catalunya - provence - cote d'azur

catalunya - provence - cote d'azur

Friday july 9

- it started in MEA VIP lounge (priviledge of nabil) where the plane got delayed for like 2 hrs not a good start !!! all i was thinking thank god i didnt have to drive the same night to barcelona. After feasting on perrier and fawe7ish we finally boarded and jamil managed to sit near us behind a very annoying boy

We landed in nice @ 7pm and got the car (to my surprise it wasnt the citroen c5 but a diesel renault scenic :S) headed directly to promenade des anglais for jamil to see the best of the city in his first minutes in europe while listening to placebo ...:: dont leave me here my guiding light cause i iiii wouldnt know where to beging ::...

   We walked around and headed to viuex nice for a dinner but it was too crowded and we chose a good foo resto but the waitress was a typical frenchie if you know what i mean
(jamil picked a weird pinkish beer kirbelge which was ok considering the risk :)). of course jamil didnt only discover europe for the first time this day but also discovered la carafe d'eau!!
due to unforseen traffic on la promenade we arrived very late to sophia antipolis mercure hotel which was a mistake cause we have a long road tom to barcelona
najat:"we had to walk through all rooms in the hotel to reach the end of the tunnel where the room was. our balcony shows our car ... the hotel had a weird bathroom seat in one small room and the lavabo in another shou hal fawda!!
--  for pictures >> click here

saturday july 10

- of course noonewoke up @ so we started the trip around 6:30 am
we suffered a lack of coverage on the road and passed many unforseen *bouchon*. The road took us around 8 1/2 hrs while we planned for 6 or 7 that was tough but considering 3 stops and a major traffic at barcelona entrance it was fine !!! so 9 hrs of drive supported by nokia ovi maps :)
najat:"so now we know waht it feels to drive for 9hrs. tired !!!!".

the hotel was as expected a *** european hotel and there was a nearby underground parking for 30 euros just behind pelai street and a minute walk from inglaterra which is a luxury in europe.

no time wasted we rolled on las ramblas a street i will always remember ... up down and to the market where we had an icecream
and all the way down to the port vel and up to the barri ghotic. i expected much more from this finely architectured area. I thought it would be clean with narrow and pedestrian streets ... well it was full of pee (sheri3 il fanatir)
we ended the day in cafe de l'opera where we had some traditional appetizers that were very tasty and jamil had an amazing salad al jamon and crudes:)

we were supposed to go out watch the match somewhere but jamil crashed immediately knwoing that he flew all night from dubai and didnt sleep well the day after in nice.
so the day ended abruptly
--  for pictures >> click here

sunday july 11

- early morning we directly tried picasso but it wont open before 10 :S so we took the bus ride to see most of barcelona which was a good idea by jamil
and the same bus took us to la sagrada familia or gaudi's masterpiece - entrance was 12 euros. during the bus trip we saw different blg architecture old and new including the famour torre agbar

we continued on the same bus to park gueill which was a good relaxing spot but overrated. let's say its one of those places you have to attend or u will regret forever ...
took nice pics there though and we managed to by some souvenirs

we stopped for lunch at las ramblas goldenpaella where we sipped the best cold sangria ever. Tried picasso again in the afternoon, but it was overrated all the paintings were from his very early work!!

it was a mistake to be so tired all day cause we had to attend the football world cup final. we took again the same bus which did a final trip and stopped on placa d'espana

victory of la roja ole ole oleeee red fountains ppl jumping in water and lots of ppl from placa despana to las ramblas, walking with tabl w zamr we bought metro tickets back like good tourists but the mayham overtook the metro as well. and ppl were force opening the doors

jamil acquired an amazing skill of instant sleeping as soon as he lays his head on the bed
no matter the env and noise! hotel inglaterra on the corner of carrer de pelai is a very sweet hotel with welcoming reception (blonde)
it was also safe but being near busy rambla its very noisy. be part of the noise or dont sleep early

najat:"wake up early today and have breakfast (pas mal!!) gaufre w fawe7ish then we got lost at placa catalunya to find the bus touristica ... we didnt find it
so we decided to go to picasso ... after getting lost with map we found it but it was closed now go back to catalunya to get the bus...
the tour was nice we saw the different buildings of city every bldg is different from teh other nad each one has its style. i loved the city after this tour.
next we stopped at sagrada familia it is a modern unfinished church with the touch of gaudi that has fruits in top :) it has huge columns inside with differnet colors
and i loved the blue window next we went up to get view of the city"
--  for pictures >> click here

monday july 12

- ok i've had enough of architecture and now ready for a long day at the beach.
wake up late today @ 10 !!!! brakfast in hotel then to barceloneta near port vell we walked from barcelonate metro station in flip flops and towels
i slept there most of the time cause i was ruined and got a sun burn
we tried paella again but this one was very heavy and jamil decided to try the all black negrotto or waht i called it paella 3al fa7me or paella 3al 3atme
waiter insisted on coversing with us but we dont speak catalunyan and he doesnt speak english
we understood that the salad i ordered (melon with jamon) is a traditional dish from whree he comes from
restuarant was mostly moroccan so he asked his friend and came back asking if the salad was taybe :))

