Sunday, September 28, 2014
28.09.2014 - 29.09.2014
Slept ‘til 7:30 this morning and ate a very nice breakfast at the hotel. We took the bus to the Magnan stop and started a search for the Nice Beaux Arts Museum. A kind gentleman pointed us to a set of stairs and we climbed up to discover more stairs. We continued climbing and arrived at the Beaux Arts to discover it’s free. Hooray! The first painting you see is a very small, dark Delacroix. The current exhibit by Jules-Henri Lengrand seemed odd until I read it was “exploring worlds on the frontiers of reality with Genesis and the Apocalypse in colorful abstract works;” then it made more sense. In the permanent collection, they have a Fragonard, several Boudins, a Corot and a couple Rodin sculptures and a really cute museum cat. The velvet settee covered with cat hair not so cute . . . Normally, I'm not too excited by Fragonard, but his portrait of an old man is wonderful and full of character. There was a marble statue of a woman that was her veiled head. Hard to imagine a veil sculpted in marble, but "Femme voilée" or "Le silence" a sculpture by Luigi Guglielmi is exactly that. Amazing!
We passed famous beaches and finally found a shady seat near Blue Beach near the famous Hotel Negresco. We started to notice people in red tee shirts clearing crosswalks and generally acting “in charge” so we watched more carefully. Soon we noticed a strange, very clear diagonal wave approaching the shore. I zoomed in with my camera and it was a long row of swimmers headed our way. That stopped and soon a swish of bicycles swooped past in the street behind us. They went round and round and people started cheering them on. By this time we had managed to read a red tee shirt and discovered it was the Nice Triathlon. Fun, and we had front-row seats. We didn't see the runners until we walked along the shore toward Old Town and got around the awards stand and triathlon sponsor tents. As we crossed the street, the runners came zooming past.
We were originally looking for lunch so started again for Old Town with bikes zooming past every few minutes. We continued on through a triathlon sports boutique and the awards stage with very loud music. Finally escaped the fences at the Théatre de Verdure and crossed the street walking into Vieux Nice and along Cours Saleya until we found lunch at Ds Délices near the end. We wanted a sandwich and on Sunday at noon that’s difficult but they had a focaccia poulet that served the purpose. I got a really good iced coffee with mine and Ed tried a French beer that he liked. It came with a salad so our “light” lunch was quite substantial. [Ds délices, 16 Cours Saleya, 06300 Nice; tel: +33(0)4 8914-5803; e-mail: email@example.com<firstname.lastname@example.org>; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ds-d%C3%A9lices/103347479767455]
After lunch we started walking again and ended up at the bottom of a huge stairway to the château. No more stairs! We walked back down to Pl. Rossetti and looked for ice cream. Ended up at Gelateria Azzurro that bills itself as the second best glacier in France. We decided to try it and they are good! We loved it. We started thinking you can't get bad gelato in Nice. That seems to make sense since it is so close to Italy . . .
The adventure began. We walked to the Promenade du Paillon and down ave. Felix Fauré to our bus stop on rue Gubernatis. There was another bus there so we asked the driver if he went to the Promenade/Airport stop. He said, no, we’d have to take the #98 bus from Place Massena. We asked about our #52 bus and he said it wasn’t running on Sunday. I pointed out that the #98 bus was très cher and he said 5 euros. I corrected him to the current 6 euros and he agreed. We went back to the schedule post to try to figure it out and he finally came over and told us we could walk a few blocks to another stop and get the #23 bus to the airport. He gave us careful directions and we set out. Found the stop but #23 wasn’t listed so Ed asked another driver and he said the #23 would arrive. We waited and suddenly our #52 bus appeared. Joyfully, we hopped on and decided the bus drivers didn’t know much more than their own routes. The street was still closed from the now-completed Triathlon. However, the buses were driving around it if you knew where to find them . . . or, in our case, were lucky.
Arrived safely and are repacking for the flight ordeal tomorrow. The trip is great fun; the getting there is not. Flying used to be a very special experience. These days it is certainly special, but not necessarily in a good way. It is fast . . .