A Travellerspoint blog

France

Montpelier, France.

Christmas 2015.

Buskers. - Montpellier

Buskers. - Montpellier

Montpelier.

We flew to Nice in December 2015 and booked our return flight from Barcelona. The train journey from Nice to Barcelona is quite long, so we decided to break it up by finding somewhere on route to stay overnight. Without really knowing anything at all about it, we chose Montpellier. Montpellier is the capital of the Languedoc Roussillon region and the eighth largest city in France. Nearly one third of the population is made of students from the city's universities. The University of Montpellier is one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 1160. It was suppressed during the French Revolution but was later re-established around 1896.

Crucifix, Montpellier. - Montpellier

Crucifix, Montpellier. - Montpellier

We stayed in a hotel just off the Place de la Comédie. We enjoyed exploring this lovely square as well as exploring Montpellier's charming old town with its narrow winding streets. We also visited Saint Peter's Cathedral, the Porte du Peyrou triumphal arch, the Place Royal du Peyrou, the Saint Clément Aqueduct, the Jardine du Champs du Mars and the Antigone District.

Ibis Montpellier Centre Comedie: Comfortable stay.

We just stayed in this hotel for one night. The hotel is very centrally situated between Montpellier's main square Place de la Comedie and the Paragon Shopping Centre. To get to reception, you take the lift down. Check in was efficient. Check out was a bit slow. Our room was clean and comfortable. We were at the back of the hotel, facing a carpark so for such a central hotel it was wonderfully quiet at night. We slept well here. Like all Ibis hotels, the hotel had no fridge or safe. There was a convenient supermarket in Place de la Comedie. The hotel was handy for the train station (about 10 minutes walk) and for shopping and for sightseeing. The old town of Montpellier and the Antigone area are very nearby. We did not eat breakfast at this hotel. The hotel is conveniently located for restaurants. The hotel had free wifi which worked well. Address: Allee Jules Milhau, Immeuble Le Triangle, Montpellier, Languedoc Roussillon.

Our room. - Montpellier

Our room. - Montpellier

The Place de la Comedie.

The Place de la Comedie is the main square of Montpellier. It is home to The Opéra national de Montpellier Languedoc Roussillon. At the center of the square is a fountain called the Three Graces, built by sculptor Étienne d'Antoine in 1790. During our visit this fountain was surrounded by floral tributes to those murdered in Paris by terrorists on November 13th 2015. The square was also home to a Christmas market, an ice- skating rink, many restaurants, hotels, cafes and buskers.

The Place de la Comedie at night. - Montpellier

The Place de la Comedie at night. - Montpellier

Carousel on Place de la Comedie. - Montpellier

Carousel on Place de la Comedie. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

Floral tributes to terrorist victims. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain.

The Three Graces fountain stands outside the front of the Opera House on Place de la Comedie. It was built by sculptor Étienne d'Antoine in 1790. During our visit this fountain was surrounded by floral tributes to those murdered in Paris by terrorists on November 13th 2015. One of the three graces had been blindfolded using a French flag.

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

Tributes by the fountain. - Montpellier

Tributes by the fountain. - Montpellier

Peter in front of The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

Peter in front of The Three Graces Fountain. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou.

The Porte de Peyrou is a large triumphal arch which leads to the Jardin de Peyrou. It was designed by François Dorbay and was completed in 1693. Its reliefs show four major events from the reign of Louis XIV.

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Porte de Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Promenade du Peyrou.

The Promenade du Peyrou is located behind the Arch of Preyou. It is a large garden occupying one of the highest locations in Montpellier and thus has beautiful views over the city. Construction of the Promenade began in 1689. In the centre of the gardens there is an equestrian statue of Louis XIV, the sun king. An old legend states that none of Montpellier's buildings were to be higher than his outstretched arm. A beautiful old water tower the Château d’Eau is also located in this park. It dates from 1768.

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Water Tower in The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Carved face at The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

Carved face at The Promenade du Peyrou. - Montpellier

The Water Tower, Montpellier. - Montpellier

The Water Tower, Montpellier. - Montpellier

Statue of King Louis XIV. - Montpellier

Statue of King Louis XIV. - Montpellier

Aquaduct Saint Clément.

Behind the water tower of the Promenade du Peyrou stretches the seventeenth century Aquaduct Saint Clément which stretches across Montpellier for 800m. At one time it was used to bring water to Montpellier from the St Clément spring 14 km away. The aqueduct used to empty into a water tank near the triumphal arch. From the water tower the water would run downhill to fill fountains and public water points.

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

Aquaduct Saint-Clément

The Saint Clément Aqueduct. - Montpellier

The Saint Clément Aqueduct. - Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint Pierre De Montpellier.

Montpellier Cathedral, also known as The Cathédrale Saint Pierre de Montpellier, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the seat of the Archbishops of Montpellier. The cathedral was badly damaged during the Wars of Religion between Catholics and Protestants in the sixteenth century and was rebuilt in the seventeenth century.

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Cathédrale Saint-Pierre De Montpellier

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

These gardens are not far from the main square Place de la Comedie in Montpellier. They have an ornate pool, statues, a museum, a war memorial and a monument to some of the victims of Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps. Explore during the day. These gardens are not quite so safe after dark.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

The Jardin Du Champs Du Mars.

Antigone.

