Photos are now available on flickr.
And the final route:
Not shown: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
We decided to get an early start, and were on the road to Cannes by the crack of 9:00. Lobo failed to find the Cannes Starbucks mug he wanted, due to the fact that they had never existed, and then we wandered around for a half hour or so before finding a cafe/boulangerie to procure croissants and espressoses.
This was across from a farmer’s market, where Alcalde treated us to fried zucchini flowers, which are a real thing that I’m not making up. He also bought some peppered goat cheese.
That was the high point of Cannes. Then we drove to Nice. We saw some Brazilian guys with musical instruments discussing something with the local police. They appeared to come to some understanding and walked down the street, occasionally glancing back. When the police were no longer in sight, two of them started playing their instruments. The other two were apparently capoeiristas, and did flips and martial arts moves whenever there was a break in the crowd.
We walked around and looked at things for a while, then looped around and ate lunch right next to where the capoeira dudes were, but they were gone. We can only hope that they stayed ahead of the gendarmerie.
We had some very good pizza, and we learned that when you say sans anchois, you pronounce the final s in sans, because you gotta do the elision before a vowel.
Continuing down whatever corniche we were on, we discovered that the GPS that was built into the car was in fact not that hard to turn on after all, thanks to Alcalde’s quick-thinking techno-wizardry. So now we had three navigational systems to choose from. Lobo started to set the car’s GPS, then switched to the radio and immediately found the Village People. Then we started singing pop songs in Inspector Clouseau voice and things sort of went downhill from there, made worse by the goat cheese, which was becoming more aromatic by the minute.
But we made it to Monaco anyway, and eventually found parking and wandered around in an area that wasn’t really the area I was thinking of. Alcalde and I had a little trouble with a recalcitrant escalator, but we eventually outsmarted it. I bought some Gérard de Villiers novels that I can’t actually read, and we headed back to Seborga, windows open in a futile attempt to air out the car.
Then we picked up some groceries at the market in Seborga and went back and watched Bride of the Monster and Night of the Ghouls. A day well spent.
After a leisurely breakfast, we went to Monaco with no clear plan in mind except for Lobo to get a Starbucks mug and then wander around. We parked in a car park (garage) right next to the Starbucks, which I think was the same one I parked in 16 years ago. You basically spiral down into the center of the Earth or until you find a parking space, whichever comes first.
But we found a space, and we got mugs, and we wandered, starting with the yacht harbor.
We found some signs for the yacht show that had ended a couple of days earlier. They were just throwing them out!
We saw yachts…
…and a cathedral…
…and a tiny police car…
…and the palace, where we weren’t allowed to take pictures.
We were too early to get into the casino, and Lobo probably wasn’t dressed well enough anyway. And there was supposed to be a tourist information office that would stamp your passport with a Monaco stamp, but it seems to be gone. Still, Monaco is good place to wander around on a sunny day.
We left Monaco at around 4:00 and drove to Èze, which I remembered from the 2000 trip. Lobo had gone there a few years earlier, except that he didn’t actually go up to the castle ruin at the top. His wife and daughter went, but Lobo just sat in the car because he thought that his wife was just going to the restroom, and that his daughter had gone to look for her. He sat there for two hours until they came back and told him all about it. Seriously.
Anyway, he wanted to go, so we drove up there…and then he said he didn’t think that was really the place. Maybe it was La Turbie. So we drove there. La Turbie doesn’t have a castle, but it has a Roman ruin. The park with the ruin was supposed to close at 5:00, but it was 4:20 and it was already closed. I still don’t know if that was the right place.
But it was still a good day, and we drove back to the house and watched Birdemic: Shock and Terror, which made it even better.
UPDATE: Of the many noteworthy aspects of Birdemic: Shock and Terror, the song “Just Hanging Out” is a standout.
Charles walks in with the beer and his baby says HEY DEAR!
Can you go and talk to Melvin, he’s making out at the pier
So little Susan hears the music then she starts to groovin’
And all the fellas jump up to see, how she is movin’