European adventure 2016 – 7. Piza, Antibes, Genoa

European adventure 2016
York, Hull, (P&O Ferry – Hull to Rotterdam), Cochem, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Prague, Passau, Salzburg, Lazise (lake Garda & Verona), Vicenza, Padua, Venice, Siena, San Gimignano, A. Piza, B. Antibes, C. (GNV ferry – Genoa to Barcelona), Sitges, Trèbes, Arès, Chataillon Plage, Guérande, St Malo, (Brittany ferry St Malo to Portsmouth)
26 May 2016
Up early. Long journey today all the way to Antibes which will take over 5 hours. We arrive at Les Frene and… oh no disaster it is shut and so were all the other sites in the area because of severe flooding. Ever resourceful we found one which was better positioned and although more expensive, lovely it is. Great girl on reception @ la Vieille Ferme. The pitch is just a little tight but nice. Mike caught the car on a low block :(! So they have let us park the car behind until Monday. We cycle to find an Intermarche supermarket, it’s very close but it shut just as we arrived – a cycle into Antibes and a meal. 40 years since last here but it looked familiar. We found a great restaurant l’Annexe and have a set menu plus wine for 2. 10/10 followed with a chilly cycle home and bed. Great day
27 May 2016
Good nights sleep and awake reasonably early. We get off for a cycle ride at 2 pm lol. We head east and visit a lovely marina Villeneuf de Loubert.
Then on to a great cycle path for another 5 miles to Cros de Cagnes. Mike had a collision with a large lady (enough said) and scraped his shin. It really was lovely and a grande creme and panini at a beach side cafe made it even better. Supermarket visit and our fridge is stocked. We found slimline tonic for the first time we’ve been away. In for a BBQ.
28 May 2016
Another lovely day and a cycle ride into Antibes, the marina and beyond. We also had a lovely walk around the town which has kept so much of its original charm.
The boats or ships are phenomenally impressive. Aporal Spritz (French style) = no tapas or nibbles and €6.50!, the most expensive yet. Overall a nice day and back for vegetable Risotto and steak hache, plus a wicked French fancy and Baron de lestac wine.
29 May 2016
Rainy start today and the awning is just about holding tight. Lazy morning recharging our full batteries. Watched the Other Bolyn girl on the box.
30 May 2016
Monday. We check with reception about getting a larger pitch (hopefully OT10). Go up at 12.15 and its lunch break, back at 2 pm. I found a Jeffrey Archer book in the reception and start to read. 2 hours later we get our approval and we begin the 25 ft move. It’s very hot and the usual tension arrives. Soon everything is up and a great pitch is had with loads of room. We go o the supermarket to stock up. Baron de lestac is cleared rom the shelves lol. We ensure on getting our steps up and walk to Antibes for a meal. 3 miles in and 3 miles out. 2 Aperol spritz at the Irish pub €18!!!!! They’re having a laugh. Nice meal at l’Annexe. Very tired out so a good nights sleep follows.
31 May 2016
The wind is strong today. We decide to cycle to Nice. Beautiful and very easy 9 miles with the wind behind us. A different matter with the 9 miles coming back as the gusts reach 30 miles an hour Really nice day and different meals tonight. I had salmon, mike a cassoulet.
1 June 2016
Up today and off to Nice to collect Adam from the airport at 1.15pm. Back to the caravan for a drink then off to pick up a bicycle for him for 3 days. We had crepes and coffee at the ‘best before’ cafe.
A Cycle into Antibes for a very pleasant drink and a meal then home. The blow up bed has a leak 🙁
2 June 2016
After a late morning we head off to explore Antibes by day. A lunch after locking the bikes up, followed by a walk to Juan les Pins as featured in the song. Half this town beach is private the rest public. The town is homely with some nice bars and restaurants. The weather is turning dull. We contemplate taking the toytown train back but decide to walk. After a drink in Antibes it’s back to caravan for nice night before it rained. Drinks from the camp bar were taken back to caravan.
3 June 2016
So, today we head off to Cannes on the bus. €1.50 each way. Very grand with a lot of money about. A very large cruise ship is docked and helicopters transfer people from the airport. Great side streets with shops and cafes. The sea front had half private, half public beach set up but it was lovely. We found a Zara! Mike got into 30″ waist and moi 34″. Ok so Zara sizes are large in trouser sizes but it works for us. Back to caravan via the supermarket. Then cycle to Antibes for evening. Sowts bought a tin of custard 🙁 and ate it from the tin whilst walking back. Tried the beef restaurant as Adam wanted a slab of meat but it was very over priced so we end up at l’Annexe for another great meal where Adam got his meat and enjoyed Chilli Sauce.
4 June 2016
Pretty lazy day only thing was taking the cycle back and have crepes. We walk back to the site and don’t fancy the long walk into Antibes so order pizza from the lovely man at the site. Tripadvisor is very accurate when they say the best pizza in town! All washed down with a €6 carafe of red. Bargain. We start watching Good Wife series 5.
We stayed up very late till the early hours so Sowts could get a taxi to the airport for his flight to Manchester via Munich at 6.30am. Mike uses uber for the first time.
5 June 2016
With Sowts gone we had a sleep in and did some pre packing and necessary cleaning. We decide to get our exercise by walking into Antibes and back to have our final meal at l’Annexe.
6 June 2016
Today we pack up and head off to Genoa to catch the ferry to Barcelona. An uneventful journey and we get to the port for 4pm and as the boat leaves at 8 plenty of chill time was in order. As we turn into the boarding area for Barcelona a classic moment occurs as the vehicles have a look of migrants with possessions all piled on the roofs not unlike Moroccan ones we saw on holiday. It crossed our mind that we were in the wrong q. No we weren’t… as we realised the next stop after Barcelona was Tangiers. Thus began our North African experience. Our boat arrived in to unload and the customs people set up doing what can only be described as a massive and thorough check. We watched as van after van (none of which would pass its MOT!) was searched. I have never seen vehicles so packed with items.
One car was so overladen the back was only inches away from the ground. This helped pass the time but during this people kept leaning on the caravan, car, crossing over the coupling, we were getting very stressed. I managed to stop a lady letting her son relieve himself on the caravan. Time slipped by and we were not moving. Morrocan’s have a habit of massing and they were near our possessions. Why did we do this? But as they say, do something different everyday. 8 pm passed and no movement. We did think they had forgotten us as we were the only caravan and only 2 out of 4 English. 10.55pm we got on board. Each vehicle before us was asked to reverse up the steep ramp and Mike was getting a little stressed until our turn and we were shouted at (normal for Italy) to go straight forward down the right entrance, garage C.
Up to floor 7 and collect our keys for room 7169. Good size room. Let’s get some food. Café it had to be ;( and very odd as you could only get what was allocated unless you paid more. We both got extra in the guise of red wine but with plastic cups (we managed to persuade a manager to get us glass). One thing that strikes you as you walked around the ship were the number of people sleeping in the corridors in fact every available space. With all there possessions around them. We retreated into our cabin and sanctuary. We had a very smooth crossing.

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