Rome2rio – why I’m willing to give them a second chance

I am a big fan of travel tools that enhance our travel experience, save us time and money and earn us brownie points in recommending the ‘coolness’ factor to friends and family.


Being an ex-travel agent, I have used many booking systems and methods over the years to secure reservations or source destination information including face-to-face meetings, paper forms, electronic, telephone, fax.   Fax!   Can you believe it?

I come from the era of paper airline tickets, filing cabinets to store client itineraries and hard-cover atlas books.


I’m not a technophobe, but I’m also not super-knowledgeable with technology so I find great benefit in advances in technology that simplify your life, not complicate it.

One thing I do know is that people prefer systems that are simple to use, and accurate.

Enter Rome2rio.

An Australian-based company, they offer a travel search engine that professes to return itineraries for air, train, coach, ferry, mass-transit and driving to and from any location. Genius I thought!   This could replace airline route searches, Google maps, Waze, ViaMichelin road directions, and all those other websites and apps we as consumers use.

Five things Rome2rio does well:

1. Fast results – Every search I completed was quick.

2. Transport icons easy to understand – You don’t need to be clued up to realise a plane icon symbolises an air sector, a train symbolises a train journey and so on

3. Calendar for airfares – Great idea as airfares fluctuate depending on seasonality and special deals. This could improve to also show ‘cheapest’ airfare for the departure month as sometimes the price difference between consecutive days is immense.

4. Ability to access suppliers from search results – Book direct with airline, coach, train operators and save time searching for suppliers who operate those routes.

5. Free mobile application – Handy to have for travellers who get flustered on the move

Five things Rome2rio could improve:

1. Tips n Tricks – Only 3 Tips n Tricks to save my time/money/patience using this tool – really?

2. Not everyone wants to tweet or email their search result – however, they are working on a print feature for search results

3. The regional coverage maps with Transport/Road/Satellite views – what are they delivering me that is a function I can’t get somewhere else already? Road/Satellite views can already be found on Google Maps.

To be honest, the Transport view looks like a hash of spiderwebs and could be very intimidating to the average traveller. I travel solo, and with my family and if I looked at the Transport view trying to ascertain the best transport route for my family it would scare the bejesus out of me.

It would be beneficial if you could click point-to-point on this map view and highlight all the sectors you do need.

Transport view on Rome2rio - scares the bejesus out of me organising family travel

Transport view on Rome2rio – scares the bejesus out of me organising family travel

4. The ‘Airlines’ page – The airline icons are displayed in order by ‘2-letter airline code’ e.g. Great Lakes (ZK), Monarch Air (ZB) etc. However, the average consumer has no idea about airline codes, IATA codes or industry classifications and will read this page alphabetically by airline name. Make the airline links easy to find or readers will leave the page.

5. Landmarks or attractions should be location-specific in the search – In one of my searches, I typed ‘Musée Picasso’ (2 words only) intending to return a result for the Musée Picasso in Antibes, France. The result directed me to ‘Musée Picasso’ in Paris, resulting in me running another more specific search for ‘Musée Picasso, Antibes, France’.

My feedback on Rome2rio search results:

I decided to test some basic point-to-point searches e.g. Point A to Point B, sticking to journeys in one country only (I haven’t included my opinion on their affiliation commissions as I ran these searches as a ‘consumer’ looking for travel route information).

How difficult can it be to get from A to B?

How difficult can it be to get from A to B?

Below are four searches I conducted on Rome2rio for regions familiar to me, and all of them did not display optimal results from my perspective as having local knowledge and previous travel-booking experience in both travel retail and wholesale industries. See my findings below:

Search One:

Searched Gare de Juan-les-Pins – Musée Picasso on @rome2rio:

1.   I wanted to search from the Juan les Pins train station in southern France to the Picasso Museum in Antibes, France. Note:   Juan les Pins train station and Picasso Museum are both English search phrases, so my search did not function until I entered the correct local terms in French ‘Gare de Juan les Pins’ and ‘Musée Picasso’. Be specific in the local language. Musée Picasso had to also be location-specific to avoid a result diverting to the Musée Picasso in Paris.

