A Travellerspoint blog

July 2018

Nice is the perfect base for exploring the French Riviera

I first visited Nice with Sandy and Tim in 1990 on my first trip to Europe; back then I had to eat every meal at McDonalds

I first visited Nice with Sandy and Tim in 1990 on my first trip to Europe; back then I had to eat every meal at McDonalds

I don't know how we navigated Europe in 1990 before google maps; it's invaluable to have train and bus schedules on my phone

I don't know how we navigated Europe in 1990 before google maps; it's invaluable to have train and bus schedules on my phone

Strolling the English Promenade is the most popular activity in Nice; the seaside walk is the number one attraction here on TripAdvisor

Strolling the English Promenade is the most popular activity in Nice; the seaside walk is the number one attraction here on TripAdvisor

The old town of Nice is a maze of alleys; you still need to be careful walking since many people here have dogs and not all clean up after them

The old town of Nice is a maze of alleys; you still need to be careful walking since many people here have dogs and not all clean up after them

The Cathedral Sainte-Reparate was built in the middle of the 17th century and is the most beautiful church in Nice

The Cathedral Sainte-Reparate was built in the middle of the 17th century and is the most beautiful church in Nice

Place Garibaldi, built in the late 1700s, is a gorgeous and popular meeting place; the fountain is Apollo, the Greek Sun God

Place Garibaldi, built in the late 1700s, is a gorgeous and popular meeting place; the fountain is Apollo, the Greek Sun God

Loved these street performers doing yoga poses; you can get an all day transit pass for 5 euros that covers all local buses and trams

Loved these street performers doing yoga poses; you can get an all day transit pass for 5 euros that covers all local buses and trams

Place Massena, designed in Italian-style, is the main square in town and home to many concerts and special events

Place Massena, designed in Italian-style, is the main square in town and home to many concerts and special events

I enjoyed the many public artworks around Nice; the city is much cleaner and more tourist friendly than Marseilles

I enjoyed the many public artworks around Nice; the city is much cleaner and more tourist friendly than Marseilles

Despite being a large city, Nice has a neighborhood feel since most people walk everywhere; every neighborhood has all the shops you need and people seem to know each other

Despite being a large city, Nice has a neighborhood feel since most people walk everywhere; every neighborhood has all the shops you need and people seem to know each other

1885 Opera de Nice faces the Mediterranean and the American Promenade; the opera has had trouble in recent decades attracting patrons

1885 Opera de Nice faces the Mediterranean and the American Promenade; the opera has had trouble in recent decades attracting patrons

The cemetery de chateau was founded in 1783 on Castle Hill where some of Nice's most famous people lie buried; the cemetery is popular for its amazing views

The cemetery de chateau was founded in 1783 on Castle Hill where some of Nice's most famous people lie buried; the cemetery is popular for its amazing views

With three long flights to reach Nice, I had plenty of time to finish this book; my connections in Toronto and Frankfurt were short, almost too short

With three long flights to reach Nice, I had plenty of time to finish this book; my connections in Toronto and Frankfurt were short, almost too short

Designed in the late 18th century, Place Garibaldi is bordered by stately Baroque buildings and a convenient tram stop

Designed in the late 18th century, Place Garibaldi is bordered by stately Baroque buildings and a convenient tram stop

View from Castle Hill; Castle Hill was the first area of Nice to be inhabited by the Greeks 2000 years ago

View from Castle Hill; Castle Hill was the first area of Nice to be inhabited by the Greeks 2000 years ago

The Monument aux Morts was erected in 1919 to honor those lost in World War I; the memorial is built into Castle Hill and faces the sea

The Monument aux Morts was erected in 1919 to honor those lost in World War I; the memorial is built into Castle Hill and faces the sea

A city with a daily, morning flower market has to be a winner; it's unusual to find a town that actually smells good

A city with a daily, morning flower market has to be a winner; it's unusual to find a town that actually smells good

I've loved jacaranda trees ever since seeing them on the UCLA campus

I've loved jacaranda trees ever since seeing them on the UCLA campus

Lots of posh yachts; many more locals are wearing shorts and t-shirts than when I visited in 1990

Lots of posh yachts; many more locals are wearing shorts and t-shirts than when I visited in 1990

The Notre Dame Church of Nice, opened in 1848, is the largest church in the city

The Notre Dame Church of Nice, opened in 1848, is the largest church in the city

The Nice light rail system is efficient and pristine; you can use the same ticket for buses

The Nice light rail system is efficient and pristine; you can use the same ticket for buses

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are ongoing train strikes with only one train per hour from Nice to Monaco; tens of thousands commute there every day and the train was packed so that not one more person could get on

On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are ongoing train strikes with only one train per hour from Nice to Monaco; tens of thousands commute there every day and the train was packed so that not one more person could get on

Built in 1912, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches outside of Russia

Built in 1912, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral is considered one of the most beautiful Orthodox churches outside of Russia

