The 3€ French Riviera Tour

Yes, you read it right.  A French Riviera tour, in 3 hours, for 3-euros.  And it was not even planned!

We were supposed to collect our car in the Port of Saint Laurent du Var,  seaside town 15-minute drive from Nice and that means, taking the bus from our village then a train connection that will bring us to our destination. 

Bus No. 1:  From our village to Menton, a 40-minute drive costing only 1-euro

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You get this postcard beauty of Menton from the comfort of your bus seat.

At Menton, a train strike cancelled all train trips to Nice so we had no choice but to take the 2-hour bus trip to Nice.  We did not expect that it would be a much agreeable journey that would span several towns and villages.

Bus 2:  From Menton to Nice – 1 Euro

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The bus to Nice is very comfortable.

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Bus 3: Nice to Saint Laurent du Var – 1 Euro

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We have arrived!  And the car started all right.

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Back to home

A sightseeing journey that cost us only 3-euros!

Talking Animals

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“Quack! Quack! This seagull is harrassing me!”
Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK

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“Quack..quack…do you have some nuts, miss?”
Christchurch, UK

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“Quack….itchy!”
Christchurch, UK

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“Whew,,,,I badly need a horncut!”
Hampshire, UK

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“A colt or a foal?”
Hampshire, UK

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“Nice hair, mademoisselle ducky!”
They are called “white-crested” ducks because of the crest of feathers on their heads. Dorset, UK

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“Run…quick! Its raining!”
Northern France
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ZZZzzz…..ZZZzzzzzzz
Breil sur Roya, France

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“Miss Photographer, are you done yet?”
Manila, Philippines

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“Am I close enough?”
Camiguin, Philippines

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“How many times I told you I don’t like to listen to music!”
Camiguin, Philippines

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“Sorry, ducky, I didn’t bring bread today..”
Breil sur Roya, France

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“But I’m too cute to be eaten!”

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“Okay then, I’ll just settle for the octopus!”
Ventimiglia, Italy

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Meet Goubie, our doggy friend, feeling at home in our caravan. We were dogsitters for a short while when his owners flew home for the weekend.
Corfu, Greece

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Duck 1:  Come on guys! let’s jump up there!
It’s our chance to do a river-runner!
(The saga of the 4 ducks in Roya Valley)
Breil sur Roya, France

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“Hmmmm…..tasty grass!”
Corfu, Greece

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ZZZssss….ZZZssss
Paris, France

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“My master is not IN, come back later!”
Paris, France

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“I cannot walk as fast as you do!”
Antibes, France

 

Barcelona Itinerary

Here is a 3-day Barcelona Itinerary for first time visitors to this great city, but before anything else, here are very important tips:

1.  Hold on to your bags and wallet, BCN as any other big city is notorious for pickpockets.
2.  Get a Tourist Map from your hotel. If they don’t have it, you can gather them (brochures, maps, booklets) from the Tourist Office which is in the underground of Plaza Catalunya. This plaza is at the end of Passeig de Gracia, towards the Ramblas
3.  Book a Flamenco Show for any of the nights you will be in Barcelona. If possible, book online so you don’t have to queue up or assured of seats because these shows are very popular.
Here is the link: http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c…barcelona.html

If your plane arrives late afternoon, you can still do an Evening walk in the Ramblas. This famous pedestrian street is very vibrant day and night and you must see it in the dark as well as at daytime.

If you can still walk, explore Barrio Gotico at night. It is also great to see it at daytime, so you need a map and a guide to make sure that you see the most important attractions:
Here is the link to the map:
http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/…PlanoGotic.pdf

DAY ONE –

Start your sightseeing from the comfort of your seat by taking the Sightseeing Bus tour.  It is a double-decker Bus Turistic with 3 itineraries on offer – the red, blue and green itineraries which you can all ride on to using just one ticket.  You can hop on, hop out all day long.

