Traveling by train from Uzes to Nice for the weekend was too much of a good thing to pass up. If the chance to visit with friends wasn’t enough, the low-cost train fare made the trip a “must.”
A friend from North Carolina was accompanying her daughter to Nice to enjoy some “together time” before the daughter, Jacqueline, signed into classes in London. Jacqueline is completing her freshman year abroad from Florida State University after spending the first part of the year in Florence.
Jacqueline’s older sister visited me in Uzes in the fall while on break from her study-abroad program in Copenhagen from Tulane. We had so much fun that I wasn’t about to pass up the chance to “play” with Jacqueline and her mother on the Rivera. (See blog)
Low- cost train fare
Now that I’m planning to travel a lot by train in Europe, I’m glad to have found out about the “senior” rail pass. The discount on the fare from Avignon to Nice was incredible — 75 Euros roundtrip, first class.
With “Mustang Sally” now at my disposal, I drove to Avignon and parked her with her 4-wheeled friends at the train station. Even with paying for parking, the transportation cost was less than if I taken Sally and paid for gas.
The train to Nice
This blog posting was started on the way from Avignon to Nice on the TGV train. Join me as I experience the comfortable ride in the first-class coach. Fortunately, there’s no one beside or across from me. The table for four and the seats are empty so that I can stretch out as much as I please.
We are skirting along the Mediterranean from Marseilles to Nice, getting glimpses of the beaches and coastline villas.
It’s a blue-sky sunny day with only a few clouds.
From one side of the train you see sunbathers stretched out on mats and lounge chairs on the beaches. The temperature is in the high 60s.
The view from the left windows reveals town people walking busily down the streets wearing leather jackets.
Marseille. Toulon. Sainte Maxime.
Stretches of low forests with cedars, olive trees and pines are interrupted by occasional towns. Beaches appear from nowhere as the train speeds along.
The sea draws closer to the tracks. It darts away again.
Yacht coves appear below rocky cliffs
Train stations with familiar names click by alerting passengers that Nice is ahead.
High-rise condos and apartment buildings are beginning to crowd together on the hills to the left of the train tracks. More are packed together towards the sea.
Old and new, unkept and clean; the contrast of tan, yellow, reddish-brown and, occasionally, green stucco and concrete structures seem to blend together in perfect harmony.
Arriving in Nice
This is the real deal: The French Rivera