Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: 6 Quick-Sees during a Brief Rendezvous with Nice

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Our Lifestyle Adventures: 6 Quick-Sees during a Brief Rendezvous with Nice

Beach Scenes in Nice
Besides Cannes, the two other destinations no one should miss on the French Riviera are Nice and Monaco. They are just 30 minutes away from each other but are worlds apart.  This article is about Nice where, after the four small towns I wrote about in my last post, we had late lunch.

Nisa La Belle, meaning Nice, the Beautiful, enjoys the mild Meditteranean climate, with the high 80s in summer and mid-50s in winter, and hardly any rainfall in spring or fall. Aristocrats from Britain have come to enjoy this weather since the 18th century. The city’s main coastal road is called the Promenade des Anglais, Walkway of the English. It is second only to Paris in terms of tourism and is the second largest city in the French Riviera, with a million in the urban area, just behind Marseille.

Coeurs Saleya
part of  Coeurs Saleya
The pizza place we chose for a light lunch had an entry rug that said “L’Americano Gusto Italiano.” What a welcome! But, since we were in Nice for just a little more than a couple of hours, we quickly finished our meal to get to as many sights as we could. Fortunately, the famous French flower market, Coeurs Saleya was just outside. No wonder it is famous; the flowers were either fragrant, colorful or both! 

Place du Palais
Palais de Justice on the Place du Palais
A few steps away stood the Place du Palais, often the site for concerts, films and major public events. The Palais de Justice is located there. On the steps of the buildings around the Place are youths hanging out.  Towards the other direction, we were led through an alley of colorful buildings to the Place Massena, Nice’s vast central square that lies between the Old and New Towns.

Place Massena
Fontaine du Soleil in Place Massena
The tramway runs through the center of the plaza but otherwise, the whole area is pedestrian-only. The old buildings around are painted in red and decorated with blue shutters. At one end are statues depicting Greek mythology with a 22-foot Neptune at the center. He overlooks the entire plaza and the Fontaine du Soleil (Fountain of the Sun), an excellent place to sit and engage in people-watching.
Esplanade Georges-Pompidou
Esplanade Georges Pompidou and the landmark sculpture
With just about an hour left of our time in Nice, we walked back towards the Promenade des Anglais and the beach, retracing our steps through the Coeurs Saleya and the Place du Palais. Just before reaching the Promenade, we walked through the Esplanade George-Pompidou. It is the square in front of the Centre Pompidou, the avant-garde building that houses the National Museum of Modern Art, library and music center of Nice. A modern landmark stands by the Promenade.

Plage Beau Rivage
Plage Beau Rivage
I don't have a name for this landmark. It is a large red monument and I have researched about it. I could not find what it is and how it is called. As soon as when we crossed the Promenade, we were facing the Meditteranean Sea. There we found the playful having fun and the famous blue beach umbrellas on the Plage Beau Rivage, one of many the beaches on the French Riviera. We had time for just sniffing the ocean breeze and taking a photo of each other.

Monuments Aux Morts
Monuments aux Morts
And then I made a mad dash to the souvenir shops around where we were going to meet our driver. After almost giving up, I found my go-to memento, a tank top that said I “heart” Nice. I was looking for one that said, ”I am a NICE girl!” That would have been apropos! I only ran out of time. Then, just as we were leaving the city, the driver pointed to a War Memorial dedicated to the 4,000 residents of the city who perished in World War I and others who died in later wars. That was our sixth quick-see of our brief rendezvous with Nice, the epitome of the French Riviera! 

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