Blips from my break in Nice, South of France, begin here. These days away were fully intended to help me recover from the hectic work routine which had left me pretty exhausted leading up to them, but it didn't really turn out like that. I ended up just as tired when I came back as I'd been when I went away, and all the walking I did while I was there left me pretty tired each evening when I got back to the hotel. I did feel the benefit by Friday, though, and was in good form that evening around the old town in Nice. Thankfully, I was feeling well up to an early start on Saturday morning, wet and dreary though it was, for the short train trip to Monte Carlo. I would have been kicking myself for ever after if I hadn't gone there when it's so convenient, and I'm delighted that I did -- even if I looked more like a drowned rat most of the time I was there.
As to Nice itself, I'll definitely go back there some time, even though it's even more expensive than Dublin (difficult as that is to believe). Public transport was really the only thing which was reasonably priced (in fact, it was positively cheap: only 1 euro for a one-journey ticket on the tram, which covered the entire length of the line, and 4 euro for a day pass covering the entire bus and tram routes). Food and drink, though, proved very expensive. Still, the city's got a lot going for it, and I'd love to see it again, preferably during some of the 300 days of fine weather the tourist literature boasts that they enjoy each year
Now it's back to reality, with another couple of jobs to get stuck into. First, of course, there's the case to unpack. As usual, I overdid things and brought far too much stuff with me. I didn't over-indulge in purchases (just a few CDs and a bottle wine), so the weight I lugged onto the airport bus wasn't much different from what I went away with. This collection of tourist leaflets and street maps certainly didn't add anything to the load. I always face a bit of a quandary when I come back from a trip: whether to hold onto stuff like this or just throw it away. I think this lot will be binned -- though definitely not the Monte Carlo street map on the right. It's in a sorry state because of being rained on as I made my pilgrimage along the Grand Prix circuit, but I'll hold onto it nonetheless as a keepsake of a great experience.