26. May, 2016

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THURSDAY 26-05-16

Today we were to visit Cagnes-sur-Mer, a fifteen minute bus ride along the coast towards Nice. We were originally looking to catch the 09:00 bus but unfortunately I got tied up in trying to upload the blog entries for yesterday and it was taking so long.

The bus duly came about ten minutes late and we later concluded that the time we had spent waiting for the bus added to the journey time, we could have got there quicker by walking along the promenade.

The Chef had read in the guidebooks that Cagnes-sur-Mer had three areas, the beach, the town centre and the Old Town and castle at the top of the hill. After getting off the bus we walked through the town following the signs for the castle and coming across the Tourist Information Office on the way. I enquired there about shops selling video cameras and they suggested a place in Nice, so it looks as if we'll go there tomorrow and try my luck.

In the town were signs to the artist Renoir's house, now a museum with 14 of his paintings inside, but since he never made the effort to come and see our house, I don't see why I should go and visit his.

It was a steep climb up the hill on what was becoming a pretty hot day, but the effort was well worth it. The medieval Old Town was delightful, very peaceful with narrow streets. Before they built a small multi-storey car park up there for visitors I don't know how the locals would have got on for parking their own cars, the Old Town was geared for donkeys not cars.

In the Middle Ages the Grimaldi family held sway over many of the Mediterranean coastal towns. The castle that towers over Old Town was built by Rainier in 1309 as a fortress-prison. In 1620 his descendant, Jean-Henri, transformed it into the handsome palace which shelters behind its dramatic battlements. It now houses a museum. The Chef didn't fancy going in for a look around and so we made our way back down the hill. Lunch was from a small store that we passed by - sandwiches, cold drink and a small cake. We enjoyed these sitting on a bench down on the promenade watching the planes coming in to land at Nice airport and just taking in the warm sunshine and blue sea.

That done, we decided to walk back, which was a very pleasant stroll. Our campsite gets its name from the Hippodrome, or horse racing track which is almost next door, and it is this Hippodrome which divides us from Cagnes-sur-Mer. I think they do quite a lot of the horse and trap style of racing. There looks to be a race meeting there on the Sunday before we leave here and so we may try and get to it, just for a different experience.

On our return to the campsite, we changed and went for a lie down around the undercover pool, but after about half an hour gave up, as although we had it all to ourselves, it was like an oven in there with no ventilation. We are expecting a bit of rain and sunshine on Sunday so perhaps we'll spend a bit of time up there then.

The Chef's creation this evening is jacket potato, roast chicken, cooked outside in our oven,  and salad, with the added bonus that it's nice enough weather to eat it alfresco.

Tomorrow it's a visit to Nice.