Musée Picasso, Antibes (image

Musée Picasso, Antibes (image

2. The search result showed Bus 250 as optimal. This is not the optimal bus route, as Bus 250 requires a 5- minute walk from the station and then 10-minutes walk from the stop in Antibes to Musée Picasso. The optimal bus route is not shown at all – Bus 30/31 has a stop that is 2 minutes from the station, and 5 minutes walk from the Musée.

Search Two:

Searched Lérins Islands – Château de la Napoule on @rome2rio:

1. I wanted to search how to get from the Lérins Islands (off the coast of Cannes) to Château de la Napoule, a tourist location in Mandelieu-La Napoule on the mainland.

2. A complete fail. The search results failed to link the islands to the mainland in Cannes in any way, even though there is a ferry company that travels between Isle St-Honorat and Cannes.

Ile St-Honorat (image:

Ile St-Honorat (image:

Search Three:

Searched Juan-les-Pins – St Paul de Vence on @rome2rio:

1. I ran a search from Juan les Pins, France to St Paul de Vence, a popular tourist village in south-east France. I chose St Paul de Vence as a destination as I have local knowledge that it is not easy to get to from Juan les Pins using public transport as it is inland, and also there is no train station in the vicinity.

St Paul de Vence (image

St Paul de Vence (image

2. Search result #1 (train + bus) is accurate by routing, transport operator and price, and is the best option. Search result #2 (taxi) is correct, but I’m surprised a taxi option features before a self-drive option. Search result #3 is completely unrealistic and herein lies one of Rome2rio’s major flaws in my opinion – why would a traveller take a train from Juan les Pins to Monaco past the next city (Nice) with transport that could get them to their destination faster then fly back to Nice to take a bus to their final destination? A traveller who chooses to fly from Monaco to Nice (the options being private jet or helicopter) is not the same person who would also travel by local train and public bus all on the same itinerary.

If you think St Paul de Vence sounds like a lovely place to visit – it is – click on the link for my free walking tour itineraries of St Paul de Vence

After three decidedly average search results, I was beginning to think my France-based searches with Rome2rio were doomed. So, I thought I’d conduct a search for a journey somewhere on the other side of the world…

Search Four:

Searched Opua – Russell on @rome2rio:

1. I conducted a search for travel itinerary advice in one of the most popular tourist regions in New Zealand – the Bay of Islands. I wanted to get from Opua, a small harbour town to Russell, another small tourist town located across the harbour.

Bay of Islands, New Zealand (image: awesomenz)

Bay of Islands, New Zealand (image: awesomenz)

2. The first search result was quite good, though the driving time of 4 minutes from Opua Hill to Paihia ferry terminal is completely unachievable unless there is no road traffic and you are driving a Porsche. The journey route is correct though (drive and ferry).

3. The second search option (by taxi) is ridiculous. It leads the traveller to believe there is only one route to get from Opua to Russell via car and that journey would take them 2 hours 23 minutes (not to mention expensive if you travelled by taxi!). In fact, Opua has a vehicle ferry that travels a short trip across the bay to Okiato and from there you can drive to Russell in 10 minutes.

Why I’m willing to give Rome2Rio a second chance:

Delivering a one-stop shop for information on transport operators, driving options and routings is a big ask. It’s not unachievable, but it’s hard to maintain yourself as a source of information when so much of your offering (i.e. travel information) relies on accuracy from other places including the websites of the transport operators.


Factor into this the potential for airline delays, transport strikes (very common here in France), internet connection problems, grumpy kids on long journeys, adverse weather conditions, bank holidays, local languages and that static and seemingly simple Point A-to-Point B via Options 1, 2 and 3 suddenly becomes a pipedream.

Why am I willing to give Rome2rio a second chance? I believe they have potential to improve what is essentially helpful information. There is a lot I see in their system that has been designed from a software point-of-view, but maybe they need to take a step back and reconsider how people across a range of ages, backgrounds and nationalities would use this website. A multi-destination young backpacker on a RTW itinerary would use this website differently than a pensioner in the UK who wants to book a simple coach trip from Brighton to Manchester.

But I look at a hash of spiderwebs on a map and have the bejesus scared out of me, so who am I to comment?

