Friday, December 21, 2012

What I did and saw in Nice

Nice was where I stayed but for most of the days I left the city to go visit a town or city near to Nice. I did not see a lot in Nice and it did not seem to have a lot of tourist attractions or maybe just attractions that pulled my interest.

I started my time in Nice in the area that is known as Vieux and it is the historic center of Nice. This is a picture of the Cathedrale Ste-Reparate. I walked straight to this church but was just wondering through the area and did not realize this is the Church that the guide book recommended visiting. I later looked in the guidebook and it took me a bit of time to find the church only to realize I have already visited it.

The Vieux area is interesting but for historic city centers in Europe I found it a bit disappointing. I may be a bit jaded after living in the middle of the beautiful city center of Amsterdam.

From the center I climbed the hill Colline du Chateau and then down to the harbor on the other side. It started to drizzle on the climb up and was almost dark by the time I reached the top. This is the only picture that I took about at the midway point on the climb.

I later visited the Musee Matisse which covers the creative growth of Matisse but luckily this museum was free or I would have thought I payed to much. The highlight of visiting this for me was the park that surrounded the museum and watching the children at play.

I also visited the Cathedrale Orthodoxe Russe St-Nicolas. I would say this is the one site in Nice that I was impressive with. It is the largest Othodoxe church outside of Russia. I did not take any pictures inside but was surprised by how large it appeared from the outside and how small it felt from the inside. It is also set close to some large apartment buildings so unless I was looking for it I would have never seen it.

I think this has been a very negative post and honestly I had reservations about the French Riviera prior to going. I thought the city would be beautiful with gorgeous white sand beaches but filled with rich people that are rude and arrogant. My expectations of Nice and the French Rivera were complete wrong.

I encounter very helpful and extremely friendly people with the exception of one pissed off bus driver. I had a few problems with finding a bus stop and even when I encountered people that did not speak any English they went out of their way to try and help. France is full of magic as in my first post on this trip and I did not have a single problem with getting service in a store, bar or restaurant and the people were delightful.

I was surprised by all of the people begging and other than Monaco and St Paul de Vence I was asked for money in every place I went. It is a real contrast to see million dollar yachts with no one on board and what appears to be homeless people all over.

I enjoyed getting close to the water and the promenades were wonderful when the sun was out. I enjoyed sitting on the promenade in Nice watching the skaters, bikers and just people in general going past. I did not see a lot of white sand beaches but most seemed to be made up of small rocks.

If it was sunny and warm my feeling on Nice may have been completely different but it is not high on the place that I have visited.

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