Well, it’s not an introduction to my story about Nice (am I hearing a sign of regret?? : ) Just a funny picture on a T-short in a shop in the city. But there’s something in that, francophons, don’t you think? : )
Now seriously. How we got to Nice. There’s a public bus number 200 (Lignes d’Azur) from Cannes to Nice. Goes from the center (Hotel de Ville, Cannes) to the center (Bermond, Espase Massena, Nice) and costs 1 euro. Better to hop on the first stop, because it’s a little bit overloaded.
Nice is an amazing combination that I was searching for: of beauty of nature – kind and warm Mediterranean sea, the spirit of artistic and free city and history and architecture that reminded me Paris and Saint-Petersburg. That’s undoubtfully a huge sympathy!
I have a slight idea that this connection with Paris is a reason I love Nice so much. Leave the coast and deep to the city – and you’ll feel the same artistic and lively atmosphere. Parks and fountains of Boulevard Jean Jaures reminded me Boulevard Richard Lenoir…
In the evening on Castel plage – music, dances and drinking. So many young people come here to spend time and sing and play, chilled by fresh breath of Mediterranean. Atmosphere is amazing, but after hitch-hiking on route A8 and bus ride we were too tired to enjoy it. That’s why we went to search for a place to stay: on a beach at night from Saturday to Sunday it’s impossible.
Around La tour Bellanda (an ancient tower on a coast) we’d found a memorial, cut in a rock. There’s a Parc la Colline du Chateau on its top, but we were attracted by trees around the memorial that were easier to reach.
In the bush we found out that we’re are not the only people who loved the place. Someone was already sleeping there. As I know, homeless people in France are quite harmless, so we decided that having a neighbour is not that bad. And felt asleep…
In less than an hour we heard load voices just in few steps. The first thought was that that homeless guy lives here not in a solitude. The second – they will try to kick us out of their place.
…but soon I realised that people talk in Russian!
I got out of tent to say “Hi” to new neignbours. They appeared to be Latvian guys who have been wandering through Europe, lived in different cities and do mostly nothing. The main point of their story was that they walk – between places, cities, countries. They spent a week to cross France from the north to the south by foot.
The next day we left bags in lockers on the railway station. It’s 4 euros per locker for 72 hours – but actually there’s no need to pay. I usually just put a bag in a locker, close the door and leave it – and it’s always safe : )
The most amazing place in Nice (along with the beach on weekend evening) is The Old town.
There we found artistic shops and cosy squares, restaurants of all types and street artists. And flee market of course! Like in Cannes, it occupies a huge territory in southern part of the city, right after the wall – Cours Saleya is a place, where it’s possible to spend hours just browsing goods or leave hell of money on things that are not really necessary but so wonderful to have.
On Marche aux fleurs there’s a product market: whatever your soul desires – from candies and honey to sea products and meat. Better not to visit it, when you’re hungry : )
Nice is not a typical resort, expensive and fake. It’s alive city with its character and mood. Artists perform on Place Massena, young people play music on a beach, jazz tunes fill the streets of the Old city. By the way, there’s a big jazz festival in Nice at the moment.
Nice is different – hardworking and entertaining, lazy and hectic. It has backyards and scenes. It’s touristic but has personality.
Nice is a place to live, not just spend a holiday.
We had a look on collection of contemporary art in Musee d’Art Moderne et d’Art contempiorain. I’ve never taken it as an art, but it’s always funny to see. For example, Venus de Milo by Niki de Saint Phalle. Isn’t she pretty, hey?
The next night I met Algerian guys on a beach ( in a line to the toilet : ), and they invited us to spend night in their house. The world is full of hospitable and kind people!
See you soon, Nice!