Have you used Rome2rio and found it useful for your travel planning? Have your Rome2rio search results been accurate and helped you on your journeys? Have your Rome2rio search results lead you astray on your travels? Share my article on Facebook, retweet it and leave some comments!


ST JEAN CAP FERRAT (Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild)

A must-see tourist attraction on the French Riviera, here is my review of this splendid site.

History of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild:

Built in the early 1900’s by Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild, this imposing pink-hued Villa occupies a prime site on the peninsula at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Béatrice was the daughter of the banker and art collector, Baron Alphonse de Rothschild, and at 19 she married a wealthy Parisien of Russian origin, Maurice Ephrussi. Her marriage eventually collapsed after 21 years, and when Béatrice inherited a large fortune after her father passed away she decided to build the Villa.

No expense was spared in creating a mansion suited to her tastes. Tapestries, porcelain, furniture, artworks, frescoes are of the highest standard and craftsmanship, including a writing desk in the boudoir built for Marie-Antoinette.

She was an avid travel enthusiast, had a love of horse racing and casinos and her sometimes eccentric personality was notable in her choice of pets including a menagerie of poodles, an Indian mongoose, Peruvian parakeet, monkeys and gazelles.

Today, the Villa is owned by the Académie des Beaux-Arts who work alongside Culturespaces to defend and promote French artistic heritage.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Layout, accessibility and attractions:

The ticket reception (and attached gift boutique) where you purchase your entry ticket is accessed via 5 steps. Persons with restricted mobility however can access the Villa grounds via a double-entry vehicle gate, directly outside the ticket reception. There is a panoramic view from the entrance driveway of Beaulieu-sur-Mer, the Corniche mountains and stretching across to Monaco.

The entrance into the Villa is via 3 low-height steps, see photo below:

image copyright and reproduced This French American Life

image copyright and reproduced This French American Life

The interior of the Villa is set over two levels. Ground level has an interior patio courtyard with pink Verona marble columns, Béatrice’s boudoir with Marie-Antoinette’s writing desk, a bedroom and attached salon with mini chaise seats for pets, a dressing room with displays of Chinese robes and 18th century silks, bathroom with hidden cupboards and travel memorabilia, dining room and porcelain displays, tearoom, two salons with rare furniture and furnishings and is entirely accessible for persons with reduced mobility. This ground level also has accessible toilets located off the central patio courtyard.

patio arches

patio arches




There is a first floor that is accessed via stairs only so it’s not accessible for persons with restricted mobility.  As you walk up the staircase, notice the vintage photographs mounted on the wall that show the construction of the Villa and places Béatrice used to frequent, such as La Jettée Promenade that you can read about here

This level contains a film room, Directoire bedroom, a tapestry room, a unique and bizarre room decorated with monkey panels and figurines, another bedroom decorated in blue furnishings,and a Chinese-themed room with lacquered panels and displays of jade and rose quartz. The first floor has a lovely outdoor terrace overlooking the French gardens, great for photos.


French gardens seen from the first floor terrace

French gardens seen from the first floor terrace

chandelier in the Blue bedroom

chandelier in the Blue bedroom

The grounds and gardens of the Villa are unfortunately not entirely accessible for anyone who has mobility issues. The entry courtyard in front of the villa, and the French gardens with musical fountains are accessible. The ground surfaces for these accessible outdoor areas are not concrete-paved, it is small gravel chip.

The rest of the gardens are interspersed with stairways and steps, particularly the path through the Japanese Garden, Exotic Garden and from the Provençal Garden down to the French Garden. If you are wheelchair-bound, or with a heavy or large-sized child buggy/stroller I must be honest and say your options are limited to visit all of the themed gardens.


The gardens are lovely, and due to the hill-top location of this attraction there are expansive views from the gardens across to Villefranche-sur-Mer and Beaulieu-sur-Mer. There are 9 themed gardens including:

– Spanish garden with water features, fish pond and pergola with vines




– Florentine garden with water feature, statues, topiaries and lavender plantings


– Japanese garden with traditional elements such as raked sand garden, wooden bridge, zen sculptures, koi pond and bamboo plantings

– Stone garden with gargoyles, arches, columns and statuettes

– Exotic garden with cacti, succulents and foreign trees

– Rose garden



– Provençal garden with olive trees, herb and lavender plantings

– French garden with topiaries, urns and the musical fountain that performs every 20 minutes


– Sèvres garden

Best time to visit the gardens? Between May and July when spring/summer flowers are blooming, and the heady scents of the pines, Mediterranean olive trees, lavender and herbs drift on the breeze. The garden would appeal during all seasons due to the large number of trees, shrubs and water features. I would like to visit again on a rainy day as I believe it would exude a lush tropical ambience.


