Wednesday, June 4, 2014

France and Germany… a send off from the Army-- Part 8

After a good breakfast at the Star Hotel, Bill and I set out to see Nice.  Although it had been almost 17 years since my last visit, I basically remembered where to go to get to the beach.  The aroma of salty air always excites me, but I had completely forgotten just how insanely blue the Mediterranean Sea is near Nice.


A sign in our hotel room…

Nice is much bigger than I remembered it.  I think the last time I went there, I didn't get out and see much.  I was with two friends who are now a married couple and I think I felt a bit like a third wheel.  This time, I was with my beloved Bill.  We made our way downtown, passing a park where a Middle Eastern man appeared to be giving a very animated lecture to another man.  I have no idea what they were discussing, but it was obviously important business, given how the man was carrying on.




The park...

We crossed the park and I spotted some steps that seemed to lead down to some close knit alleys.  We went down and started walking…  I'm glad we went that way, since it took us through some charming plazas and past a beautiful cathedral that was being extensively restored.  We went inside, enjoyed the ornate decor and listened to the peaceful music that was piped in.  It was easy to ignore all the scaffolding in the middle of the cathedral.  The rest of the church was so pretty.





Charming Nice…








After we left the cathedral, I smelled rotisserie chicken roasting on a spit and heard some more modern sounds, probably Michael Jackson's "Love Never Felt So Good", which I heard a few times during this trip.  We meandered through the maze of neighborhoods until we were spit out near a farmer's market that was right next to Nice's "boardwalk".



Farmer's market...



Near the beach!

I went down on the public beach, which has pebbles and rocks rather than sand.  A lot of people were sunbathing and there were a few bums that appeared to be sleeping on the rocks.  A couple of brave souls were swimming, though it wasn't very hot outside and the water, while not freezing, was kind of cold.  I would have liked to have gone swimming, but I doubt Bill would have been up for it.




We decided to take a VERY long walk instead.  We walked along the beach, then up a hill that curled around to a World War II memorial.  We kept walking down to the harbor area, where luxurious and simple watercraft shared space.  We passed people walking their dogs and people repairing their boats…  we saw a cruise ship or two and the air, once again, was perfumed by brilliant flowers.  This time, they were bright purple.  I was kind of wistful as we passed the dock and I saw one of the Windstar ships there.  We're due for another cruise at some point.


World War II memorial

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was lunchtime and we figured we walked about nine miles.  I got a lot of great pictures of the dramatic scenery near the shore.  We watched people fish and snorkel and listened to people talk… In all, we figured we walked about nine miles.

We enjoyed a late lunch at a fish place I happened to find a couple of blocks away from our hotel.  They were serving paella and tuna as specials.  I ordered us a carafe of sauvignon blanc and some water and we enjoyed a thoroughly delicious meal.  Afterwards, we went to a nearby mall for some ice cream because I had a terrible craving for it.  After lunch, we went back to the hotel, where I fell asleep.  I did a lot of napping on this trip!  Bill did school work while I snoozed and recovered from our nine mile hike, which totally wore me out.




Lunch and dessert...

Instead of going out to dinner, we stayed in the hotel room and ate cold cuts, bread, chocolate and guacamole from the local supermarket.  Of course, we washed it down with water and a nice red wine.  I would have liked to have spent another day in Nice.  We probably could have done it, but we were running out of cash for train tickets and needed to think about getting back to Germany so we could get a flight home.  I briefly considered trying to get something out of Aviano, which is a base in Italy not far from Venice.  It would have been closer to get there by train and we love Italy.  But Aviano's schedules weren't very predictable and we managed to find an inexpensive flight to Frankfurt, courtesy of Air Berlin's subsidiary, the Austrian airline Niki.  More on that in the next post.










Ferry to Sardinia!




You can rent electric cars in Nice...













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