27. May, 2016

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 FRIDAY 27-05-16

Today we were making for Nice, eight miles, and about 40 minutes away on the bus. I was hoping to find the shop recommended to me by the girls in the Tourist Information Office in Cagnes-sur-Mer, where I could buy a replacement video camera.

We caught a bus about 10:00 which was almost full, and the temperature was climbing, clearly today was going to be a hot one.

On arriving in Nice centre The Chef acted as navigator using a tourist map we'd picked up from the campsite. Eventually we came across the store and I did manage to buy a replacement video camera. Unfortunately my Sony spare batteries won't fit it, neither will the mini DV tape cassettes, UV filter or wide angle lens, but we're back in business with a basic Panasonic HD camera using memory cards to record on to.

Once outside the shop I unpacked it to find the instruction book in both German and French. Not to worry, the menu in the camera was in English, and I soon had it up and running. The only drawback then was the battery having very little power in it. So there I was, walking around with the pocket camera in its pouch attached to my belt on one side, and the new, smaller, lighter video camera attached to the belt on the other. I must have looked like a gunfighter at the OK Corral.

We wandered along to the Old Port area where we had our lunch the last time we were here, though today the restaurant was very busy, and our only seating choice was indoors with a small group of old French ladies who couldn't stop talking. Having waited a long time to be served we upped and left. Wandering back towards the main centre we came across an American-style restaurant, not our cup of tea really but it was way past lunchtime and we were hot and tired.

Whilst waiting for our burgers, fries and beers to arrive (€31/c£24 - who says crime doesn't pay), I noticed an electrical plug point nearby, after a quick word with the waiter I unplugged whatever was attached to it and plugged in the camera for charging. This gave me a bit more life for a few shots.

They do say not to go back to places, and I have to say that although Nice is a lovely place, it isn't at its best at the  moment. There are one or two large civil engineering projects in town which make the place look ugly, add to this the two parks which produced mist and steam and water features for the public to walk amongst and enjoy were not working, possibly due to one of them currently having a stage and seating erected on it. Whilst I took a few pictures and video shots The Chef sat on a bench in the sunshine, where I  joined her. Right in front of us were a young couple having a public argument, she was clearly annoyed with him. The Chef predicted they'd be going in different directions when they left, after a short time she was proved right, the end of another beautiful friendship. Soon afterwards four armed soldiers wearing battledress appeared and stood around observing what was going on. We joked that they must know something we don't and we could get caught up in crossfire between them and a group of men appearing in a Toyota 4x4 pickup truck wearing long-johns wrapped around their heads. But after about twenty minutes and a lot of posing for photographs they sauntered off.

What I did notice from the window of the bus as we left town was a newsagent selling English newspapers. I could see the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph and Sun. I didn't have time to read the headlines though I'm sure they will have been depressing.

This coming Sunday here in France its Mothers Day, so there are plenty of flowers and small gifts available in the shops at the moment. It's also the day of the Monaco Grand Prix, just an hour away by train and it's due to be a wet day so we may well spend some of it up at the campsite covered swimming pool area.

So on arrival back at the campsite we crashed in to our chairs outside and rested after what was a day of hard work rather than pleasure. We've a few trips planned next week including St Tropez, and Menton, one stop on the train after Monaco, a day's bike hire, and a second visit to Antibes.

Tonight's meal will be a light sandwich or something as we're still feeling full from our artery-clogging lunch.