And then…. we were off to Spain. Unlike the “easy travel day” I had going from Tuscany to the French Riviera, I knew this was a loooooooong day. And since I knew I’d be immobile for 8+ hours, I definitely needed to get my walk in before we started on our three-train journey. Besides, I couldn’t leave France without visiting an outdoor market. So I packed the night before and got up extra early to visit the markets along the Cours Saleya in Nice.
I knew none of the boys would be interested so I happily skipped out of the hotel and headed up the promenade. Three mornings in a row of beautiful sunrises and I loved all of them. I had one more to remember.
I was early so some of the stalls were still empty and most of the vendors were just setting up. But everything looked so fresh and good that I wished I could take all of it with me.
My morning fun put me in a great mood and no amount of travel day stress was going to get me down. I promised that I wouldn’t do any planning for this leg of the trip, and even made a bet with Marco that I could simply follow whatever the group decided without trying to influence them or make any decisions. So it didn’t matter that there was a direct flight from Nice to Barcelona (granted it was a late night flight and we’d get in around midnight). I couldn’t voice my opinion or vote when the option of taking three trains came up. One hour flight or take three trains? I love traveling by trains but really? Amazingly (I was surprised), taking three trains won by one vote and that’s what we did.
Nice to Montpellier, France: 11:55 -> 16:30 = 4hours and 35 minutes (hot by the window & older train, loooooong ride… followed by 1 hr wait in Montpellier). Peter’s macarons and the views of the French Riviera were the highlights.
Thank goodness I had packed enough food for the ride! As always, I was prepared with sandwiches, chocolates, bananas, almonds, granola bars, etc. But young Peter hooked us up with macarons from Ladurée he got in Monte Carlo the day before. He says the macarons they sell at Ladurée on the UES of Manhattan are flown in from the Ladurée shop in Monte Carlo. He would know… he goes through boxes of them. They were slightly bruised in transit but oh so good. I love pistachio and coconut and chocolate, but my favorite is rose petal. Makes me happy just thinking about it. He’s a good man, that Peter.
Montpellier to Figueres, Spain: 17:41 -> 19:40 =2 hours (loved the fast TVG train, modern and efficient)
Figueres to Barcelona: 19:56 -> 21:45 = 1 hour and 45 minutes (easy transfer at Figueres Vilafant made it seamless)
We arrived in town just about when hundreds of thousands of proud citizens of Barcelona were dispersing after celebrating the Catalonian Independence day.
I had one full day to relax until the seniors arrived in Barcelona. I went to bed feeling tired and a bit anxious about what’s to come. To be continued…
Outdoor Market in Nice: Cours Selaya, between Place Massena and Vieux Nice (Old Town). Everyday but Monday!
Ladurée: various locations