Thursday, December 01, 2005

Nice, France. Part V

On Monday we left Nice, but not until the evening. Our original plan of getting up early to go swimming was bust… I woke up around 1030/1100 and read for a while until Andy woke up (Alison had class that morning). Flo was supposed to attend class with Alison but he was tired from the long night he’d had the night before and didn’t get out of bed until later in the day… only to then realize that he’d missed the very last class and the review for the final later that week. He was taken aback and freaked out a little, but got over it eventually. After we’d finally gotten around and had a bit of food in us we decided to wander and find the Port… for real this time. After our failed attempt on Sunday to find it that resulted in an excellent walk down the near entirety of the Promenade we had made up our minds to visit the port. We walked purposefully back to the beach, taking our now-familiar route, and when we arrived at the beach decided to take a couple of pictures and walk down toward the rocks at the far east end.
During the walk we finally saw the topless beach that we’d heard so much about. Not an attractive young lady, oh no, but a group of older ladies with their husbands all sitting by the sea wall sunning themselves in Speedos. Not a site to stare at, but definitely one to curve a smile on the ‘ol face. I chuckled to myself and kept walking right up onto these rocks and what seemed to be an old unused path, complete with rusty metal railing and a requirement that to get to part you have to time a short hop over the waves to avoid soggy trainers. We walked around the horn and found a beautiful section of rocks where you could not just hear the waves but feel the power of the sea crashing against the rocks under your feet. There was a couple of Germans (or Austrians) there as well, a mother and young daughter, who wanted me to take their picture (this was decided upon with hand gestures and a kind of half verbal communication).
After sitting around a while in the sun watching the waves we moved on down the rock wall to discover we had to go back if we wanted to get back to the normal pedestrian walk, but first we found a couple of small hollows covered in blankets… shelters that a few homeless people had built by the sea. Not too bad, I would consider it homeless luxury, if there is such a thing. There was even a tent on a flat spot by the wall, very nice locale.

We went back and wandered up into the port marvelling at all of the gigantic ships, the enormous yachts, and even the little teeny boats all parked tight and cosy in the small port of Nice. Andy and I enjoyed the picturesque views (as usual on this trip) and walked around the port, stopping for lunch at a small restaurant and crepe place to have an excellent sandwich with a carafe of water. We headed back around the canal of the port and out onto a long walkway toward the lighthouse that marked the entrance to get some pictures, you know how I am with lighthouses… eventually heading back home to head to the airport. Saying goodbye to Nice was a good thing, I was ready to head home, but it was amazingly beautiful and Andy and I both decided looking down at the illuminated city nestled in the mountains on the French Riviera that we could definitely return for an extended stay, but probably in the summer would be better.

(The Port of Nice)

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