Activities – NICE (Luna Park)

Today, the autumn chill has hit with force and our heating at home is on, warm gloves and hats are out of the wardrobe and the kitchen pantry is stocked with hot chocolate and soup.

Finding options to entertain the family in inclement weather can be time-consuming. One of the best places in the region is Luna Park – an indoor covered amusement area with rides and attractions suitable for all the family.


carousel Luna Park

Luna Park will be open from 07 December 2013 – 05 Jan 2014 and has video games, snack stands, fishing games, archery games, carousels, mini rollercoasters, giant slides, amusement rides and more.


BreakDance ride – Luna Park

Opening dates:  07 December 2013 – 05 January 2014

Hours:  2pm-11pm except Saturday 2pm-1am. On 24th and 31st December, Luna Park closes at 8pm

Prices:  €2 entry per person (under 3 years are free), with rides costing from €3-€5. The best value is 10 child rides for €10 (called a ‘Baby Pass’) or 15 rides for adults for €20 (‘Carte Pass) and these passes are for specific rides and valid until the park closes in January, buy at the entrance office.

Where:  Luna Park, Palais des Expositions, Esplanade de Lattre de Tassigny, 06600 Nice


Transport:  Via tramway, stop at ‘Palais des Expositions’.  By train, stop at station ‘Gare Nice Riquier’.  If driving, carparking is nearby at Palais des Sports Jean Bouin


Moving forward with technology

Living in France I quickly realised that small businesses have preference to create connections with customers face-to-face or via the telephone.  I am still amazed at how few companies here in France have websites to promote their products or services, and how many business cards I receive without email addresses!  And who uses a fax these days?

When our son was due to begin petite section at école maternelle, I tried to find out information about his school on the internet – the curriculum, staff photos, activities – to no avail.  No website existed.  In fact, I searched many local schools and not one had their own website (though one school had a ‘blog’ with school updates).  This would be very rare in my home country; even small kindergartens generally have a website to provide information.

I have also messaged many companies here via their online contact forms with no response.  I feel the whole ‘internet/online/mobile’ presence here in France is underutilised and as a consequence many companies and individuals are missing out on retail sales, business connections and providing an avenue for information.  I have seen companies put a ‘QR code’ on a flyer with no further relevant information linking to it.  I have seen companies release Smartphone applications that don’t serve any purpose other than existing.

I am a mother and I work part-time, but my motivation was to start this blog to provide information in English for local people and tourists alike and I feel proud when I get lovely feedback from readers.  Regarding a previous post, I have sent two emails to the Comité Regional for Tourism asking if they also provide information in English for disabled travellers – no surprise, I have had no response to date…so I feel my blog is worthwhile.

Recently, a reader of my blog (thank you!) emailed me requesting assistance with travel information regarding a holiday they are planning to this region as they had received no response from the Tourist Office.  I responded as soon as I read their message with answers to their queries and they kindly sent me a thank you message.

I agree that business relations and information will never be replaced by talking to someone face-to-face (or via the telephone) but it is imperative that countries acknowledge technology and move forward with it alongside traditional selling methods or they will be left behind.

I would love some feedback on this post – feel free to email me at


Activities – CAGNES SUR MER (Fête de la Châtaigne – Saturday 16 November 2013)

This coming Saturday, Cagnes-sur-Mer will be transformed into a mini high-country extravaganza straight from the Vallée de la Tinée.

Beginning at 10am, see below for the following activities and attractions on the day:

– Folk music groups

– At 11am, a sheep herding display at place de Gaulle


Sheep herding – Fête de la Châtaigne

– Mini-farm with goats, pigs, turkeys, geese, chickens, rabbits

– Free roasted chestnut tastings

– On sale: Mulled wine, socca, cheese, meats, honey, local produce from artisans of Vallée de la Tinée

– Free donkey rides all day for children aged 3-10 years

– At 12.15pm, daube (stew) and polenta – cost 2 euros per person – at place de Gaulle

The festival is easily reached by taking the train to Cagnes-sur-Mer and it is a short walk to centre ville from there.  If you are driving, the centre of Cagnes will be closed so parking is at Villette or Stade Pierre Sauvaigo with free buses linking to the gare routiere main bus stop in Cagnes.

What: Fête de la Châtaigne

Where: Centre ville, Cagnes-sur-Mer

When:  Saturday 16 November 2013, 10am-6pm

Cost:  Free entry (costs applies for meal at 12.15pm and purchases from market stalls)

General information – French gardening vocabulary

I am constantly learning new vocabulary living here in France.

My son has been growing a small plant where the grass seeds grow and you trim it so it looks like ‘hair’ (very cute!). So, I have had to learn a few words to explain the process of growing plants and gardening. It surprised me how many words I didn’t know link to gardening!

