The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.
Cycling along the seafront, along the splendid Promenade des Anglais in Nice, looking out across the dazzling azure sea, is one of our favourite family activities. No longer do we have to faff around fixing the bike rack to the car to load up our own bikes, we simply rent a vélo bleu. Vélo bleu, quite literally blue bike, is the name given to the city’s public bike share scheme, along the lines of Velib’ in Paris and “Boris bikes” in London. While they may technically be Nice’s bikes, the network extends as far as St Laurent du Var and Cagnes sur Mer, which makes it even more convenient for us to use as we don’t have to drive into Nice to start our bike ride. Here's a map which shows all the bike stands.
The Côte d’Azur is of course well-known for its beaches, the "azure coast" sounds so wonderfully inviting, but did you know there’s so much more to this area than just coast? The arrière pays or back country is really what makes this part of the world so unique. There’s a clue in the name of the département (county), the Alpes-Maritimes or maritime Alps. Yes, this is where the Alps meet the coast resulting in proper big mountains right on our doorstep, with all the fun that this entails, from skiing in the winter to hiking and adventure sports in the summer.