31 March, 2011

Nice Journal - Spring 2011 - 9

Thanks to the device, Lisa had a much better night's sleep and awoke on Thursday, 31st March, feeling much refreshed. After I had made coffee as usual, we passed a very pleasant couple of hours in bed before rising soon after ten. Lisa made us cheese omelettes for breakfast.

We were not due to see Perry today, so we had made plans to take an excursion by ourselves to Antibes to see the Picasso museum there. Consequently we took the tram down to Massèna and walked along Av. Félix Faure looking for the bus stop for the Transport Alpes Maritimes (TAM) service 200 that runs between Cannes and Nice. It was very helpful that a 200 bus was waiting at the stop having just got in from Cannes! We boarded and payed our €1 fare and settled down for the ride to Antibes. I had to keep an eye out all the way to keep track of where we were so that we would know when we'd reached Antibes and the correct stop for our destination. We were successful in this and alighted in Av. Aristide Briand just off the Place du General Charles de Gaulle.

Place du General Charles de Gaulle
Lisa was keen to eat immediately so we sat down at the nearest eatery in the Place. This was the Duplex and we ordered a pizza for Lisa and I chose the fish dish of the day (a brace of petit lotte in a moroccan sauce with rice, broccoli and an unannounced langoustine). We had beer rather than wine and Lisa did not want a dessert so we just had a coffee to finish.

Lunch at the Duplex
Lunch at the Duplex
After a visit to the tourist office (also located in the Place de Gaulle) we set off into the old town to go down to the sea and the Musée Picasso in Chateau Grimaldi next to the Cathedral. The main entrance was not open, so we went around to the rear of the building where a makeshift ticket office had been setup.

Chateau Grimaldi
Chateau Grimaldi

On the ground floor of the Chateau a number of works by other artists are displayed. The was a Nikki de Sante Paulle snake and several other paintings and sculptures of varying merit. On the upper two floors, the emphasis turns more thoroughly to Picasso with an extensive collection of photos by Jacqueline Picasso and, from much earlier (in 1946), by Michel Sima together with drawings, sculpture and ceramics by Picasso himself.

Les Marionettes
Les Marionettes by César
There's a lot to see, packed into a fairly small space, including the room that Picasso used as his atelier during the three months he spent working at the Chateau in 1946. It's quite an intense experience to take in so much fascinating work in such a concentrated fashion. Once we'd completed the circuit and doubled back once or twice we spent a while in the bookshop looking at "paint with Picasso" books for kids and the like. Lisa bought some bookmarks and I bought a copy of the museum catalogue in English and an owl fridge magnet (there were several works depicting owls amongst the Picassos as well as some photos of Picasso with owls in the museum's collection).

Fridge Magnet
Owl by Picasso
Back out in the warm, bright sunshine we spent some time on the terrace behind the museum looking at the sculptured housed there and at the view out over the sea and across to Nice. We both took several photographs at this point of the views, the sculpture, the museum building and each other.

Sculpture outside the Musée Picasso

Eventually we managed to drag ourselves away from this magical spot and headed back up the rue de la Republique towards the Place de Gaulle. We stopped of at a brasserie called "Pimms" for a beer while sitting on the sunshine.

Rue de la Republique
Street scene from Brasserie Pimms

As the sun began to go down we made our way the rest of the way up to the Place, via a detour into a very interestingly-stocked stationery store where Lisa bought another fountain pen and a business card wallet in which she aims to house her collection of restaurant cards.

We did not have long to wait at the temporarily relocated bus stop in Blvd. Dugommier before the 200 bus to Nice came along and a crowd of people crammed into it. Lisa managed to secure seats for the two of us and the bus took us back to Nice to arrive around eight o'clock.

We strolled over to the Phnom Penh takeaway on rue de la Prefecture to get some sushi, noodles and crab/prawn rolls. We took these back to Cessole on the tram for dinner with a bottle of Cheverny (Loire) white wine. The sushi was quite reasonable and the rolls tasty but Lisa reported that the noodles were not very good.

Cheverny 2010
Cheverny 2010

By now it was getting late after a fairly full day so we went to bed. I wore my anti-snoring device again but I woke up at 4am feeling very uncomfortable so I took it out and had a slice of bread with Brie. Some time after settling down again, Lisa elbowed me in the ribs again for snoring so I put the device in again until her alarm went off at seven.

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