Archive for September 2019

Nice By Evening Light   4 comments

One of the delights of a city in hot weather is that the evenings are relatively cool and ideal for strolling and soaking up the atmosphere and in the case of Nice, the coastal views. Taking a walk along the seafront or through the old town was a regular feature and one we all enjoyed.

On our second night it was the Bastille Day celebrations and rather impressive firework display over the bay.

P1010780a
P1010780b
P1010780c

We always walked up to the headland between the Promenade des Anglais and the Port where the sweeping views across the bay under the setting sun was breathtaking.

IMG_5782
IMG_5783
IMG_5784

Follow that with a walk through the old town, people watching, reading restaurant menus and eating ice cream and waffles.

IMG_5751
IMG_5752
IMG_5753

The buildings of the old town always looked especially fine in the evening.

IMG_5755
IMG_5756

There was always a happy crowd down on the pebbles every evening.

P1010988
P1010989

A couple of the very grand and very expensive seafront hotels.

P1010990
P1010992

By way of a slight diversion from the theme. We hired a car for a couple of days to explore inland a little. The first day was rather frustrating in that it was cloudy and wet and a closed road within a mile or two of our chosen destination meant we spent several hours just driving around.

IMG_5698

The scenery was superb and the rain stopped long enough for us to have a picnic but we should have gone back to the coast and driven along the corniches.

IMG_5700

However I was determined to fulfil my desire for a mountain swim in one of the narrow slot canyons or Clues as they are known locally.

IMG_5701

This one is the Clue de Aiglun and its spectacular and it coincided with a dry spell in the weather.

IMG_5704
IMG_5706

The walk down was much further and much steeper than the guidebook had indicated so it was a solo swim in the end.

IMG_5707

A truly wild swim and a little daunting as the water was high after the rain and the flow pretty strong so I was nervous about some of the pools. A great swim anyway.

IMG_5708
IMG_5709

We then tried the Clue de Riolan where the water was much calmer and the swim much better.

IMG_5710

The gorge was extremely narrow and the water deep and calm. It started raining again so again I was on my own but I enjoyed myself if a little guilty for forcing the rest of the family top spend most of the day in the car to indulge my whims.

IMG_5711

Reason for this little diversion in the post is that when we returned to Nice the skies were beginning to clear and the evening strolls were the most memorable of all.

IMG_5713

I took a brief stroll to pick up some food for tea and Place Massena and the Promenade du Paillon were in fine form.

IMG_5715

Reflections in the fountains area

IMG_5716

A Nice space age tram passing under our apartment balcony.

IMG_5719
IMG_5720

Clearing skies from the apartment.

IMG_5721
IMG_5722

The setting sun started the light show while we finished our evening meal.

IMG_5723
IMG_5725
IMG_5731

With clouds clearing, the haze washed from the air and a low setting sun the light was just amazing as we took our evening constitutional.

IMG_5732
IMG_5735
IMG_5737
IMG_5739

The seafront was packed with people taking advantage of the drier weather after a wet day indoors for most I’m guessing.

IMG_5740
IMG_5743

I got a bit carried away with the photos as you can tell.

IMG_5745
IMG_6666

With views and light as good as this, well you just have to.

IMG_5747
IMG_5746
IMG_5748

From a disappointing and frustrating day came a grand finish. The clearing skies gave hope for a memorable outing I had planned for the next day.

IMG_5749

Nice – Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill)   10 comments

One of my favourite places in Nice was the Colline du Chateau, Castle Hill that overlooks the old town and the majestic sweep of the Promenade des Anglais. We walked up here several times over the course of the week and the views were always just reward for the hot and steep climb.

P1010746

The first set of photos is from our first mid morning effort. It was hot and hard work but I was instantly charmed. Its a series of walkways, and steps with views across the rooftops of the Vielle Ville, the seafront and the mountains.

P1010749
P1010752

Its also a great place to watch the airline traffic to the airport just down the coast.

P1010753
P1010755

Evening was a much better time to take in the views. Me and TBF took a walk along the promenade to the headland and walked up the side that overlooks the port.

P1010765

Different hazy views across the bay and old town.

P1010769

The top is a lovely open parkland with lots of vantage points and childrens play areas.

P1010771
P1010772

One if its main attractions is a fountain/waterfall on the west side. Its a wonderful place as it crashes down and generates a fine cooling spray.

P1010773
P1010774

Its artificial but impressive nonetheless.

P1010775

As I’m the only member of the family capable of an early morning start I took a solo walk up one morning on my way to pick up the breakfast bread.

