Europe – day 7 – the road to Nice

Today was our longest drive from Grindelwald to Nice, France. We took a longer route through Lausanne to meet a friend Kristy and her mother Donna for lunch. Donna had grown up in our area, graduated from the same high school as Liz and Danna and even had one teacher in common. Kristy had grown up in Switzerland but had dual citizenship and came back to Cupertino, CA for a while to learn what it meant to be an American, which is when we met her. Next October she will go to Rwanda to work with Food for the Hungry.

I drove the stretch after lunch where we climbed up and up and up out of Swizterland to the St Bernard Tunnel (5 km) and then descended down and down and down into Italy. At one of the restaurants in Italy we found instant espresso packets the size of restaurant jam packets that came with a little tiny straw.

The road along the Italian coast was interesting. It seemed to be composed of tall bridges and tunnels one hundred feet above the towns. We had to wonder how very slow that route was before the autostrada was built.

We did not have detail instructions to the apartment we were renting in Nice (“look for signs to the Acropolis”) but we did have the address. There is quite a lot of construction going on in Nice as they put in trolly tracks on some of the main streets. We very quickly got lost and then by shear chance turned onto the street for our apartment. Finding parking was not so easy. We pulled into one tiny underground garage labeled parking but no one was there and the door to walk out was locked so we decided it was not a good place to park. I barely managed to maneuver the van out of the garage with the tight turns. I am afraid I left some of the clutch on the steep driveway.

We rented an apartment for 4 days for less than $350. The apartment sleeps 6 and the price is a weeks rental even though we could only stay 4 nights. The apartment looks out on the modern art museum and the Acropolis which appears to be a convention center. It is on the 3rd floor with a small balcony looking over the park by the museum. Parking seemed to be the only down side and 24 parking will cost another 25 euros.

This region once spoke italian but voted to join France around 1860. Our dinner showed that mixed heritage with dishes like gnocchi or ravioli in a French style beef sauce.

After dinner we walked down into the old town and then to our friends hotel room (Jim, Marylyn and Paul, last seen in Rothenberg). We arranged a time to meet the next morning for a trip to Monaco and then walked 25 minutes back to the apartment.

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