Monday, November 06, 2006

Nice is nice

Alpes MaritimeJust spent a few days visiting my friend in Nice. It's still pretty warm out there, especially in the sun. Managed to fit in quite a lot of activities whilst there including a good deal of walking. Was chatting to my parents on my return yesterday, but they thought I'd been to Greece, not Nice, obviously some confusion!
So Nice really is nice, depite the upheval caused by the construction of some tram lines, the old town and market are pleasant to walk around. We also went to a nearby village, eze sur la mer, where we then climbed up the mountainside to the village of Eze, secluded atop the mountain with vast views across the sea. Being a sunny day we could see some bulges on the horizon which were quite probably the mountains of Corsica. In the afternoon we had a look around a museum dedicated to the biblical works of Marc Chagall, which I'd highly recommend, he has a very distinct style and there's some examples on flickr. Unfortunately the pics of the stained glass work did not come out. In the evening we went to the cinema and as Scoop was the only english film available that was not dubbed we settled for that. King David by ChagallIt was actually not too bad, though it was clear that a lot of the audience were woody alan fans as there were cheers when he appeared on the screen. You won't be surprised to find that he plays a bumbling neurotic character. Nevertheless there are the odd humourous moments, harmless fun. On the friday we took a train out to Saorge, a beautiful journey on a recently reconstructed track following an old important line bringing rocks, cement and salt. There are a number of villages dotted along this line, they are all built into the mountain side, high above the valley bottom. They really look incredible, and a feat of engineering, but I wonder how precarious some of the older buildings now are as they hover over these long drops. C has done many walks in the area, so we walked onto the other side of the valley to which she has previously walked. The paths are well marked with regular yellow rectangles to ensure that we are going in the correct direction. It was quite a challenging walk as we climbed up to 1300m above sea level, the views were incredible, seeing the border with Italy, the sea in the distance, and many more magnificent Alpine mountains. I do enjoy a good walk, though on the decent I realised that my wallet was no longer in my pocket. After first thinking that it had fallen out at the summit when we sat down to eat lunch, I decided it was more probable that it had fallen out in the train. At the end of the walk, we still had a couple of hours so we walked up to the village of Saorge, one of these mountain hugging villages. It was surprisingly large, with maze like narrow streets, quite picturesque. There was a wonderful shop selling cakes and nougart and a variety of incredibly tasty honey, sourced from various areas in the region. What an incredible array of flavours dependant upon the pollen used from the delicate acacia honey to the dark and nutty horsechesnut.I purchased a pot of high alpine honey with it's incredibly sweet taste and myriad of flavours. Fortunately someone had handed my wallet in to the lost property and we were able to retrieve it the following day, alas (that is probably the first time I've ever used that word, though I don't believe I've ever used it in conversation, or indeed ever heard it thus!) there was no longer any cash in it. On the flight back I got some good views of the alps with the moon above them. Photos can be found in my flickr set.

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