10 September, 2011

Nice Journal - Autumn 2011 - 5

Saturday, 10th September, 2011

Yet another bright, sunny and very warm morning! Following our usual routine, we left at 11:45 and took the tram down as far as Opéra from where we walked through the Cours Saleya and round to Foresta via Quai des Etats-Unis and Quai Rauba Capeau. We talked Perry through changing the battery in his camera and inserting and removing the memory card. Perry proposed that we lunch at the "ex-Bliss" on Quai Rauba Capeau before taking a taxi to the Musée Matisse.

What used to the the Bliss is now known as "Leo's" and looks much more modern and "young". The food was good, though, although I don't think I made the best choice in opting for the risotto with mushrooms and truffles. Lisa had a Salade Niçoise and Perry a tomato and mozzarella salad which they both reported to be very good. Lisa and I had crème brûlée for dessert while Perry went for the tarte tatin. Very nice coffee to finish with.

As planned, Perry called for a taxi which took us up the hill to Cimiez and the Musée Matisse. As we walked over to the villa which houses the museum we passed a quintessential French scene of several games of boules in progress under the trees. The museum itself proved to be a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar exhibits which was well worth seeing. After the museum, we walked past the remains of the Roman arena, over to the nearby cemetery to visit the tomb of Matisse which is located in a peaceful, secluded garden away from the main burial ground.

We waited for a long time at the bus stop by the cemetery. Tour buses came and went and we saw a 1950s American Ford Custom sedan being used as a wedding car but no No. 17 bus came by. After an hour we walked a short way down the street to the next road where there were stops for other services and soon caught a bus into the city centre from there. We all alighted together at Avenue Jean Médecin and we saw Perry onto his bus to the port before walking down to Place Masséna for a beer.

We watched a succession of utterly crammed full trams heading towards the port where there was to be a festival tonight. After a while we walked on into the Cours Saleya and Les Ponchettes followed by pizza at La Storia. Lisa had a Cannibale and I had another very meaty one called a Pinocchio. We shared a bottle of Chianti with the pizzas. Towards the end of the meal, Lisa was talked into buying a wooden elephant figure by a Senegalese street trader; she did at least talk him into letting her have it for €10 rather than the €35 he initially asked for.

We walked back to the Opéra tram stop and were treated to a blast from Verdi's Aida as we passed the opera house. Once back at the apartment, we opened all the windows and balcony doors to help cool the place down a bit. At one point we could see and hear the fireworks from the festival at a the port.

I turned in fairly early and Lisa came to bed a little later but she could not sleep as her cold was feeling much worse when she lay down. Eventually, Lisa took her bedding through into the sitting room so that she could lie propped up on the sofa there. That way she did at least get a few hours' sleep.

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