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Since we moved to Trondheim, Norway, many people have warned us that the autumn is unpleasant. Knowing that I have an expat contract to stay in Trondheim for 2 years, we are actively seeking opportunities to travel in Europe during that time. When we saw that school has a one week break at the beginning of October we looked at the direct flights from Trondheim and booked a getaway to Nice, France.
When we boarded our flight at 6 am it was dark and cold. When we disembarked in Nice it was sunny and warm and already worth the expense! We couldn’t check in to our accommodation until 4pm and we arrived at 9am so we caught a bus into Nice and because it was so crowded we got off and walked along the promenade.
Nice was bustling because there was a triathlon about to start at midday and Nice was also hosting the International Masters Games. We walked along the promenade with our lightweight cabin luggage and shed Norway clothes to allow for the warmth of France. We were becoming increasingly hungry and although our son wanted to do parkour on every surface I hurried us along in search of food knowing that the window for eating before hangry behaviour started was narrow.
We passed many glossy looking tourist eateries and outside the entrance to the old town we settled on an old brasserie with a friendly north African waiter and an appealing and affordable petit dejeuner (breakfast) menu. We sat at a table outside on the footpath and enjoyed coffee, croissants and baguettes with butter and jam, breaking our no grains or sugar policy for a week of Paris exceptions (a concept that Peter Singer, a vegetarian, used for the dietary exceptions we make while traveling).
After breakfast we wandered into the old town to see the covered markets. It was delightful wandering around and beholding the glorious produce of Provence. We bought salamis, hams, 6 types of cheeses, fruit, olives and 6 types of tomatoes. The tomato vendor was a sweet man who charmed our children and gave them tastes of 8 different types of tomatoes, figs and persimmons. He enjoyed watching the delight in their big bright eyes and they loved the attention and delicious treats.
On SBS public tv station we had a few years ago seen a documentary set in Cote D’Azur that featured socca sold at these markets. To our amazement we saw the man ride up to the stall on his scooter and deliver two trays of hot socca, just like in the documentary. The glamorous woman cut it expertly and sold it to the big queue of tourists waiting to buy it. The entire first tray was pre sold to a tour group but the woman took a special interest in my handsome husband and snuck a serving to him. He loves socca and makes it for us at home so it was great that he got to eat it freshly made by an expert. It was a little bit more exciting because we had seen the woman serving in the same way on tv.
We were tired from the early start and had a long time to fill until check in so we went to see a delightful animated French film (le petit Prince). We avoid the cost of the cinema in Norway so it was a treat to see a film that captivated all of us (well except for the nice nap that my husband had). The language of the film didn’t stand in the way of our children loving the film.
We stopped at a brasserie for a late lunch then tried to find a taxi while walking in the direction of our apartment. On the way we stopped to buy toilet paper and shampoo because we had read reviews saying that nothing is provided at the apartment. Finally we found a cab with an impulsive driver who stopped in the bus stop with a bus coming. We all piled in and sped to our apartment in Cagnes sur mer. To be continued…