Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Nice, Day 1: Vieux Nice

Taking advantage of being on California time, I woke up early and took some time to look around. Through the trees at the top of the stairs in front of our room one gets a classic view of Nice; from the houses and hotels clustered on the hills, down Nice de Ouest and out to the water. Fantastique! I enjoyed an early constituitional to the top of the hill, breakfast and a second cup of coffee (american) standing and taking in the view.

We started our exploration of Nice proper with a friendly shuttle ride down to the bus stop, and got our first glimpse of the tremendous amount of work being done on their transit system. The city is in the process of a massive project to install trams, and nearly every major road (and many not so major) has been dug up to facilitate the work.

We walked along the waterfront (of course!), then through the flower market, where they also had blocks and blocks of fresh produce. We bought the fixins for penne chicken and pepper dinner. Travelling is many things to many people, but haggling over produce with hawkers at a farmers market is a classic experience.

Our sojurn took us up to "le chateau", the remains of a Roman fort that was torn down by Louis XIV, rebuilt during the war with Spain, and torn down again. Now it boasts the best view of Nice, an expansive childrens park and a man-made waterfall that we spent some time enjoying; the misty spray was the perfect foil for the hot tropical weather.

Getting back to the hostel turned out to be an excersice in forebearance. The massive overhaul of the streets to extend the tram system has also resulted in a reshuffling of bus routes. After about 4 trys we finally found an operational bus stop that actually had the line we were looking for. Sunburned and a bit footweary we set aside our penne ingredients and grabbed a short nap and then dinner at the hostel. Cooking can wait for tomorrow.

Edit: I've gone back through and spiced up Patrick's post with some of the photos from today. I also took a few of the hostel Villa Saint Exupery (22 Rue Gravier, Nice, France) so you can see what's home...for these 3 days at least.

Villa St. Exupery started life at least a century ago as a monastery. The chapel area is now a dining hall and common area. The stained glass window is a nod to its origins. The outside photo shows our room (bottom left door) and some the myriad stairs that meander all over the complex. There are a few more photos available at the flickr page. ~PNT


Anonymous said...

I am jealous of that "BLUE" water. Aunt Betsy

Anonymous said...

What a great view of the water and the beach. Looks like a great little town. Scott

Krystal said...

Those are postcard quality pictures. Absolutely beautiful!

warbler5 said...

Hey, guys....Nice is beautiful!!!! It sounds like you are settling right in, too... Those cameras take beautiful pictures...excellent choice!