Saturday 20th September – a bit like swimming at Kaiaua

Up early so we could breakfast and make our way to join a walking tour. It was about 3 hours long and it’s a great way to see an area for a relatively good price and the guide in this case was really interesting. This is the approximately 7km coastline that runs to the airport at the end of the curve far left. It’s all pebbly and kind’ve hard on the feet if you want to swim, and back if you’re sunbathing. A bit like swimming and sunbathing at Kaiaua if you know it!

This is a monument to commemorate the coming together of the seven or so areas that came with Nice back under French rule in about 1860. Nice had see sawed between Italy and France but Italy said France could have it back as long as the French helped Italy get rid of the Austrians so they could get all of Italy into one. So they asked Nice to vote if they wanted to go back to France, tho just quietly they were going back anyway cause it was pretty much agreed, and everyone lived happy ever after. Well no they didn’t but for a little bit anyway….I had noticed when we trained in there was the two languages on all the signs and no clear division with building styles etc and of course there’s your reason.

If it looks like some steel shafts propped together to you, you’d be right tho lit up at night it looks rather spectacular. The building directly behind these steel shafts is interesting because the front side (to the right of the shafts) is as normal, but the side on the left of the shaft is tromp l’oeil. Bet you wouldn’t have picked that!

Looking through the middle of this next picture is the town square. You will see Apollo facing in, and in the distance, the hills and mountains. In fact you can reach the mountains in just 45 minutes. You can be skiing in the morning and swimming in the afternoon on a good day which is pretty cool if wanted to do that. Something that was far more interesting to me than that, is that when Nice grew into a popular tourist spot it wasn’t about that beach or the water at all. The French Riviera was more about the distance and a place for the rich and famous to get away from their stuffy winter abodes. Drs recommended a break away for weeks at a time to avoid more serious winters where there were all sorts of bugs flying around amid poor sanitation and nasty sickness’. To be down by the water served no purpose and it would have been scandalous to think about baring your body to swim so fancy hotels and homes were built way back within the old walled city and even as they spread right down to the waterfront they maintained their beautiful entrances facing the hills. The doors facing the water would be staff entrances or back doors. Many hotels remain like this today. In fact many hotels back then would close for the summer and only be open Autumn to Spring. Isn’t that funny?

This is a typical back street in the old town in typical Italian colours. This is a larger area but many we walked trough are narrow streets where buildings have grown up over time.

We also visited a small church that was started in 1700s and was run by a brotherhood. It was one of eleven different ones set up of which just four are still in existence. It was more about helping others in God’s name so the brothers wore hoods that hung low over their foreheads and even a mask at times. It was important that the people they helped didn’t ‘see’ the man as the helper, but to thank God for what they had received. We also visited the Jesuit church which was built during the Baroque times with all the excesses of then. Several alters and high ceilings heavily decorated. It was beautiful and quite a number were praying or lighting candles.

So that was the morning. We headed to the beach for the afternoon.

Au Revoir everyone!

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