Like for many of you, “blue ” is my favorite color (or colour as they spell it “correctly” in the UK), and along the Côte d’Azur the blue Mediterranean offers a spectacular variety of blues. But as often happens with the beauties of nature, it can turn into a somber grey melancholy, when the mistral blows from the north-north west over the French massif central; a dry cool wind, often during sunny weather but sometimes accompanied by grayish clouds spraying fresh snow over the Alpes maritimes. It blows mostly during the winter and spring and it did so when we were landing at Nice Côte d’Azur airport in late May. From the aircraft, patches of fresh snow on the mountains were clearly visible on our approach and the pilot had his hands full keeping the aircraft steady when touching down.
Nice is a splendid city where the Romans already settled some 145 years B.C. The remnants of the Roman Empire are still visible in Cimiez, an eastern part of the city of Nice. It is located on a hill overlooking the city where I was going to stay with friends in their villa. From their balcony, one enjoys a magnificent view of the city and the Mediterranean in all its vibrant blues that take on different shades as the day moves on. In the far distance, you notice the “Citadel”, a hill near Old Town, displaying the ruins of a cathedral built in the middle ages, and spectacular views of the sea and Old Town, on which in a later blog.
As the mistral was blowing, the Mediterranean took on its grayish hue. How different the next morning when the mistral turned more graceful and died down for a while.
At the far end, the ferry is leaving for the Island of Corsica. A five-hour trip we will make next time when we hopefully visit here.
Near the villa is a Franciscan Museum that adjoins a wonderful rose garden where parents and children dwell after leaving a nearby school.
The abundance of wonderful roses is a delight for the visitor and a peaceful remembrance of the serene beauty of Nice’s flora and fauna.
The garden also offers a wonderful view of the Mediterranean. Locals walk here as if it is a daily gift they got accustomed to, but for a newcomer the view is a divine example of the preciousness wealth of Mother Earth.
The villa is a pleasant gated building secluded from the noisy world buzzing down the Cimiez hill.
One side displays an impressive bougainville in full bloom.
The middle of the garden features a swimming pool with no takers because of the cool wind, giving an enterprising seagull an opportunity to take a bath and fly away happily refreshed.
In our next blog we will show some pictures of Nice’s medieval Old Town.