What do you think my favourite garden was? I loved the Spanish garden with it’s water feature grotto, striking ‘bird of paradise’ plants bordering a central fish pond, a pergola with a stone bench shaded by the vines, and stunning pink bougainvillea crawling along marble columns. Just stunning, don’t you think?


Béatrice wanted the Villa built in the Italian Renaissance style, and I think the pink hue highlights the impressive design. I also liked the fact the Villa exterior is not ‘perfect’ – there is peeling paint on the pink exterior which lends to the idea it was a lived-in homestead in a coastal location subjected to temperamental winds and salt air, rather than just a display museum.


The interior will appeal to fans of Moorish and French Louis XV and XVI-style, with patterned, painted, upholstered, golden, brocaded, and decorated everything. It is definitely a visual overload that may not appeal to everyone. For those visitors who are not aware of the prestige and craftsmanship of the Villa’s exhibits, I recommend the free audioguide to learn the history behind the exhibits and glimpse into Béatrice’s personality and family put the Villa into perspective in a modern world.



The Villa holds regular events during the year including Rose Festivals, costumed theme days and garden seminars so check their website under ‘Events’ if you have any special interests.   You can even have your wedding reception there – can you imagine how gorgeous the wedding photos in the gardens would be?

Did you know? The Villa was used in interior scenes to portray ‘Palmyra’ (Largo’s base in North Africa) in the 1983 Bond movie ‘Never Say Never Again’. Exterior scenes for Palmyra were filmed at the Citadelle in nearby Villefranche-sur-Mer.  Read more about Villefranche-sur-Mer here

image copyright from James Bond Locations

image copyright from James Bond Locations


Opening hours:

The Villa is open every day.

February to October : 10am-6pm (peak season months July and August the opening hours are 10am-7pm)

November to February: Weekends and school holidays 10am-6pm / During the week: 2pm-6pm

Last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing time.

detail in one of the Salons

detail in one of the Salons

Cost (current as at June 2014, subject to change):

Regular admission: 13€

Reduced admission: 10€ (children 7-17 years, students, holders of Education Pass, jobseekers)

Free admission: Children less than 7 years of age, journalists and tourism industry professionals (on presentation of identification)

For more tips on other reduced admission prices, continue reading below in my section ‘Other tips’.

Admission notes: There is no reduced admission price for either seniors, or persons of physical/intellectual disability.

How to get there:

By car: Access is via the Basse Corniche (N98). There is free onsite carparking at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, though limited numbers. There is no designated disabled carparking space for those persons with reduced mobility, however you can drop off at the gate at the top of the driveway near the ticket office and persons with reduced mobility can enter via the vehicle gate.

By bus: From Nice or Beaulieu-sur-Mer, you can take bus number 81, get off at the stop ‘Passable’ which is directly across from the entrance driveway to the Villa. This bus also has stops for the Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station, and Villa Kérylos if you also intend to visit there. Timetable (current at June 2014, but subject to change) is here ligne 81 (au 10 02 14)

From Monaco, Roquebrune-Cap Martin, Eze-sur-Mer or Menton, take bus number 100, get off at stop ‘Pont St Jean’ and the Villa is 10 minutes walking distance.   This bus has a designated stop for Villa Kérylos too. Timetable (current June 2014, subject to change) is found here 100

By train: Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is located 25 minutes walk from the Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station. Follow the coastal pathway Promenade Maurice Rouvier (flat, paved path with no stairs), then you will see the brown sign to turn right up a side street. The last 10 minutes is uphill through residential streets. It is not strenuous but bear in mind Beaulieu has one of the highest sunshine hours on the Côte d’Azur so take a bottle of water on hot days, and also to exercise caution if you have a baby buggy/stroller or you are wheelchair-bound as there are no footpaths on the residential streets. Villa Ephrusssi de Rothschild is situated on the hill-top, you can’t miss it.

