Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mediterranean Cruise day VIII.

5-7-16 NICE, FRANCE: The ship was docked in Monaco before breakfast. We had mostly packed the night before and had our bags out in the hallway before 7AM as did almost everyone else. After breakfast it was get the passports, take pix of Monaco from the ship, check the room for a last time, and get on the busses at 8AM. We took the bus to the Nice Airport, NCE, with those leaving today, checked in for tomorrow’s flight to Frankfort and then taxied to our Hotel in Nice, Marriott Boscolo Exedra.

We were there at 9AM and, of course, the room wasn’t available that early, but we checked in, left the bags, got a map and suggestions for a walk from the concierge and set out to explore Nice. In short, we loved it. I wouldn’t dare say that Nice is nice, but it is.

We walked down hill from the hotel to the sea, exploring the streets and ped malls, saw fountains and parks and the Quai des États-Unis, the Marché aux Fleurs and the old city with lots of sorbet-colored buildings with balconies and decorative architectural features. We saw the rococo opera house and a bunch of churches and lots of Sunday strollers en famille.

After a stop at a patisserie for a slice of quiche and un éclair avec café, we headed up hill to the Chagall Museum. It was a bit of a schlèp, but well worth it.

The museum is in a park-like setting and has a media room as well as several galleries. It may be the largest collection of Chagall’s works anywhere, and, if I understood correctly, the museum was designed by him.

At various times in his career he designed for theatrical and musical performances and the opera. Some of those works are on display on the museum. There are several large canvases depicting Biblical events, mostly Old Testament. His use of color is vivid and dramatic as always and the animals, fish, birds, people, buildings, flowers are scattered about the canvases in chaotic fashion.

When we got back to the hotel, our room was ready just in time for afternoon naps. We woke up later and got to our restaurant, Boccaccio, for a seafood dinner. It might have been the best meal of the trip. Judy had Sole Meunière and I had bream with a tomato-basil-olive oil sauce. Dessert was definitely the biggest Crème Brûlée I ever saw. When they brought it out, my first thought was ‘hockey rink’. I finished about half of it. Judy struggled with four large profiteroles, downing one and a half.

At 5AM the next morning, we left for the airport and the long journey to EWR.

Monaco harbor as we left the ship.

Nice, approaching the old town and beach.

Open air market stretches for blocks,

Quai des États-Unis parallels the beach.

Not much beach activity on this cool, cloudy day.

Rust makes her look like a messy eater.

Market again.

Could there be a fish market nearby? You don't even have to look for it. Sniff.

Up the hill are many beautiful buildings.

Chagall museum has a....

Huge collection.

Hotel lobby.

Best dinner of the trip.

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