that was a very slow lazy day @ the beach but water was freezing and sun was burning
jamil as usual sleeps after every event and najat takes ages to shower

jamil:"jibilo xibera 1 euro"
najat:"now sitting in hotel room next to goto port olympico the pubs street. nabil now 3am bi7ot after sun his leg 3emleh effet lumineux.
after lunch we went to placa catalunya to ask info desk about bikes w ... esta placa esta bonita!! lots of pigeons and ppl. then we walked la rambla.
every time i walk it feels different :) jamil suggests a narrow alley on the way back which took us another 30 mins around la ribera. now getting ready to go salir in port olympico"

najat: "we walked port but all pubs were empty waynak wein il gemayzeh. eventhough it was 12:00 anyway we sat in one that has white couches and drank mojito.
then it was still too dull so we decided to go to pubs on beaches so we took a taxi to platja mar bella, arrived there, traxi left, we found noone there :(
we walked walked walked found a taxi to la rambla where we had an amazing sangria in cafe de l'opera. was it bad luck? or the port is not interesting? or because it was a monday?
yo no se, anyway el mojito darabit with the sangria and we need music!!!"
--  for pictures >> click here

tuesday july 13

- by bike! we rented 3 bikes from city bike as suggested by the touristic info place. it was decided on eixample track because the what's on guide of barcelona says it has bicycle roads. true it was an amazing 2 hrs ride. amazing how they designed the area to be bikes and pedestrian friendly.
najat: "now sitting on bench in poble espanol waiting for tablao de carmen @9:15 ... the poble is nice but artificial and a bit boring compared to las ramblas.
we bought a few shirts there. montjuic was boring we saw the castle which shows a high view of the city then we kept on walking and sitting on benches & in parcs until we reached poble.
--  for pictures >> click here

wednesday july 14

- najat:"we are not having time to write the diaries !! last night we were still at barcelona we saw the show @ tablao de carmen it was beautiful
guitarists singers and dancers ... each one of them has a differnet style especially il batal :) the food was interesting i expected chorizos to be wow but they came with lentil w da3it il taseh
on the way out they called a taxi for us he didnt come but 2eja ghayro so we went to port olympic but this time to the right... wel3ane bas ma kteer!!
there were lots of ppl but noone dancing. opium night had a view to the sea here you can see girls coming alone unlike in lebanon."

najat:"wednesday morning we left barcelona after 4 nice days i lked la rambla even though i expected to see musicians like in paris but the nice thing about this street
is that everytime i saw it i thought it is a new one - wow 7elo hal sheri3 shou ismo? - and the way every bldg is diff from teh other all moderm also the biking trip was nice with teh bike we got the back stays straight
relaxing i also liked the paella and sangria @paellador on la rambla"

najat:"leaving barca we had some difficulties with teh gps a nice guy on moto showed us the way to the highway going to girona.
for me girona was boring but nabil nad jamil liked it with the colored bldg and the 20 cm bridge. we didnt stay long got a souvenir didnt find a toilet and left.
next figueres with dali actually it was all about dali museum very nice !!! i liked a drawing so i took a foto with the cam and inside it i got another pic.
it is 2 drawings in 1 :) next nimes > it was horribly ugly the roman theater was boring so we immediately decided not to sleep in nimes.
we called a hotel in avignon suggested by a lonely planet guide le limas - she has only room for 2 and cant get extra bed so nabil called them again and with his style
we coming from barcelona and hotel recommended by a friend she got us in ... well jamil slept on teh floor"

jamil: "without really knowing we got ourselves into avignon on july 14 france day we loved it from first sight like we hated nimes from first sight.
it was full of people we though it was like that every day.

i really dont know if it was divine intervention, but fact that i booked the last room in the city with my charm and in one of the best hotels in town.
got inside the city few minutes before they closed it, found parking just few seconds after got underground, happened to be 14 juillet.
we were in time for fire works and saw the dance on pont d'avignon. oh well these things cannot happen without planning so how come if all was unplanned adn we were just hoping by the city??
this is divine intervention that led us there nad managed all the planning for a 24 hrs in a city that i will definitely visit again :)

we had italian pizza that night with another amazing carafe d'eau orange with a fallineh (exactly up to jamil's liking :))
however the pizza was not really good
--  for pictures >> click here

thursday july 15

- jamil:"wednesday morning wadd3na barcelona to girona where we saw the colored houses and the 20 cm bridge then to dali museum in figueres ... beautiful!!
then to nimes the boring city with the boring roman theater so we didnt waste time there and left to avignon now thursday morning on a fait la balade a avignon and by car to the lavander place"
avignon was sweet ... searching for aix place de la rotonte, rotunde, rotonde, ... makana !!!!"