Here’s the Itinerary map of the tourist bus:
http://bcnshop.barcelonaturisme.com/…bbt/planol.pdf

Must-get-down stopovers:
– the Sagrada Familia. Slowly walk around it and marvel at the majesty and bizarreness of Gaudi’s masterpiece.
– Park Guell, another masterpiece which is a network of roads, walkways, steps and plazas with tiled benches curving around them, fascinating building, colonnades, viaducts, grottos, etc
– Catch the cable car (Teleferico) from Torre de San Sebastia in Barceloneta (across the harbour when standing from the monument of Christopher Columbus) to the hillside of Montjuic. Here you get a breathtaking view of Barcelona, its monuments, harbour and the Mediterranean sea.
– Tibidado up the hill

DAY TWO –

Early Morning (except Sunday): Go to Boqueria Market along the Ramblas. You can buy fruits, stuffed olives (delicious!), ham and cheese and portions of Spanish dishes to eat in your journey

Before lunch: Take a trip to Montserrat
For more details, Barcelona to Montserrat by Train
http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c…ontserrat.html

DAY THREE –

Daytime exploring of Las Ramblas and its side streets, proceed to the beach, then wander around the 18th century neighbourhood of Barceloneta

EXTRA:
If you are into bars, BCN has a great bar scene. You can start hopping from one bar to another starting from 5pm up to the wee hours of the morning (3-5am)! But don’t go with an empty stomach and drink moderately.

NOTE:
While on the tour bus or just plain walking, take note of the Gaudi buildings:
http://www.top-tour-of-spain.com/antoni-gaudi.html

MUST TRY/BUY:
– Food: Tapas of all kinds, paella
– Buy Spanish cookbook in English. I did! and am still following the recipes up to now!
– Barcelona fridge magnet
– postcard and mail it to your address in the States. You can buy stamps from the store, I think

The Sagrada Familia

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The Sagrada Familia is a must-see site when you go to Barcelona.
Walk around it, very very slowly, and you will be amazed – dumbfounded – by its magnanimity …. it’s like…. you are in a different universe! there is simply nothing like it!!!!!

Each side of the Basilica comes with an entirely different design – one side will be gothic, then another will be Art Nouveau, etc..

The construction started in late 19th century and is continuing until now.
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“Aznar-Bush-Blair-Assassins!”

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another Gaudi inspired architecture

Tibidado Church

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View from Tibidado
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 TAPAS, TAPAS and TAPAS!

A trip to Barcelona is not complete without trying their tapas. You sit at the counter and choose from the many small plates of food displayed in front of you – patatas bravas (fried cubed potatoes), bocarones (fried small fish), calamares (fried squid), chorizo..awesome!

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Las Ramblas

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Plaza Real

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Montserrat

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Boqueria market

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Boqueria Market (along las Ramblas)
Mind-blowing! a gastronomic paradise! even if you do not have cooking facilities, you are bound to find something you can eat in your hotel room! you can also buy cooked food (like our carinderia) and they all taste deelicious!

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Genoa, a city of culture and history

One of the most vibrant, fascinating, historical European city we have ever been! We would love to live there, if only to explore every corner, immerse ourselves on a gastronomical journey, marvel at how Italians are the masters of Architecture; they have a knack of mixing the old and the new and still create a breathless scenery! And if you are passionate of the arts and medieval architecture, Genoa (or Genova in Italian)
is the place to be!

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Palazzo Doria Spinola which houses the National Gallery

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Palazzo San Gorgio which is now the headquarters of the Port Authority

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The Old and the New, spice up with Nature….voila!

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Window-shopping

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The old Stock Exchange (Borsa) now the Banca Carige in Piazza de Ferrari

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The fountains in Piazza del Ferrari

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Part of the long gallery along via de XX  September street.  The gray and white stripes are of marble.

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xx September – the shopping street

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The monument of Christopher Columbus who was born in Genoa in 1451. 

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A Relief on the Monument showing the great sailor explaining to the Court of Portugal that the earth is round.  Europeans believed at that time that it is flat.

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University of Genoa (used to be a Jesuit College)

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Oratorio di San Filippo (Neri)….Church of St Philip Blacks
A masterpiece of Baroque Genovese

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Chiesa di San Lorenzo (Church of St Lawrence) is the seat of the Archbishop of Genoa

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Chiesa di San Lorenzo , also called the Genoa Cathedral, was built in Romanesque-Rennaissance style

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The marblestone lion guarding the Chiesa di San Lorenzo. 

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Along via Garibaldi

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A hidden gem along via Garibaldi

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Galleria Imperiale

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