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Dr John Hawkins

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London to Nice

Posted on 2009/07/05 16:55:38 (July 2009).

[Saturday 27th June]
The first day of our week's holiday on the Cote d'Azur. As anyone who knows me will attest, I really hate flying, so part of the reason for choosing Nice as a destination for our holiday was that we could get there entirely by train - the Eurostar from London to Paris, and then a TGV from there down to the Cote d'Azur.

So off we set this morning, headed to St. Pancras International, and started off our journey with a very civilised 2-and-a-bit hours on the Eurostar. We'd booked into "Leisure Select" which meant we had breakfast served on board, and there was even a glass of champagne, which was a nice touch.

We arrived in Paris at lunchtime, and had a good two or three hours before our next train left, giving us plenty of time for a leisurely lunch at Le Potager du Marais - the vegetarian restaurant I had discovered earlier this year.

After lunch we headed to the Gare de Lyon, and there climbed aboard the duplex (double decker) TGV that would take us from there all the way down to Nice. Having booked well in advance I'd been able to get us seats in first class for barely any more than the price of a standard ticket, which made for a very comfortable and pleasant journey. Albeit that I was still a little unwell, and seemed to have picked up some sort of stomach bug, which required me to become somewhat more familiar with the onbaord toilet than perhaps I would like.

It's a five-and-a-half hour train journey from Paris to Nice. For the first half of the journey the train seems to go at pretty much top speed all the way - from Paris all the way to Aix-en-Provence (almost the South Coast), which is the first stop. After Aix the train is notably slower, as it winds it's way along the Mediterranean coast, taking in Marseille, Toulon, Saint Raphael and Cannes on the way.

We arrived in Nice some time after 9 o' clock. We'd booked a hotel very close to the station for the first night, knowing that we'd be arriving fairly late. After checking in and dropping off our bags we immediately headed out for dinner and a late evening stroll around Nice.

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