Monday, September 29, 2008

The Nice Diaries: Day 1 - Monday 15 September 2008

Or should I say Night 1, as our plane descended over the Med into Nice Airport as night was falling. When I said I loved everything about Nice, I lied: for I absolutely hate that descent. If you flew any lower over the sea you’d need a sea-plane. On the positive side, and I always like to think positive, the view is very stunning, you can see all along the Côte D’Azur from Cannes via Villeneuve-Loubet to Nice. Just try not to remember you’re about what feels like ten feet above the sea.

Have decided the best (and cheapest) way to get from the airport to the city centre is by the no.98 bus, costs just 4 euros and takes you all the way along the Promenade des Anglais before making its way to the Gare Routiere - bus station. Our journey lasted about 15 minutes and we then took the short walk to our very centrally located hotel. It's a warm night, but not excessively so.

After unpacking and getting the air conditioning to work - an easier task than usual - we headed back out for a meal. Rue Masséna has always been one of our favourite streets in Nice, as it boasts a fine combination of shopping and eating. One restaurant after another, so much to choose from, and it was inevitable that we’d end up there tonight. These restaurants mainly focus on pizza, pasta and seafood. Decided to go Niçoise with spaghetti au pistou, basically spaghetti in an olive oil and basil sauce. Oh, and some Provence red wine. Here’s to massive weight gain and goodbye to any progress that I’ve made on Weight Watchers over recent weeks. Why are the people of Nice so slim with all that lovely food all swimming in olive oil????

After dinner we headed off to the Place Masséna. In a previous post I mentioned the transformation of this square from a building site to a distinctive and rather fabulous open space. One particularly striking addition to the Place is a series of 7 sculptures of figures sitting at the top of poles, this is called "Conversations in Nice" and the figures are lit up at night in a variety of different colours. Seems a lot of people don’t like them, but I do. I took these photos of the Place Masséna by night a couple of nights later, but thought I'd include them here while we're on the subject:

The biggest change in Nice is the introduction of the tram system. More about that in the coming days.

On to another one of our favourite old bars before heading back to the hotel. The great thing about Nice is that being there feels like home. Only with warmer weather, better-looking people, better food....you get the idea. Third visit, and the magic is still there.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I feel the same about Oslo,despite it being bankruptingly expensive.I think a lot of Norwegians don't like it so much,but because it's the first place I ever went abroad on my own,it feels a bit special.

I had to giggle at the mention of the air conditioning- that's always my dad's first task when we're on holiday :)

I've wondered the same about Mediterranean people and their amazing figures too,but if Nice is anything like southern Italy,the olive oily diet catches up with them later in life- so all is right with the world :)