April 5, 2009: A Little R&R

Nice, France – This morning I thought I’d be smart and take the backroads down to Nice instead of the highway where it cost over 30 euro (about $40!) in tolls plus the extra fuel for going the round-about way. On my way to the race I thought it might snow so I took the highway to make sure I got to the hill in time for the team captain’s meeting. What a good idea that turned out to be!

I left the resort at 7:45am and figured it would take me at most 4 hours. (According to google maps it would only take 3 hours and 20 minutes. On the way there by highway it took about 4 hours and 15 minutes and I didn’t even get lost!) So I took the backroads and it goes up and down and wind-y since I was passing other ski resorts. But it was beautiful. There’s still a ton of snow up there too! Thankfully it wasn’t snowing and there wasn’t any snow on the roads otherwise I would have been screwed in my little non-four-wheel-drive rental (although it was a brand new car). All goes well for about an hour and while I’m not going very fast due to the tricky roads, I’m enjoying the journey.

Well it turns out that all of the passes over the mountains are closed and I have to almost completely backtrack! I saw signs that said ‘ferme’ and I know what that means in French but I wasn’t sure those closed passes were the ones that I was trying to get over. Well they were. All three of them. So I eventually and slowly make my way back to the highway and I realize that I’m going to be two hours late for returning the rental car plus I now have to pay for tolls plus the extra gas it’ll take to take the highway and go the long way around. So much for trying to be frugal.

I managed to find an opened shortcut which was 80 km less but the speed was cut in half. But there were no tolls and it was a pretty (and fun) drive. So after 6 hours on the road I finally returned the rental car without penalty. Phew! But six hours! Then I took the bus from the airport to the train station in the city to get to the hostel. One thing I’ve noticed so far is that there aren’t many girls traveling solo, I guess for obvious reasons but none that I thought of before coming here alone. (But I’m not totally oblivious; it’s not yet 9:30pm but I’m already back in the room. A lone girl roaming the streets at night in an unfamiliar town is not the safest thing to do.)

I toured Nice and went up the hill with an old castle and saw an incredible view. Absolutely breathtaking and my pictures don’t do it justice. But tomorrow I’m off to Cannes and Antibes to do a bit of exploring there. It’s a lot of walking but I figured this would be good relaxed dryland training. I realize that the next few days have nothing to do with snowboarding but since you’ve been with me this far I want to continue sharing my adventures. Thanks for reading!

Nice, France

Nice, France

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