July 14, Bastille Day, is like Independence Day in the US. Nice is my third city in Europe, after Amsterdam and Paris, although many times I consider it my first because of its splendid surroundings inhabited by the more friendly southern French and its lovely climate. Now, my friends there are mourning after a cruel terrorist act. How many times have I strolled along the Promenade des Anglais, so named after British engineers who built it in the nineteenth century out of gratitude for the many Brits who came to escape their dreary cold and drizzling winters?
How many more such terrorist attacks have to happen before Europe and the US take decisive action to eradicate radical Islam? Islam itself will not do it. It is intrinsically weak, full of fear of reprisals at home, and philosophically and religiously strongly divided. How long did it take for Europe to defy Hitler? Only after he invaded Poland when he had already overrun Austria and Czechoslovakia. It took two years, and a number of its ships torpedoed by Nazi submarines, and Pearl Harbour, that made America finally join the war in Europe.
How long will it take before our current leaders take decisive action? More talk, speeches and nothing doing? Erasing François Hollande’s mentioning of radical Islam in the White House?
How many more innocent people leading a quiet and pleasant life and enjoying the fruits of Europe’s prosperity will have to be torn to pieces by the cruel medieval outcry of Allahu Akbar? How long will it take our current leaders to agree that the root of the cancer must be exterminated with a full-blown counter-attack where it really hurts? Why not now? A battle here and there in Iraq will not solve the problem. The cancer has already spread dangerously inside Europe and the US. Containment has only made it worse.
Nice will hurt for a long time. Its promenade is a joyful walk now draped in blood, black and tears. It will not be the same anymore. Until the evildoers are silenced for good. And that requires the guts that so far has been totally lacking in the US and Europe.
Let’s vote people to power that will act. I trust France will lead but it cannot do so alone.
Vive la France! Vive Nice!
Many have visited the famous hilltop in Nice, which for centuries served (from the eleventh to the eighteenth century) as a fortified castle to battle those who wanted to make Nice a place of their own. A rock of about 300 yards (or 900 feet) high, it once featured a cathedral and settlements. All this was destroyed by Louis XIV in 1706 with enormous guns as part of the never ending local quarrels in Europe. Now, you can only admire the ruins (which look like all ruins.) But the stiff walk uphill is most rewarding for the spectacular views of the town and the Mediterranean, as shown below.
Halfway you find a Christian cemetery (above) and a Jewish cemetery (below), separate from each other.
The ruins on top are not very representative of what the Citadel’s cathedral once was but they indicate its ancestry.
Other worthwhile treasures are remnants of the Roman Empire (below)
And, of course, the mutual admiration of each others’ dogs.
A view of Nice’s environment makes you jealous of its many variations when you are back home with only flat boring streets.
Turning to the seaside of the hill, visitors are offered magnificent sights of the Mediterranean and the port of Nice.
Buddhist monks are among the tourists.
Nice’s War Memorial at the bottom of the Citadel.
Next time: Memory Lane of the Riviera.