20140611 Nice-St. Paul de Vence-Barcelona

8:00 Up.

8:25 Packed.

8:45 Lobby.

8:50 Checked out and said goodbye to Sybil, who was heading back to Zurich. I was going to put my backpack in the baggage room, and realized I left my lock in the room.

9:00 Borrowed a key from front desk and grabbed my lock.

9:05 Breakfast.

9:16 Out.

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9:20 Walked to old town for its fruit and flower market. As I guessed, it was for tourists and was pretty small. They were selling bundles of flowers, and some had soaps and deodorants (probably local specialty).

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10:00 Checked the location of the biscuiterie I ran into on the first day in Nice and came back out. I thought about going up Chateau Hill, but decided not to because it was already hot.

10:15 Bus stop.

10:25 Bus #400 came. I could wait in the shade nearby, so it was okay. I lined up at the front door of the bus, but the driver was on the phone for a while and got off the bus.

10:30 Driver came back.

10:31 Bus door opened! Halleluja.

10:34 Seated. EUR 1.50.

10:37 Departed.

11:45 St. Paul de Vence.

11:53 Was lost for a while before I finally walked into the old town.

11:55 There was an ice cream store called Le Chalet Saint Paulos right after the entrance and I walked that way immediately. It was too hot. I ordered passion fruit sorbet. It was amazing. EUR 2.30.

12:03 I was eating at a table when the owner came by and asked where I was from. I told him Canada, and he asked whether I spoke French. I said no, and he told me it was okay because nobody spoke French anyways.

12:05 Exploration started! It felt somewhere between Eze village and Antibes. It definitely had a medieval feel to it, and it was much easier to walk around compared to Eze. The numerous stone stairs and narrow alleys, and blooming flowers felt romantic. The town was surrounded by a stone wall, past which I could see some other towns at a distance.
There were lots of galleries and restaurants, but I liked residential areas far better than the commercial districts. It must be pretty uncomfortable for residents though.

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12:55 Out. I had lost my appetite thanks to the heat.

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13:08 I walked around hoping to find a public washroom, but couldn’t find one. I rested under a tree near the bus stop.

13:15 Bus #400. EUR 1.50.

13:17 Bus departed.

13:45 The bus was 80% full when I got on, and was 200% after the last stop.

14:29 Off.

14:36 – 14:50 La Cure Gourmande. They gave free samples. I really wanted the apricot jam biscuit, but it was too bulky. I saw a few other interesting-looking desserts, and when I asked what it was, the lady just gave me a sample. I bought diamond-shaped biscuits and chocolate-covered almonds. EUR 17.50.

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15:00 – 15:10 Dropped by So Green and got “Jus du Fruits-Vitamix”. EUR 5.

15:12 Hostel. Got my backpack.

15:15 Stayed at the lounge.

17:18 Out.

17:23 Bus stop.

17:39 Bus #98.

18:06 Terminal 2.
They had a “regional store”, which had the biscuiterie I was at a few hours ago. Surprisingly, it was slightly cheaper than the actual store.

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18:10 – 18:15 Security. I unconsciously tried walking through it holding my phone and with sun glasses on top of my head.

18:30 Duty free was no good. I just bought pain au chocolat from Paul bakery. Nothing could beat the choco-croissant from coop in Zurich though.

There was no gate information, and just had “A”.

19:15 A09. I felt like snacking so I got some candies from the vending machine. It tasted like sugar-coated chemical-tasting marshmallow. EUR 2.

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19:25 A group of people stood up and started walking, and somebody said “other gate”. After checking, I moved to A04. The line at the gate was long.

19:33 Passed the gate.

19:46 After being in line for a while, finally seated.

19:55 Plane started moving.

19:59 The typical announcement started and got cut short at “may we please remind you that all electronic equipments”.

20:08 Took off.

21:00 Landed in Barcelona, Spain.

21:05 Plane stopped.

21:10 Gate.

21:16 Got out of the airport.

21:17 I got confused and walked back into the airport. I saw a group of people walking in one direction, so I blindly joined them.

21:25 Train station. The lines at the ticket machines were literally insane.

21:35 Bought train ticket. The employees at the station kept cutting in line and buying tickets for some other people. I tried asking a question and she got annoyed. EUR 4.10.

21:36 Train. It was packed. I sat with a French-speaking group. I asked them whether this train was headed to Sants station, and they replied “I hope so.”

21:58 Sants station. French folks told me to watch out for pickpockets.

22:01 Bought T-10. EUR 10.30.

22:05 Platform.

22:09 On L5 subway.

22:11 Badal station. I followed the direction given by the hostel, but I couldn’t find it. It was dark, but fortunately I was walking along a relatively busy street.

22:20 Found the hostel. It was hidden, and didn’t look like a hostel. I had to press the bell three times before somebody came out. He told me that the receptionist was at the terrace. I asked him which floor it was on, and the guy just took me there and introduced me to a drunk hippie drinking with other guests. We exchanged names, shook hands, and came back down to the lobby.
The elevator and the lobby were tiny, and seemed pretty old. The first question the receptionist asked when we sat down was “what my goal of life” was. I was a little taken aback, to be honest. He struggled with the card reader for a while and I was finally able to pay. He circled a bunch of locations on the map, which was nice. CAD 108.30.

22:40 Room. It was small, and had 6 beds. I could smell somebody’s shoes.

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22:50 Shower. It was tiny and dirty. There were clothes and shampoo bottles in the shower room.

23:10 Unpacked.

23:30 Talked to other travelers in the room.

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