten track. If you’re spending time in an isolated area, it’s best to keep enough cash on you for the basics. Mastercard and Visa are usually the choices at most machines as well as restaurants and shops. Find out most places don’t want an Amex card.
*Plugs: The plugs in Spain are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. *
*Safety: Spain is one of the safest European countries. While there is a low crime rate, you’ll need to be aware of pickpockets in the metros and in crowded areas that are popular with tourists. I have a TRAVELON BAG, safety lock, anti-Theft Bag, RFID.