le limas hotel was really modern nice and in a perfect location inside the citadel the lady owner was also very sweet, though the room was 140 euros, it was worth it
especially that she offered free breakfast for all of us on the rooftop showing the brick tops of the houses in the city and an amazing view on teh city citadel.
we walked all around the city for 2 hours and noticed how rich it is and how busy it was that day.

from avignon we took a long tiering drive to abayye des senanques ... gps also made few mistakes here adn had a split brain syndrome where he mistook his left from his right.
we arrived there and the lavander fields were very very beautiful with grey violet colors covering the hills. the drive back was full of suicidal bikers
noone in his right mind would bike on these steapy hills. now very tired arrived in aix and parked illegally, a tramp put a parking ticket on the window and saved us that is because we tipped him on arrival.
after walking around we called hotel cardinal and booked a horrible room now to find a parking for the night i drove for 40 mins and fa2adt il saytara 3ala nafsi :)
eventually i parked on teh streets and paid fees for 24 hrs an amount of 11 euros (not bad at all)
--  for pictures >> click here

friday july 16

- woke up very early to flee the horrible hotel and headed to the market place where we had breakfast and from there we drove to cannes.
cannes beach was very beautiful but we didnt have the chance to swim there we just walked to the palais des festivals and took a few pics there and around the port.
from cannes check into nice hotel > beach > jardin with a top view of la baie des anges and the walk near the waterfalls.
jamil fa2ad il saytara 3ala nafso and had to crash on a bench near an old couple while najat when to do a stunt of parasailing.
back to the hotel trying to prepare for the night but jamil's state deteriorated and we had to order food in teh hotel where we saw ice age 3 and had an amazing dinner with a botle of local wine.
--  for pictures >> click here

saturday july 17

- breakfast in antibes where najat ordered croissant fromage mais n'existe pas :) alors pain chocolat and omelette for me
then we took la cornishe moyenne to pass by eze sur mer with the most amazing view to the port. next we got lost finding the palais princier and swirled in the narrow streets of monaco
until we found the palais and walked there and around then we decided to have food in stars n bars as suggested by the lonely planet guide
food there was ok and the service was perfect with english speaking :) however never try the ice beer :S i had a wonderfull burger and then we found using the gps that the walk to the casino was 20 mins only
got there and cheked in with 10 euros and checked out with 0 euros .... pause beer and >> hotel

jamil:"i tried monaco beer ... actually it was not so bad but i was very thirsty to taste very well ... i was in total JIFFEE status"

after getting refreshed in the hotel we went back for a last stop in vieux nice and wondered the narrow streets and had a stop for dinner to have moules et frites :)
again as jamil expected his next carafe d'eau was bleue gitane :)) the food was good not excellent but mich better than moules festival in cagnes.
walking back la promenade we had a view of moons reflection with a dude play his sax though noone payed him
for pictures click here

sunday july 18

- last day last breakfast in antibes pain au lait et chausson de pommes > beach for a couple of hours > then get lost trying to find diesel on a sunday morning
not a cool thing .. shower and airport return the car and finallllyyyyyy no more driving after 2000km in 2 countries and stops in 10 cities
for pictures click here

friday 9- arrive nice - check in hotel (nice) promenade des anglais, vieux nice dinner in sad resto

saturday 10- drive to barcelona arrive @3 pm (9hrs drive) - check in inglaterra - la rambla, port, barri ghotic
missed footbal 3rd place @8:30 cause jamil crashed

sunday 11- bus tour red line - sagradi - park guell
jaume, picasso Tuesday to Sundays (including holidays): 10 am to 8 pm.?,
football 1st place @8:30

monday 12- beach, eat paella, park olympic

tuesday 13- bycicle eixample track back to las ramblas - montjuic, poble espagnol, tablao de carmen, - opium (port olympic)

wednesday 14- girona cathedral and canal bridge > figueres dali museum >
> nimes (roman amphitheater) was very lousy take 5 mins pics and head to avignon
14 juillet - sleep in le limas

thursday 15- wake up breakfast at the rooftop tour city take pics > abayye des senanques (lavandre) > aix on provence
cour mirabeau - find hotel (le cardinal) lousy shower nad dinner with live performance in the street (sleep in aix)

friday 16- aix en provence market eat croissant in boulangerie > cannes port and palais des festivals
> nice beach and jardin > najat parasailing >
eat in hotel cause jamil crashed (sleep in nice)

saturday 17- breakfast in antibes > moyenne cornishe N7 > eze, monaco palais princier
eat in stars n bars > walk to monte carlo casino >
> vieux nice eat moules et frites (sleep in nice)

sunday 18- breakfast in antibes > beach > fly