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Thread: Biking in the French Riviera

  1. #1
    Rusted Doga's Avatar
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    Default Biking in the French Riviera

    Well summer was almost upon us here in the UK in June. Sunshine was unprecedently glorious for 2 straight weeks resulting in clear skies and plunging necklines
    If the weather is this awesome in the island it must be blissful on the continent, we thought. Time for a European holiday?. We deliberated a lot and decided on France.
    Yes, the same country we lost our passports and almost got stranded an year ago! But how many guys do you know who have lost passports twice?
    We decided to have faith in the laws of probability, confirmed the dates and quickly applied for Visa and started planning.

    The French riviera was always on our list and we decided to visit before it gets too crowded now that the peak season had started. I had always wanted to do a bike trip
    to the south of France. Had heard so many stories from othe bikers and read many travel specials on motorcycle sites etc.
    Only problem now was that wife was dead sure this was going to be a 'take a flight,enjoy the food and scenary and come back, on a flight as well' trip, like normal people.
    Only monkeys haul luggage on motorbikes and travel long distances and arrive tired. This was no surprise to me really. I was given a proper dressing down after the
    last continental foray ended in disaster and we are going to have no more.
    Well, made sense as well. South of France was a good 1200 kms from any ferry port in the north plus the ferry crossing from UK!
    I sat down looking for tickets but God knows how, stumbled upon something awesome on the SNCF site-The Autotrain. SNCF(French rail operator which also runs the world famous TGV) runs a train service for ferrying cars/motorcycles from
    Paris to most holiday destinations within France with daily services during the summer.

    So a plan was hatched!

    We'd take the Ferry from the port of Newhaven which is 3 hours from our home, land in Dieppe and then ride to Paris. I'd then drop the bike at the Autotrain terminal
    and then stay overnight in Paris and take the TGV next day to Nice. The bike travels overnight on the autotrain and if all goes well should be on the other platform
    in Nice when I arrive the next day
    It took great effort and all of my persuasive powers had to be summoned for her to finally relent and off we rode to London for the Visa!
    The visa duly arrived in 3 day's time.I replaced the barely 3000 miles old oil and got new Michelin Pilot 4 pair for the bike as well and we were all set.
    This trip was 9 days long including 2 mostly travel days, but I'll try to keep it short and crisp.


    Day 1: Ferry to France and Paris

    We took the overnight ferry from the port of Newhaven and called ashore the next morning at Dieppe in France.
    After clearing immigration, we made our way to Paris, but bad weather slowed us down. We spent as much as 4 hours at a restaurant on the way, hoping for the rain to subside.
    When it did it was almost 1pm, so we could reach Paris only by 2pm and checked into the prebooked hotel.
    I then quickly rode to the autotrain terminal to drop the bike off.I was a bit apprehensive about transporting a faired bike on a train but all my worries
    were set aside when I saw shiney blades and beemers parked there, ready to be loaded .But there was a problem. The staff in Nice had striked and I would only get the
    bike the day after. I was disappointed, but had no other choice anyway. So got back to the hotel, had some food and slept off. We were both very tired.
    We went out on a stroll in the evening but didn't do any major landmarks or anything. We had seen most last year anyway plus didn't want to land up in any other trouble,
    given what had happened the last time.


    Day 2: Nice
    We took th eearly morning TGV for Nice from Gare De Lyon in Paris. TGV as you might know is the fastest conventional passenger train in the world. It almost flies on the
    rails. France has a speed limit of 130kmph on Motorways, but on sections where the TGV line runs parallel to motorways, the train was passing traffic like it was stagnant!
    It was only fitting that we reached almost 1 hour late on the world's fastest train We both had a little chuckle on the irony when we got down.
    In its defence, the TGV was really quick from Paris to Avignon. Like really quick. It took just more than 2.5 hours to cover this distance.
    A car would have taken close to 7 hours. The straight line distances is 600km. It had to slow down after Avignon since from then on
    the lines are not dedicated TGV so have slower rating plus there were delays etc.
    ANyways, we checked into the hotel and then set out in the evening for sightseeing.
    Nice is often called the captial of the French Riviera. It's the biggest city in the south and is not far from the Italian border. It's an ideal base
    for day excursions into the mountains and other pretty French towns and cities like Cannes, Antibes, Monaco(technically a separate principality) etc.