promenade Maurice Rouvier to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (flat, paved path with no stairs)

promenade Maurice Rouvier to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild (flat, paved path with no stairs)

My other tips :

– For maps and information about the local area, the Beaulieu Tourist Office is located right outside the Beaulieu-sur-Mer train station. Or, you can visit the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Tourist Office located at 59 avenue Denis Semaria, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

blue shutters, local house

blue shutters, local house

– When you purchase your entry ticket at the Villa, ensure you receive the free audioguide (it is available in 9 languages – French, English, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Russian, Japanese and Chinese). It is excellent for providing background information on the Baroness Rothschild, her exhibits and rooms at the Villa and brings the Villa to life. The audioguide is a hand-held unit and it’s easy to use for any techno-phobes not confident with technology, and the best part is you can wander the Villa in your own time and listen to only the commentaries of exhibits that interest you. Bear in mind, the Villa is a popular attraction and if there are cruise ships berthed at nearby Villefranche-sur-Mer it is often a day-trip destination for cruise passengers so if you visit the Villa in the late afternoon there may not be any audioguides available.


– There is an onsite tearoom at the Villa. Menu samples – 2,80€ for an espresso; tea and a pastry of the day 9,50€; salads average 16€ – the view from the tearoom and adjoining terrace is magnificent. The tearoom opens at midday for full lunch and ‘a la carte’ service, but if you want to stop by for a coffee or cake only you have to wait until after 3pm as preference is given to sit-down lunch patrons. Note: The tearoom has the same opening hours as the Villa, except between November and February the tearoom is open only on weekends, school holidays and bank holidays. I don’t have a photo of the tearooms unfortunately because the day I visited it was very busy and I didn’t want to disturb other patrons.

– If you are arriving by train to Beaulieu, there is a supermarket on the way from the train station to the Villa that sells sandwiches, fruit, snack foods, cold drinks. It is located on avenue des Hellenes, it is a ‘Casino’ supermarket (a French chain of supermarkets).

– There are accessible ground level toilets in both the grounds and interior patio of the Villa. You will receive a map of the Villa and grounds when you purchase your entry, and toilets are clearly marked on the map.


– For a discounted entry price to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, there are a few options:

– Offre famille: Free entry for the second child (7-17 years) with 2 adults and 1 child paying. Free child ticket must be used the same time as the other paying family members.

– If you also intending to visit the Villa Kérylos, you can purchase a combined entry ticket for both Villas (‘Pass 2 Villas’). The usual admission would be 24,50€ to visit both attractions separately, this combined entry discounts the price to 15,50€. You have one month to visit both Villas (single visit to each Villa only) from the first date of purchase (all pricing and conditions subject to change). Ask at the ticket counter.

– If you have arrived to Beaulieu by train using a local train (TER SNCF) from any origin along the Côte d’Azur using either an unlimited daily ‘Zou pass’, or a stand-alone sector ticket, show them your validated train ticket at the Villa’s ticket counter and ask for the discounted entry price. You must visit the Villa on the same day as your train travel.

– A ‘Carte Privilége’ is an annual pass you can purchase for unlimited entry. Costs €55 for a single, €95 for 2 people to share a pass (conditions apply).

– The Villa has Free Wifi. Also, you can download their mobile applications on the App Store and Google Play for iPhone / iPad / iTouch and Android. The mobile applications have commentary and interactive maps, though the only language offering is French at this current date.

mobile application (image copyright from Google Play)

mobile application (image copyright from Google Play)

– Free activity booklets are available for children visiting the Villa. Aimed at children aged 7-12 years, they have games and treasure hunt clues that educate about the Villa and gardens with the help of a mascot, a little mouse named Filou. I forgot to ask for a copy so I’m unsure if they offer this booklet in a language other than French? Will update this post when I find out.

free activity book for kids at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

free activity book for kids at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

– One of the exhibit rooms at the Villa has Fragonard drawings (with ink and wash). Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker born locally in Grasse, and Béatrice had a likeness for his artwork. Interestingly, Fragonard completed over 500 paintings in his career, of which only 5 are dated. In 1926, a perfume factory in Grasse took the name Parfurmerie Fragonard in honour of him. If you’re visiting the region and intend to stop by the Fragonard factories at nearby Eze Village or Grasse, you can obtain a 10% discount in the Fragonard perfume shop by showing them the Fragonard perfume leaflet obtained at most local Tourist Offices.

