Menton Lemon Festival – February 15th 2013 – Ronnie
Day 1: Thurrock to Beaune, France
This was my first tour of the year. I stayed at Thurrock overnight ready for the drive to Beaune. As usual the first day can be stressful, waiting for all the feeder coaches to arrive, but today not too many rolled in late. I had a pick up in Maidstone then onto Dover for the 12.05 ferry. The Ferry was on time for a nice afternoon sailing and we arrived at Caliais 14.30 local time. We stopped in Reims for our dinner and by then it was very dark so not much for clients to see. We arrived in Beuane at 22.00. Nice hotel with a good breakfast.
Day 2: Beaune, France – Diano Marina Italy
We left Beuane at 8.00am. It was damp this morning but nether the less a nice drive down past Macon and the exits for Geneva and Milan ( Monte Blanc Tunnel ). We drove past Lyon and made a lunch stop at the Catalan Village Service Area; it was a nice day now. The temperature had gone up about 6.7 degrees. After lunch we began a run down past Avignon towards the Cote D’Azur, past Cannes, Nice and Monaco then across the border to Italy. We arrived at the Hotel Corallo, Diano Marina at 17.30.
Day 3: Ventimiglia & Menton
Today we left our hotel at 10am with our tour guide Marrisa. We attempted to exit motorway at Ventimiglia, but there was a big hold up so I did an 18 point – 3 point turn back onto the motorway. We took the exit for Menton which was a bit slow through the town as you can imagine but I got the clients and guide dropped off on the seafront. I left the group with Marrisa and met a friend in Menton. I had lunch and saw some of the floats for the parade, very impressive.
The pick up worked well and we returned to the hotel by 18.00 and we had a ‘Candle Light’ Dinner – 7 course!! After dinner I went to the hotel Nettuna to see a friend called Dave and his family. It was a free day tomorrow so I was out quite late. Nice evening.
Day 4: Lunch on the promenade
Today was a free day and the weather was cool but very bright and sunny. Most clients like me spent a lot of time strolling along the promenade in the sun. Met most of them and had a coffee with two of the clients. I found a little café for lunch then headed back to the promenade with my book and sat in the sun, lovely. I spent the evening in the hotel chatting with clients.
Day 5: Monte Carlo
Another sunny day, we drove straight to the Rock ( Monaco ). We headed up to the palace and cathedral. Unfortunately there was a funeral taking place so couldn’t get in straight away. After lunch we made the short drive to Monte Carlo, through the Grand Tunnel and the clients went up to the Casino Square with the tour guide. I walked the other way and just above the underground parking is a Japanese Garden and ponds full of Koi Carp. A little further on I checked out the Rolls Royce Dealership and found a nice convertible, art deco style, a bargain at 58,000 euros, so I put my name down for two. Then the clients came back and we drove back to Diano Marinia for dinner and once again after dinner people just relaxed and chatted. p.s I put the Rolls Roycess on expenses hope that’s ok?
Day 6: Upper Corniche Road
Today started bright and sunny. As we couldn’t visit Fragonard yesterday it was our first stop today, which meant I could pick up my aftershave.
We used the motorway as far as the Monaco turn and then the Upper Corniche Road with its spectacular views. You could also see the road that ‘Grace Kelly’ had her fatal crash on. After Fragonard we used the Upper Corniche Road and drove by way of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin to drive along the promenade at Menton where guest were able to go and see the flower show. From Menton we stayed on the coastal road back into Italy passing the small Amphitheatre at Ventimiglia and saw the walls decorated with Bougainvillea. We then headed inland a few miles to the medieval town of Dolceacqua where I think most of the guest indulged in a large gelato ( Ice Cream ). From here we returned to the coastal road to San Remo. We re-joined the motorway for the short journey back to hotel, arriving after 17.30.
Day 7-8: Italy – France – England