Red, white and blue lighting accent waterworks on the Promenade du Paillon; haven't seen many people I thought looked like migrants or refugees

Red, white and blue lighting accent waterworks on the Promenade du Paillon; haven't seen many people I thought looked like migrants or refugees

The Musee des Beaux Arts has excellent 17th and 18th century French paintings

The Musee des Beaux Arts has excellent 17th and 18th century French paintings

Statue at 1912 Negresco hotel; the hotel was used to triage victims of the 2016 terrorist attack in which 86 people died

Statue at 1912 Negresco hotel; the hotel was used to triage victims of the 2016 terrorist attack in which 86 people died

Musee Massena is the most luxurious villa along the sea promenade; now a museum, it features antique furnishings, artwork and personal effects from the Massena family

Musee Massena is the most luxurious villa along the sea promenade; now a museum, it features antique furnishings, artwork and personal effects from the Massena family

Notre Dame Church at Cimiez Monastery; Henri Matisse is buried in the church cemetery

Notre Dame Church at Cimiez Monastery; Henri Matisse is buried in the church cemetery

The extraordinary interior of the 15th century Notre Dame Church at Cimiez; have not seen many tourists while in Nice

The extraordinary interior of the 15th century Notre Dame Church at Cimiez; have not seen many tourists while in Nice

The Matisse Museum is housed in a Genoese villa but was closed during my visit preparing for a new exhibit; Matisse lived in Nice from 1918 to 1954

The Matisse Museum is housed in a Genoese villa but was closed during my visit preparing for a new exhibit; Matisse lived in Nice from 1918 to 1954

It would be cool to see some of the pros competing in Ironman France; the run course is a scenic four loop route along the sea promenade

It would be cool to see some of the pros competing in Ironman France; the run course is a scenic four loop route along the sea promenade

Cimiez Monastery was founded in the 9th century; it houses a religious museum but all of the explanations were only in French

Cimiez Monastery was founded in the 9th century; it houses a religious museum but all of the explanations were only in French

Europeans call these shingle beaches meaning they are made of large pebbles and no sand; unless you can find a large enough rock they are not very comfortable

Europeans call these shingle beaches meaning they are made of large pebbles and no sand; unless you can find a large enough rock they are not very comfortable

The Museum of Modern Art, with facades covered in Carrara marble, opened in 1990; it's one of the major bus stops that I visited often

The Museum of Modern Art, with facades covered in Carrara marble, opened in 1990; it's one of the major bus stops that I visited often

The Musee Chagall houses the most important exhibition of Chagall's works in the world

The Musee Chagall houses the most important exhibition of Chagall's works in the world

Renoir had a studio here from 1911 to 1919; Elton John owned a villa here; Gilles Simon and Alize Cornet are both from Nice

Renoir had a studio here from 1911 to 1919; Elton John owned a villa here; Gilles Simon and Alize Cornet are both from Nice

Cemelenum Amphitheater; the Romans thrived on Cimiez hill from the first to the fourth centuries in a settlement roughly the size of Pompeii

Cemelenum Amphitheater; the Romans thrived on Cimiez hill from the first to the fourth centuries in a settlement roughly the size of Pompeii

The pastel colors age so well; rather than looking shabby, old buildings painted in pastel colors create an atmosphere of elegance

The pastel colors age so well; rather than looking shabby, old buildings painted in pastel colors create an atmosphere of elegance

This is truly dining on the water; Nice is the fifth most populous city in France with more than a million people in the metro area

This is truly dining on the water; Nice is the fifth most populous city in France with more than a million people in the metro area

1853 Neoclassical Notre Dame Church of the Port overlooking, of course, the port of Nice

1853 Neoclassical Notre Dame Church of the Port overlooking, of course, the port of Nice

Nice sister cities include Houston, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Sorrento, Cartagena, Phuket, Gdansk and Rio

Nice sister cities include Houston, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Sorrento, Cartagena, Phuket, Gdansk and Rio

Castle Hill; I witnessed transit police checking bus tickets several times; they almost always found people riding without a ticket who then had to pay a hefty fine

Castle Hill; I witnessed transit police checking bus tickets several times; they almost always found people riding without a ticket who then had to pay a hefty fine

Even though the Nice port is quite busy, it's also very photogenic; Castle Hill, above the port, is where the city was first established

Even though the Nice port is quite busy, it's also very photogenic; Castle Hill, above the port, is where the city was first established

The attractive Nice port is a traffic nightmare when ferries are arriving/departing; the roads in and out are just 2 lanes with lots of traffic lights

The attractive Nice port is a traffic nightmare when ferries are arriving/departing; the roads in and out are just 2 lanes with lots of traffic lights

Using frequent flyer miles I could get to Nice, but not to Corsica; the ferry from Nice to Bastia, Corsica takes 5 hours

Using frequent flyer miles I could get to Nice, but not to Corsica; the ferry from Nice to Bastia, Corsica takes 5 hours

Posted by VagabondCowboy 10:26 Comments (0)

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