Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Nice is lovely. And I don't mean only the beautiful sunny october days we had there, with 23-25 degrees, in stark constrast with the cold, foggy London. The beach is great, 2-3 kilometers in length (the main beach) and followed everywhere by a long and wide promenade, called "Promenade des Anglais". Presumably because it's swarming with british tourists? It's a great sight on a sunny day with all the people walking, skating, cycling, sitting on benches, watching the sea. With such a lovely weather, no surprise some people were swimming. I refrained from swimming as a strong breeze in the afternoon put me off and the idea of freezing after getting out of the water wasn't very exciting. However, we did lie on the beach enjoying the sun, doing nothing, in a true french style. :-)

The only slight disappointment is that the beach is pebble stoned, not sandy. I was expecting sand from the famous Cote d'Azur. But the colour of the water is great.

And you can see that from the castle on the hill, which offers panoramic views of Nice and of the port on the other side of the city. There are some steps to climb and there's some effort involved, but well worth it, as the views are beautiful. The top of the castle was where the old medieval town was, but in the 18-19 century, it was transformed in a large garden, where nowadays people play football, just relax in the sun, admiring the views or enjoy a coffee in a restaurant up there. There's also a waterfall and a cemetery to explore.

Descending from the castle, you're welcome by the Old Town, with its narrow streets and the buzz of tourists attracted by the many restaurants, souvenir shops, book shops, ice-cream shops and other little shops. It's a lovely area to explore and enjoy. You can buy a french baguette filled with all sorts of goodies for about 3.50 - 4 euros.

As you walk to the west, you bump into a street market, true french style. Full of people trying to buy, people shouting, advertising their own merchandise or inviting you to taste before you buy. The whole atmosphere is a very friendly one, but also very vibrant and familiar. It's no supermarket here, all these people care about their food and it looks like they put a lot of their energy into these home-made delicacies. And that's the feeling ... it's like your grandma was out there on the street trying to sell her home made cookies.

The whole trip to Nice was made so enjoyable by the ever present sun. Not a single cloud, clear and warm days, with a nice breeze that makes it not too hot.

On Monday we decided to take a day trip to the posh Monaco, a 20-25 minute trip that would prove to be an excellent choice. But all about Monaco, tomorrow...


At Wednesday, October 18, 2006 9:55:00 am, Blogger Chris said...

Hmmmm, Nice... My post is ready at home. So many trip plans, huh, cookie? This life won't be enough! :-P


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