Carnaval time on the Côte d'Azur and the sun is shining. We couldn't have asked for a better day to visit Nice. Since our day had started with a whirlwind side trip to Monaco, our first order of business is lunch.
We make our way from the Gare de Ville to the Old Town neighborhood. Soon we are munching our sandwiches and paninis on the edge of mer Méditerranée.
The soft spot in my heart has not hardened: This is the very first place I visited in France. The streets here in Vielle Ville are so narrow, it seems as if one could touch finger tips with a neighbor across la rue. Shops, restaurants and galleries occupy many of the ground-level, pastel buildings.
A waterfall flows from Château Hill, as seen from Vieux Nice.
|Nice's shopping district|
If there's any disappointment today, it's that the leisurely stroll that we had anticipated along the Promenade des Anglais is impossible because of the bleachers set up for the Carnaval festivities. Instead, we explore downtown and meet up with an old friend of my sister at Place Garibaldi. The bustling plaza is ringed by buildings with facades painted in trompe-l'œil style: One's eye is "deceived" into thinking there are actually three-dimensional accents such as balconies and sills, where there are none.
Too tired to walk to the gare, we decide to take a trolley, but there are detours due to Carnaval, and the trolley cars are packed. We nearly miss our train back to Saint-Raphaël; good thing the trains don't always run on time.
|Membres de la bande head to the start of the Carnaval parade.|
|Place Garibaldi is notable for its buildings with trompe-l'œil facades.|
|C'est nous encore, bien sûr!|