April 16,17 and 18
Barcelona was the last city we planned to visit in Spain. We have decided to move back to France and have one night stop overs in Montpellier and Nice. Then drive over to Italy and spend one night in Turin.
We had breakfast at our hotel and started driving towards Montpellier. We have booked a small placed called Park and Suites Elegance in Montpellier. They were one bedroom apartments with small kitchenettes. Our apartments were hidden inside a huge building. We took some time to find it and park the car.
Montpellier is well known for it's reputable university, which has played a large part in the town itself, keeping it young and vibrant. A nice, clean, attractive city, there are several interesting tourist attractions to visit in Montpellier. The main attraction in the city is the beautiful Place de la Comedie.
There was no proper restaurant in the neighborhood of our apartments. We decided to drive to the city centre for dinner and managed to find an underground parking station to park the car near Place de la Comedie. We had dinner in a popular restaurant. Then it started raining which did not allow us to explore the city. Our exploration of the city was limited to having dinner in the city centre.
We left the apartments in the morning. The apartment did not provide breakfast. We made our own breakfast with bread, cheese and jam we bought from a supermarket.
We were heading towards Nice and hoping for better weather in Nice. We were planning to spend only one night in Nice. We had a booking at the Esatitude hotel in Nice for one night.
We decided to visit the small tourist town Eze before going our hotel. Eze is a beautiful small town on the sea route to Monaco from Nice.
Our plan was to visit a perfume factory Fragonard in Eze.
There are over 30 active perfume companies making their secret essences for a collection of well known brands, but Fragonard is now the perfumery most associated with Grasse and Ezé where its factories are located. Visitors to the factory are offered a free guided tour of the laboratories and workshops, where master perfumers create aromatic magic. The museum in the 19th Century mansion presents objets d’art from over 3,000 years of perfume history and jewelry and clothing designs from the 18th and 19th Century.
We joined the guided tour which took nearly 15 minutes. Mala, Sue and Helen picked up some perfumes and bought them before driving back to our hotel in Nice.
Next morning we had breakfast in the hotel and left for Turin in Italy. We decided to take the sea route and drive along the coast through Monaco.
We stopped in Monaco for a coffee.
Driving to the city centre took some time due to traffic. We managed to find the underground car park and park our car. We were disappointed to see the city has been transformed into a construction site. Monaco was getting ready for its Formnula 1 Grand Prix to be held in May. While having coffee in a restaurant, we saw the expensive Ferraris and other racing cars driving past slowly. There were other small cars making huge noises while passing by. They are obviously motor car racing enthusiasts coming to see the construction site out of curiosity.
We left Monaco and drove along the scenic sea route up to Savona. The sea route took us through some beautiful small Italian sea towns. There was heavy traffic in those towns created by the heavy inflow of holiday makers and we had to drive very slowly. We could not find any empty parking slots on the road to stop and have a look. In any case, we were not planning a stop over in any of those towns. From Savona, we took the freeway to Turin.
Turin or better known as "Torino" is a very old city with a long history.
The Shroud of Turin is a length of linen cloth bearing the image of a man who suffered physical trauma in a manner consistent with crucifixion. It is believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. The image is much clearer in black-and-white negative than in its natural sepia color. The negative image was first observed in 1898 on the reverse photographic plate of amateur photographer Secondo Pia, who was allowed to photograph it while it was being exhibited in the Turin Cathedral. The shroud is kept in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, northern Italy.
The Shroud was not on display for a long time and was to be shown on Sunday, on the day we were leaving. You have to bub tickets to see it and all the tickets have been sold. We were not able to see the shroud unfortunately. We went to the cathedral area and the tourist office where they sell tickets, but was not in luck.
We left Turin on Sunday morning.