    This is from inside the TGV
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    TGV Pantry car
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    This is the Promenade Des Anglais. This place reminded me of the Marine drive in Mumbai. Shaped as a necklace it looks beuatiful at night.
    This was also the scene of the Bastille day attacks an year ago where so many people were killed! Life moves on though.

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    View from the window in Nice!

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    Bollywood to theek hai par lollywood?

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    We have resolved to collect a fridged magnet from every place we visit. We have quite a few now, but many more to go.
    We'd need to buy a huge fridge in future!

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    I don't like two things in Europe. One is, you can't take a break just about anywhere on the road. Rules of the road are strictly observed and stopping for a photo/sutta break on a whim is not possible.
    The other thing is that there has to be a damn naked statue in almost all town squares and otherwise beautiful locales.
    There's no escaping them. So there you go...

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    TGV at Gare Nice Ville(French for Nice station )

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    Day 3: Cannes
    Thankfully the autotrain had arrived in the morning.Rode the bike back to the hotel and we then set out for Cannes which is barely 40 minutes from Nice.
    Wife wanted to see the Palais Des Festivals which comes alive during the famous annual Cannes Film Festival. The beaches are not bad either!
    Cannes, along with Monaco is what European elites call home and it shows everywhere. Harbors teeming with swanky yachts, casinos in every nook and cranny and most people on the streets looking like they are coming back from a photo shoot!
    Btw the Mediterranean weather was awesome. Bright sunshine with temperatures well in late twenties and early thirties but no humidity.

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    Aishwarya Rai gets good space inside the Palais Des Festivals.

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    Stallone!
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    Throughout this trip, the rvm served as a makeup mirror as well
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    This was a beautiful and not so crowded beach in Antibes another small seaside resort town between Cannes and Nice!

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    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Doga; 08-19-2017 at 07:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Travelogue Approved

    Another good one from you

    Happy riding!
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

    Give your details here if you want to help your fellow xBhpian stranded in your city

    Touring Blog: Cycling in Mongolia!

  3. #3
    Addicted sstherockz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Great Pics
    Apache RTR 180 (The Valentine) 2012 - 2016
    RC 200 (The GRUNTER) 2016 - 2016
    CBR 250R (F.R.I.D.A.Y) 2017 - Present

    CBR Ride to Pichavaram

  4. #4
    Rusted akshay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Well done. Must say the places are so clean, structured and pleasing on the eyes.

    Sent from my MI PAD using xBhp.com mobile app
    Ride To Live

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    Rusted ajextreme's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Awesome yaar.... Just the pics sends one's mind into a frenzy. Need to visit such places before i die.
    Everybody has their own version of TRUTH!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Another virtual Europe tour from home for us!
    Brilliant pictures!

  7. #7
    Rusted Doga's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Travelogue Approved

    Another good one from you

    Happy riding!
    Thanks for the quick approval Monk!

    Quote Originally Posted by sstherockz View Post
    Great Pics
    Thanks. The weather was amazing with clear blue skies which helped a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by akshay View Post
    Well done. Must say the places are so clean, structured and pleasing on the eyes.

    Sent from my MI PAD using xBhp.com mobile app
    Yes, unlike Paris, I found Cannes and Nice to be much cleaner, but I guess it's impossible to keep huge cities like London and Paris 100% clean even with the kind of resources these guys have here. Monaco is another matter. It probably is one of the richest places on earth per capita, so everything was shiny. Didn't see a spot on the
    crisp white uniforms the police were wearing even.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajextreme View Post
    Awesome yaar.... Just the pics sends one's mind into a frenzy. Need to visit such places before i die.
    Yes, should be on any list, especially if you come to Europe.

    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Another virtual Europe tour from home for us!
    Brilliant pictures!
    Thank you mate.

  8. #8
    Rusted sajalsheth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

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    Eye Candy pictures

    @Doga ji

  9. #9
    Addicted amods's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Pics and the ride look great, Doga !

  10. #10
    Rusted itsmevini123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Biking in the French Riviera

    Awesome pictures man. Keep them coming.
    Doga likes this.
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