P1010776

Just me, a few hardy walkers and a host of joggers enjoying the last of the cool air before the days heat kicked in again.

IMG_5685
IMG_5688

The rooftops of the old town look especially dazzling at this time of day.

IMG_5689

The sea always looked deep blue and inviting from up here.

IMG_5690

And a walk past the waterfall was mandatory.

IMG_5841
IMG_5842

One more evening walk although I think this was also a solo effort.

IMG_5843
IMG_5844
IMG_5845

The ferry port where you depart for Corsica.

IMG_5846
IMG_5847

The setting sun from up high. I should have found time to watch the sunset from up here but never quite got around to it.

IMG_5849
IMG_5853

A pretty decent combination of waterfall, park, coast and mountains.

IMG_5691

Enjoying the Delights of Nice (By Day)   9 comments

Onwards on our journey through Europe and a very pleasant train ride through the Italian countryside and coast into France and the Cote D’Azure at Nice. Our apartment was superb, large spacious, air-conditioned and with a balcony overlooking Place Massena.

Early evening view.

IMG_5653

Nightime view.

IMG_5659

And morning view.

IMG_5654
IMG_5660

We had breakfast out there every morning and the odd meal. It was a great place to take in the atmosphere even if it was a bit hot most of the time.

P1010778c
P1010778e

The only downside was the Nice Jazz Festival across the square. When I say Jazz, as with most music festivals the theme is rarely supported by the music. In this case I heard no Jazz played and the the theme would be better described as pop and hip hop (I don’t recall the Black Eyed Peas ever doing Jazz). At the risk of turning into my dad the music was way too loud even though we were a couple of hundred yards from the arena.

P1010778d
IMG_5721

As soon as we arrived we were straight down to the beach for a swim. Another ideal feature of our base was that its only a 5 minuet walk to the beach.

IMG_5649

The beach at Nice used to be almost exclusively private bars with little public access but this has changed in recent years. There are now extensive stretches of public beaches which despite the crowds are clean and well provided.

IMG_5650

It surprises many to realise the beach here is pebbles and not sand. I prefer this as pebbles don’t get stuck in a variety of cracks and crevices and the water tends to be clearer. It does make for an awkward entry into the water though especially with a steep shelving shore and big waves.

IMG_5651

It was great to be able to pop down for an evening swim when some of the crowds had gone and the temperatures were a little more bearable.

IMG_5652

We went down here for a swim most evenings, one of the special memories of the trip.

P1010757d
P1010757e

Behind the apartment was the old town, the Vieux Ville and a marvellous place it is. A maze of narrow streets packed with shops and restaurants and a cool retreat from the power of the sun.

IMG_5655

This is the Place Rossetti. We spent many happy evenings here, eating in restaurants and tucking into crepes and ice creams.

IMG_5656
P1010741
P1010742
P1010743
P1010744

It was also the way through to the Castle Hill above the town (more on that in a later post) and a walk through the streets was always a pleasure.

P1010776a
P1010776b

The inside of the Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate.

IMG_5838
IMG_5839
IMG_5840

The Cours Salaya Market.

P1010756a

I grew especially fond of the Place Massena and the Promenade du Paillon. My research told me that it used to be an ugly eyesore, a heady mix of dilapidated buildings, a car park and bus station.

P1010756b

Enlightened planners have turned the area into a pedestrianised square (other than Nice’s sleek and modern trams) and park full of fountains, children play areas and statues.

P1010756c
P1010756e
P1010757a
P1010757b

Its utterly wonderful and a great example of how to create an green oasis in a urban sprawl. I walked through it many times and loved every step.

IMG_5694
IMG_5696

The fountains were especially fine.

IMG_5697
IMG_5698
IMG_5699
IMG_5700

Its completely free and there was always a vast number of small children playing from morning till night-fall. We could always hear the screams of delight from our balcony which is in the photo below, left centre, 3rd floor.

P1010936
P1010937

We walked along the Promenade des Anglais many times and the long sweeping curve of seafront is quintessential Nice.

IMG_5701
IMG_5701a

Nice also has its harbour at Port Lympia.

IMG_5702

We took a stroll around looking the lavish and luxurious yachts moored. A little research told us the bigger one’s cost just shy of 100m Euros!

IMG_5704
IMG_5705

Some less luxurious and more traditional sea faring craft.

IMG_5707
P1010759
P1010761
P1010762

A view across the harbour from the headland.

P1010763

A couple more posts to come from Nice as well as our travels in the local area to come.

IMG_5854
%d bloggers like this: