One of the great things about my job is that I can pack up my laptop and work from anywhere where I have a quiet space and a good internet connection. Sometimes if S has to travel for work, I go along too. I work from the hotel room, and then in the evening we can check out the local area together. Sometimes we tag on weekends to the end of the trip to make it more of a mini break.
This is what we did earlier this month and how I got to catch a few rays of sunshine on the Ivory Coast.
I learned French at school and was actually quite good at it, but sadly I’ve forgotten most of it now. Being in France made me want to get out those French books again. People were very friendly and helpful, but I know I could have said more. I don’t mix other languages with my German because I use it all the time at work, but I had the annoying experience that every time I wanted a French word, the Turkish one popped into my head instead. I guess I haven’t forgotten as much Turkish as I thought!
Working away from home
I like the idea of shutting myself away in the hotel room. It’s usually quiet, I know where everything is, and generally in mainland Europe the wifi tends to be fine for doing audio calls or video conferences with customers. The UK is a bit more hit and miss!
In this particular hotel, the biggest challenge was the lack of desk. I’m not sure whether it was to give the holiday vibe and encourage people not to think about work, or because there was a co-working space downstairs. Either way, it was ok in the end. I don’t like joint working spaces, so we constructed a desk with the furniture and suitcases available to us!
One big plus point about this particular room was the Nespresso machine – I’ve never seen those in hotel rooms before, but I definitely approve.
The hotel felt like a bit of a rabbit warren, but being where we were meant that we were in a really quiet part, which suited me fine. If possible, it’s always good not to be too close to a lift as this can interfere with the wifi. I didn’t venture out much while S was away working, but I always familiarise myself with basic routes such as the fire escape, because sometimes those fire alarms go off. I wrote previously about the accessibility of hotels from the perspective of someone who is blind.
It was a little cold to work outside, but I opened the balcony doors every day and it was good to get some clean fresh air into my room.
This was also my introduction to getting around by Uber – we don’t have them where we live and it was definitely convenient not having to make sure you had enough cash for each ride.
A day in Antibes
The photos in this post were taken in Antibes, a Mediterranean resort in South-Eastern France on the Côte d’Azur (Ivory Coast) between Cannes and Nice. The town of Juan-les-Pins, which we also visited, is within the commune of Antibes.
We didn’t have a fully-packed day hopping from tourist attraction to tourist attraction. We looked online the evening before, made a list of a couple of places to visit and things we wanted to buy, then took an uber into town and started walking around.
I got the impression that the area is much busier in the summer, but in a way I was glad that it was so quiet. When we got into the main town centre, there were more signs of life – children playing, and people shopping or drinking coffee outside the cafes, but the outskirts were really quiet and some of the buildings even looked empty. Maybe some people just come in the holiday times, but for us it was a nice way to get away from the British winter and enjoy some sunshine!
That’s how I came to be sitting outside, eating my pasta in a short-sleeved dress in January! I didn’t put my jacket on all day until the sun went down!
We didn’t go down onto the beach, but we walked alongside it for a while and saw the boats. I was a bit concerned we would mainly find fish and seafood, which neither of us really likes, but I didn’t need to worry about that – there were plenty of other options available, and there was always good coffee!
One of the cheese shops we wanted to visit was closed, but we managed to find another one, where we stocked up on local cheese.
Walking around a town can tell you a lot more about it than driving or taking the bus. And in any event, it was a nice day for a walk. We discovered a café, that seemed to mainly be where local people hang out (always a good sign). We found a park, which unfortunately was closed, and another little green area that we had all to ourselves. We wandered through the streets where the mansions are – later looking at some of the house prices in local estate agents and deciding that we would not be able to afford to live here! We went to the city centre where the shops are, wandered through the shopping area, and had coffee outside one of the cafes.
If you enjoy steak, I can highly recommend the Golden Beef, where you can choose where your steak is from and how it is cooked. The ice-cream is pretty good too, but the steak is amazing!
Sometimes I look at local things to do – museums, places to visit etc. Sometimes it’s just nice to wander round a town and see what it’s like.
Have you been to this region of France? Let me know in the comments!
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