Cote d'Azur Journals

Sports on the Riviera

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Cote d'Azur by TianjinPaul

Stade Louis II Photo, Cote dAzur, France More Photos
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Derby Day

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I had already been to Stade Du Ray on two separate occasions to watch Ligue 1 strugglers OGC Nice when a friend of mine suggested we go to see to local debu between Nice and Olympiqyue Marseille. This invitation piqued my curiosity for two main reasons. First, Olympique Marseille were touted as one of the best teams in Europe. They were coached by French World Cup winner Didier Deschamps and their line-up included current French internationals like Mathieu Valbeuna and Pierre Alain Gignac. I was also keen to get to the match because it was something of a local derby, where I might expect to find a bit of intensity.On the whole, French football lacks major rivalries. There is nothing to riv...Read More
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During the late 1980s and early 1990s, before the onset of budget airlines in the UK, it was a common for middle-class English families to holiday in France. Mine were no different. We opted to camp or caravan – both were extremely fashionable for a five year period - in Normandy and Brittany. My parents loved these holidays for the scenery, the wine and the ample antiquing opportunities. None of these things particularly captivated me. However, I was assuaged by the fact that on each trip we would go in search of a French football shirt (soccer) that would make me the envy of the other kids at school.The first of these shirts was purchased in the Breton coastal town of Quimper. It was the...Read More

Getting There on Time

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Monaco Station Photo, Cote d'Azur, France
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It was Monday evening. My plan was to leave work at around 18h30, go home to change, get the train from Nice to Monaco and watch AS Monaco play RC Lens at 20h30. It all seemed very straight forward. SNCF's website said there was a train around 19h30 that would get me to Monaco in good time and from the station I could walk to the stadium in just a few minutes. No problem … apparently.As easy as it all looked, my journey to the game wound-up being rather stressful and I managed to miss the first 10 minutes of the game. The first problem was the fact that SNCF were telling lies. It is not massively uncommon in France for some timetables to bear very little similarity to reality (The bus time...Read More

Stade Louis II

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Stade Louis II Photo, Monaco, Europe
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When my girlfriend informed me that she was flying home to visit her family for a week, I instantly began to start planning plenty of manly activities to get up to whilst she was away. Chief amongst these was going to the football. As I live in Nice, I have two options. The first was OGC Nice, who play in French football's top division, Ligue 1. the second was AS Monaco, who were formerly one of the top sides in Europe, but now languish in Ligue 2. For the two games, I had slightly different motivations. I was going to visit Nice for the quality of the football. Nice were playing against French league-leaders Montpellier, which meant I could probably expect a good game. At Monaco, I was going more to ...Read More

Stade Louis II
3 Avenue Des Castelans
Fontvieille District, Monaco
92 05 40 11

A Fall From Grace

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Stade Louis II Photo, Cote d'Azur, France
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There is a Bar and Brasserie in Monaco, close to the Palais, that always shows AS Monaco games on its big screen TV. On the walls behind the bar and to the side of the TV are scores of shirts adorned with the names of Monaco's star players of the past. There is Henry, Trezeguet, Saviola, Morientes and countless other big names. It is all rather sad. It serves to highlight the difference between the team of the past and the rather pale imitation of today.When I passed the Brasserie, I was on my way to enjoy a bit of sporting tourism. I had tickets for the game between AS Monaco and RC Lens at Stade Louis II in Monaco. The two sides were at the bottom of Ligue 2 and facing the prospect of be...Read More

OGC Nice - How it Should Be

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Stade Du Ray 1 Photo, Cote d'Azur, France
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Since I was a child and on into adulthood, my father and I have spent countless Saturday afternoons and Tuesday or Wednesday evening doing something quintessentially English, watching football. My love of the game (and specifically of my team, Queens Park Rangers) has taken us all across the north of England. Sadly, a change I have noted over the years is that it has all got far more commercialized. In many ways, the experience seems to have ceased to be about the game and is more about making money from the fans – ticket prices are ridiculously high and the clubs look to make money from the fans at every juncture.For example, last Christmas, I went to watch QPR play away at Coventry City....Read More

OGC Nice - Some Southern Passion

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Standing Area Photo, Cote d'Azur, France
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Having lived in the South of France for just about a year, I have noticed that it is very difficult to infuse the locals with any sense of urgency. They are an extremely laid back bunch. To daub them with a touch of cliché, they seem to like nothing more then relaxing in a cafe or by the beach to sip an espresso and watch the world go by. Deadlines and appointments are far more fluid than in more Anglo-Saxon parts of the world or even northern France. At first, I found this a little difficult to get used to. However, I must admit, I now enjoy the lack of pressure and the more sedate pace of life.With this relaxed lifestyle in mind, I was not in particularly high hopes in terms of footballi...Read More

Velo Bleu

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Having moved to Nice from the UK, where public transport is often dirty, usually inconvenient and always always always expensive, experiencing the infrastructure in Nice was a major breath of fresh air. The bus and tram services are fantastic. Any trip in the city is just 1 Euro. The services span the city, making it a fantastic place to commute to work. It is possible to traverse the the city on the Tramway in less than thrity minutes. However, there is another aspect of the Nice transport infrastructure that really grabs the attention., Velo Bleu.Velo Bleu is a scheme designed for local residents (and tourists as well for that matter) top get around the city on bicycles at low cost. Dott...Read More