France has some beautiful gardens – including the Versailles Gardens at the Château de Versailles created for King Louis IV by the designer Andre Le Notre in 1661.

Here is my list of French gardening terms you may find useful:

To cultivate a garden, it is helpful to know

•To dig – foncer

•To hoe – biner

•To plant – planter / to plant bulbs – enterrer les bulbes

•To water the plants – arroser les plantes

•To cultivate/grow – cultiver

•To prune – elaguer (elagage = pruning)

•Debroussilage – clearing undergrowth

•To weed – désherber

•To mow – tondre

You may find these handy “les outils de jardinage” (gardening tools)

•The hoe – la binette

•The rake – le râteau

•The shovel – le pelle

•The spade – la bêche

•The trowel – le transplantoir

•The garden fork – la fourche

•The pruning shears – les cisailles

•The hedge shears – le sécateur

•The hedgecutter – la tailleuse de haie

•The grass shears – les tondeurs

•The strimmer / edger – le taille-bordures / le coupe-bordures

•The axe – la hache

•The lawnmower – la tondeuse à gazon

•The wheelbarrow – la brouette

For watering your garden, you will need

•The tap – le robinet

•The watering can – l’arrosoir

•The pipe – le tuyau

•The hose – le tuyau d’arrosage

•The sprinkler – l’asperseur

Various types of garden are –

•A flower garden – le jardin floral

•An ornamental garden – le jardin d’agrément

•An allotment – le jardin communautaire

•A botanical garden – le jardin botanique

•A fruit garden – le jardin de fruit

•A vegetable garden – le jardin potager

•A roof garden – le jardin-toiture

•A rock garden – le jardin de rocaille

For your garden, you will need to buy –

•Flowering plants – les fleurir plantes

•Compost – le compost

•Compost bag – le bac de compostage

•Chippings: Bark (les déchets d’ecorçage) / Grass (les déchets de tonte)

•Shrubs – l’arbustes

•Seeds – les graines

•Seedlings – les plantes

•Tree seedlings – les semis d’arbres

•Sapling – la gaule

•Plant cuttings – les boutures de plantes

Some popular “fleurir plantes” (flowering plants) are

•Rose – la rose

•Marigold – le souci

•Tulip – la tulipe

•Crocus – le crocus

•Lily – le lys (one of my favourites)

•Iris – l’iris

•Sweet pea – le pois de senteur

•Geranium – le géranium

•Gladiolus – le glaïeul

•Chrysanthemum – le chrysanthème

•Sunflower – le tournesol (one of my favourites)

•Zinnia – le zinnia

•Aster – l’aster

•Dahlia – le dahlia

•Daisy – la pâquerette

•Carnation – l’oeillet

•Primrose – le primevère

•Peony – la pivoine

•Bluebell – la campanule

•Begonia – le bégonia

•Daffodil – la jonquille

•Jasmine – le jasmin

•Lavender – la lavande

•Azalea – l’azalée

•Orchid – l’orchidée

•Water lily – le nénufar

Here are “des arbres fruitiers” (fruit trees) that you might consider

•Orange tree – l’oranger

•Lemon tree – le citronnier

•Plum tree – le prunier

•Pear tree – le poirier

•Olive tree – l’olivier

•Cherry tree – le cerisier

•Apple tree – le pommier

•Apricot tree – l’abricotier

•Fig tree – le figuier

You may want “le meuble de jardin” (garden furniture) and “les accessoires de jardin ” (garden accessories) such as

•Garden chairs – les chaises de jardin

•A folding chair – la chaise pliant

•A child’s swing – la balançoire

•Garden benches – les bancs de jardin

•Garden tables – les tables de jardin

•A fountain- le fontaine

You can put in

•A garden path – la voie

•A garden shed – la remise

•A summer house – le pavillon de jardin

•A flower bed – le parterre

•A bedding plant – la plant à massif

•Decking – le platelage

•Earth – la terre

•Flower / shrub – la fleur / l’abrisseau

•A Garden pond – un étang de jardin

•A Fish pond – un étang à poissons

•A lily pond – un étang de lys

•Lawn turf – le gazon

•Artificial turf – le gazon artificial

•A swimming pool – la piscine

•A paddling pool – la pataugeoire

•A solar panel – panneau solaire

•A fence/railings – clôture


Garden centre – le jardinerie

To light the barbeque – allumer le barbeque

Charcoal – charbon de bois

Briquettes – les briquettes

Skewer – la brochette

To sunbathe – se dorer

Tarpaulin – bâche

Good luck with any green-fingered endeavours you may have!  I hope one day you find this blog post helpful with your own gardening. I am going to grow strawberries when the right time comes around.