Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nice in Nice

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Right after our visit from my in-laws my husband had a business trip to Nice.  Not wanting to miss the opportunity to visit one of the most popular tourist destinations, I did my best to tag along.  I took a different flight to save a little money and had to leave earlier in the day and arrived before him in Nice.  I was pretty nervous about getting into Frankfurt by train on my own but I managed fine.

The flights were easy as well though I was a bit confused when changing planes in Geneva because we had to go back through all of the security again.  Landing so close to the water was also exciting.  I took the bus into town and was blown away by how hot it was!  When I (finally) found the hotel and checked in I got changed and opened the big window-doors onto the balcony and relaxed until Brice arrived.  We met his group of co-workers for dinner and walked to a nearby restaurant that looked good.  The dinner was long and went very late so we were both exhausted when we got back that night.

I got to sleep late in the morning, but my husband headed off to his conference.  After a nice late breakfast at the hotel I headed out on my own.  I did the Rick Steves walking tour and explored the Old Town.  There were street markets and dozens and dozens of interesting little shops and I was able to find two napkin rings.  I also came across one of the most impressive gelato shops ever--Fenocchio, which had 86 flavors from traditional to weird things like cactus and lavender.  It was so busy and had so many flavors though that samples were not allowed.  I got a delicious cone with two flavors (can't remember which now) and continued on my way.

On Sunday I found my way to the Matisse museum and then enjoyed a lovely park nearby filled with families.  I just sat on a bench and read for a bit while watching children play on a scooter up and down the path.  I walked just up the hill to a monastery and spent a few minutes there before my husband called and asked if I would meet him at the modern art museum.  I wasn't sure if I could get there in time since he only had his lunch hour, but took a bus and walked quickly.  We definitely saw some interesting pieces--lots of recycled materials and a couple pieces that were right out of my nightmares.  We parted ways and I walked over to the Old Town for more exploring and, of course, gelato.  I also found some bracelets I liked and bought and some sandals I tried on but didn't fit.  I wanted to hug the salesman because he admitted that none of the styles fit well and didn't try to push me.  Long skinny feet...I returned to the conference center and read outside while I waited for Brice.  He knew right away that I had had more gelato because I'd had chocolate and was wearing the evidence :-)  We went back to the hotel together and had a nap before going out to dinner just the two of us.  We were hoping to go to a Rick Steves recommended restaurant--Le Bistrot du Fromager's where the base of every dish is cheese (does this sound like me or what?), but it was closed.  We found another spot for pizza and decided we try the next night.

The tan building in the middle is the conference center
It didn't look like Brice was going to be able to join me at the famous Chagall museum so I finally went on my own.  The admission came with an audio guide that was wonderful and really made the experience.  These were pieces with very vivid color and all depictions from the Old Testament (Chagall was Jewish) and it included a room of paintings depicting Song of Songs.  I also explored the Hotel Negresco and the Massena Museum.  It was one hot day though and I couldn't wait to find air conditioning again.  In the afternoon I walked up to Castle Hill while my husband took a nap.  This hill has no castle, but it is beautifully landscaped and provides the best views of the city.  I was able to see the Russian Cathedral (far from other sites and not free so I didn't make it there) and the Acropolis conference centre where my husband had been working.

On the last morning I planned to come to the conference to see what my husband had been up to.  I went to breakfast earlier than I had before and ended up being joined by his colleague.  We checked out together as well and then I commuted to the conference centre with her.  I got to look at all of the displays and studies and found a few interesting since a couple of them were about Lupus.  I had an early lunch of quiche lorraine at a bakery and then returned to the Old Town again and of course, got one last gelato.  I tried to be brave and got tomato basil as one of my flavors.  Thankfully I was smart enough to make sure it was the flavor on top so I could get rid of it quickly if I didn't like it--and I didn't.  I tipped it into the trash and continued with rose, which wasn't great but it was better.  Oh well--at least I was brave.  I walked back to the hotel and changed to be more comfortable for a bit of time on the beach.  The beaches in Nice are rock beaches so you have to have shoes and you have to have a chair.  I just stood most of the time and waded in the water because an investment in the shoes and chair were just too much.  I met a couple from PA as well and chatted with them for a minute or two as they were just arriving.  I met Brice back at the hotel and we had lunch together at a cafe nearby--grilled cheese sandwiches made with brie--very French.  I rode to the airport with the group since my flight was only about 15 minutes earlier.  The trip home was uneventful and one of the only times I was on a flight that wasn't full.  I changed planes in Zurich and then had to take the train back to Marburg on my own.  My husband was relieved when I arrived home late on my own.


I didn't have a lot of great pictures from the trip, but it was very relaxing.  Just remember to buy your shoes and chair if you want to enjoy the beach in Nice!

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