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It seems like the sun shines in London for about ten minutes a day, teasing us for a few short moments.  Then the clouds roll in, with perhaps a mist or a short drizzle now and then.  Michael and I thought it would be nice to get away for the weekend to somewhere more likely to be sunny and a bit warmer.  After much discussion and flight schedule consultation, we decided to go to Nice for an extra long weekend.  We ended up with a cold and wet weekend…  But we still had a fun, relaxing time.

Some highlights from our first two days:

After walking through some of the large squares of Nice, the Vieille Ville (the old city), as well as the flower market area, we strolled along the pebbly beach toward the Colline du Château in the distance.

Strolling along the beach in Nice

We decided to climb the hill, where Nice was first settled by the ancient Greeks in the 4th century BC.  On top is a lovely park, including some ruins from a 11th to 12th century Romanesque church, and beautiful views to both sides of the peninsula.

View to Nice beach from Colline du Chateau

View to Nice port from the Colline du Chateau

We walked back to our hotel, the Hotel Windsor, to rest up before heading out to find a restaurant for dinner.  The Hotel Windsor was an interesting place to stay, in a great location.  Many of its rooms have been decorated by artists, so I asked to stay in one of the artist rooms.  We were given a room designed by Jean Le Gac that overlooked the garden.  Later, Michael was reading his mother’s memoirs of her France trips and discovered that his parents stayed in the same hotel in 1997!  Pure coincidence!

 

The weather deteriorated on our second day, so we tried to focus on more indoor pursuits.  We first visited the Hotel Negresco, one of the luxury hotels located along the beach.  We visited the main reception room, which was dominated by an eclectic art collection.

Hotel Negresco, Nice

We then headed to the Cimiez area of Nice and the Marc Chagall Museum, which showcased 12 major paintings featuring Biblical stories, stained glass windows in a concert hall, a large mosaic in the garden, and a special exhibit of works featuring the circus.

Marc Chagall works about Adam and Eve

We then continued uphill to visit the Matisse Museum, which was disappointing, and an archeological museum that had some Roman bath ruins behind it.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t go into the ruins due to the weather.

Roman ruins in Cimiez, Nice

Nearby was a Franciscan monastery with lovely gardens that also provided beautiful views over Nice.  It was a little hard to appreciate fully in the pouring rain.

Franciscan Monastery gardens, Nice

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