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2012-Jun-4 - France Trip 2012 - Avignon to Nice (Monday)
We used Google maps directions on my mobile phone to plot out a path from the car park to the hotel.

This went well and we said a fond farewell to the receptionist.

I then plotted directions from Hotel Regina Avignon to Albert Premier Hotel Nice.

On the first attempt I missed directing Linda in to a tiny right hand road because we were so involved in working out a red warning light on the display.(turned out the hand brake was still on).

We had to go around again.

I managed to navigate Linda out through the city wall gate but very soon sent her down a wrong street.

While we were replotting our course we tried to fill up at a petrol station but it was completely unmanned and would not accept our cash card.

We decided we needed to find a manned petrol station somewhere on the A7.

With a new set of directions from Google maps we were soon on the A7.

The next 2.5 hours were reasonably uneventful apart from finding a petrol station and working out how to use it and having to pay almost 40 Eur in Tolls.

We were buffeted by strong winds which made it difficult for Linda to keep the car in a straight line.

Also, even though she was doing 130 Km per hour, aggressive drivers would sit on her tail dangerously or blast her with the horn.

Just as we reached Nice it started to rain.

I managed to navigate Linda exactly past the hotel but there was a huge line of cars right up our bum tooting everytime we delayed for a single second.

I thought the traffic in Narbonne was bad and then I thought the traffic in Avignon was even worse, but in Nice it was absolutely crazy.

We expected there to be parking in front of the hotel but it was fully occupied.

Linda freaked out at this point and pulled in to the forecourt of a car hire company.

A woman at the car company pointed out parking.

We wound through narrow streets for several blocks until we found the entrance to an underground carpark.

Linda was really freaking out now and found it very difficult to park in the narrow confines.

We walked up 3 levels of stairs and emerged in to the middle of a second hand market.

Two hours later when we walked down the same street - all the market stalls had been removed and converted in to restaurants.

We found our way to the hotel and had a chat with the reception.

We were both traumatised by the traffic experience.

Although the hotel was advertised as "parking nearby" it turned out that we were already parked in the correct place and this would cost us 20 Eur per day.

We tried calling the EuropCar office at the railway station to see if we could return the car.

The woman there was very rude and just hung up the phone.

Even when the receptionist rang for us - they hung up the phone on her as well.

Fortunately the receptionist knew of another branch of the hire company - it was just a few minutes away.

We found their office and they were very helpful - we just needed to get the car out of the parking, pull our luggage out of the car in to the hotel and then get the car back to their garage.

It was all pretty stressful but we managed to do it all before 18.00 hours and felt like a huge load had been lifted off our shoulders.

After that we found an Irish pub, had a few stiff drinks and some very Irish food, then back to the hotel to sleep.

At this point I was apologising to Linda for bringing her to Nice - I could not see anything at all attractive about the city - I was wondering what we were going to do here for the next 4 days.

Fortunately the hotel room had double glazing, shutters, very good airconditioning and a good bathroom.

We were able to have a sound sleep and woke up the next morning with a much better attitude towards Nice.


Entrance to the scary underground carpark Nice

Emerging in to a busy market

Our hotel at night