Closing comments:

I highly recommend a visit to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Whether you are interested in history, Renaissance architecture, art, furniture, you are sure to be dazzled by the Villa interior. I know I felt quite privileged to view the collections there.

The gardens, statues and sculptures are beautiful, and being a popular tourist attraction there may be crowds but sit in the gardens, soak up the views and enjoy the experience.

I hope they expand their mobile applications to be downloadable in more languages, and I hope also that one day people who have restricted mobility can enjoy the experience as much as an able-bodied person like myself. Perhaps one day they will incorporate something similar to the amazing Norio robot in operation at the Château d’Orion.

Have you visited Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild yet?




Sightseeing – Ideas for families, or travelers with reduced mobility

Beaches:   Most beaches along the French Riviera coastline are easily accessible, and safe for children with limited waves, lifeguards (in peak season) and shallow water. Many are stony beaches therefore beach mats are needed.  Children are highly recommended to use UVA/UVB water-resistant sunblock to prevent sunburn.  There are a number of beaches that also cater for those with disabilities. Some are at Plage le Ponteil in Antibes; Plage de Tiercé in Cagnes-sur-Mer; Carras in Nice.  The ‘Handiplage’ sign marked with a wheelchair symbol symbolises where to find them. The ‘Handiplage’ beaches usually include facilities such as toilets, changing areas, showers, ramps, parking and designated sea access for wheelchair users.  For more information visit

French Handiplage sign

Lérins Islands:  Îsle St Marguerite is a small island situated just off the Cannes coastline and accessible via boat that is suitable for stroller or wheelchair access.  Please note that while the ferry boats and island are suitable for wheel access, many paths are not paved so there is uneven ground.  Disabled toilet facilities on the island are located up the hill from the boat jetty. There are stairs to the Fort on the island. For ferry timetables and prices refer to

Parc Phoenix, 405 Promenade des Anglais, (Telephone: 04 92 29 77 00): Parc Phoenix is a 17-acre park located on the edge of Nice city complete with huge tropical greenhouse with fern, orchids, tropical plants and animals.  The park is 99% flat paved paths (some stairs inside the greenhouse). There is a small aquarium onsite, a musical fountain display and various animal enclosures with birds, prairie dogs, and turtles.  Parc Phoenix has a snack shop onsite, and a children’s playground with picnic area to keep the kids entertained.  The entrance fee also include entry to The Museum of Asiatic Arts next door – all this for just 2 Euros!  For opening hours go to

Parc Phoenix greenhouse

Markets: One of the nicest experiences of traveling in France is enjoying the pleasures of a local market.  Every town has a regular market; some daily; some weekly but you are sure to find something to appeal to every family member.  Vendors sell homemade confitures (jams), pastries, delicious meats, fromage (cheese), soaps, fresh local produce, souvenirs, antiques, fresh fish, olives, condiments and spices…the list goes on!  One of the best markets in the region is the Nice Market located on Cours Saleya, between Place Massena and Vieux Nice (Old Town).  It is a flower and produce market every day from early in the morning (excluding Mondays when it is an antique market), and in the evenings in summer arts and crafts vendors set up their stalls.

Spices at the Nice Market

Boules:  The French game of boules (also known as pétanque), is similar to British lawn bowling or Italian bocce.  It is traditionally played with metallic balls on a dirt surface beneath plane trees,  and the local boule pitch (boulodrome) is a social meeting place where the participants (and spectators) while away the hours with the odd glass of wine and cards in between games.  The object of the game is to throw your balls so that they land closer to the small ball (the cochonnet) than those of your opponent, or strike and drive the cochonnet toward your other balls and away from your opponent’s.  My son enjoys watching boules from the comfort of his stroller, however you can sit in the afternoon sun watching a game and even participate if you are lucky enough!