Antigone is an interesting area of Montpellier. Its unusual neoclassical architecture was designed by Spanish architect, Ricardo Bofill. Antigone is built on the grounds of the Joffre Barracks. It stretches from the Polygon Shopping Centre to the River Lez.

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Antigone. - Montpellier

Montpellier Old Town.

One of the many pleasures of a visit to Montpellier is just to wander aimlessly around the old town enjoying its narrow, winding streets, cafe filled squares and beautiful old buildings. Montpellier is a very underrated city.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

Montpellier Old Town.

The opera house at night. - Montpellier

The opera house at night. - Montpellier

NEM Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant: : Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

While we were in Montpellier, we enjoyed a very pleasant meal in the NEM Saigon Vietnamese restaurant. We had a chicken curry dish and a chicken with ginger dish, plus some bowls of steam rice. Both were very good and very filling. We washed it all down with Chinese and Thai beer Tsing Tao and Singha. Nothing like a bit of international variety. This restaurant is at 4 Rue Vanneau 34ooo Montpellier a side street behind the Place de la Comedie. Address: 4 Rue Vanneau, 34000 Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Tasty Meal In Montpellier.

Posted by irenevt 22:03 Archived in France Comments (2)

Cannes.

Christmas 2015.

sunny

The Hotel de Ville, Cannes. - Cannes

The Hotel de Ville, Cannes. - Cannes

Cannes.

We decided to visit Cannes for the day during our recent holiday to Nice. It is easy to get to by public transport from Nice. The fastest way is to get the train, which takes about thirty minutes. However, we took the number 200 bus which leaves from the Rue Verdun/Albert 1ere bus stop, between the Meridian Hotel and the start of the Promenade du Paillon gardens. There are also several stops along the Promenade des Anglais. This takes around an hour and a half. It costs 1Euro 50 cents.

Cannes began life as a small fishing village. It was later made popular as a winter resort with a mild climate following the visit there of former British Royal Chancellor Lord Brougham in 1834. He subsequently began to popularise the town among royalty, artists and writers. After the Second World War many luxury hotels were built there. In September 1946 Cannes held its first international film festival in the Casino Municipal. This festival is now held every May. Famous historical visitors to Cannes include Guy de Maupassant, JMW Turner, Victor Hugo, Renoir and Picasso. Nowadays Cannes continues to be associated with the rich and famous.

We began our visit to Cannes by looking at its picturesque old town. I especially loved the church. We then walked along its beach, visited its port, its famous film festival hall, where we paused to have our photos taken on the red carpet ­ and its Christmas market. We found it a very pleasant place to visit and explore.

Tour du Masque'

Climbing up to Cannes old town known as Le Suquet, we passed the Tour du Masque also known as the Tour du Mont Chevalier. This twelfth century tower takes its name from the well known Man in the Iron Mask. It is said that he spent his last days in the tower after escaping the Bastille on Sainte­ Marguerite Island where he had been imprisoned for eleven years. His ghost is alleged to still haunt the tower. 9, Rue du Mont Chevalier,

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Tour du Masque - Cannes

Cannes Bus Station.

The bus station in Cannes has quite an interesting painted tromp l'oeil style painted wall. In keeping with the rest of Cannes it is based on the subject of film stars and movies. It is quite cleverly done.

Cannes Bus Station

Cannes Bus Station

La Castre Museum.

At the top of Le Suquet Hill stands La Castre Museum. This museum was set up in the ruins of the medieval castle of the Lérins monks in 1952. We are not all that into museums, so we did not actually visit it. Apparently its highlights are the twelfth century Chapelle Sainte ­Anne and an art gallery featuring the works of local artists. Its address is 1 Place De La Castre, Cannes. Its opening times are July­ - August 10am - ­7pm and October­ - March 10am­ - 1pm and 2­pm - 5pm; April - ­June and September 10am - ­1pm and 2­ - 6pm. Closed Mondays from October to June. Free admission the first Sunday of the month.

La Castre Museum - Cannes

La Castre Museum - Cannes

La Castre Museum - Cannes

La Castre Museum - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d’Espérance.

Next to the castle museum stands the lovely Eglise Notre Dame d’Espérance. This gothic church was completed around 1627. It has a selection of beautiful paintings including a fresco by George Roux depicting the baptism of Jesus. As it was Christmas when we visited, this church also had a wonderful nativity scene. When you paid a Euro, the scene lit up and all the parts started to move. Address: 1 Place de la Castre, Cannes'

Nativity in Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Nativity in Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Eglise Notre Dame d'Espérance - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet.

When you climb up to the top of Le Suquet, you get beautiful views over Cannes including the picturesque houses of the old town, the old port, the modern city and the long sandy beach of La Croisette. Well worth seeing.

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Views from Le Suquet - Cannes

Beaches.

Cannes has several long sandy beaches. These were fairly popular on a warm, sunny winter's day. I would imagine they would be very crowded in summer. Even in December the odd brave soul was in the sea. The beaches were also in part lined with restaurants and had volley ball courts and other sporting activities.

Cannes beach. - Cannes

Cannes beach. - Cannes

Cannes beach. - Cannes

Cannes beach. - Cannes

The Old Port of Cannes.

We walked past the old port of Cannes or Vieux Port as it is called in French. This is a pretty area filled with a whole assortment of different kinds of boats. Somewhere for the millionaire to moor his boat.

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The old port of Cannes. - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals.

Cannes is of course very famous for its International Film Festival which is held every May in the Palais des Festivals on the waterfront. The steps of this building are lined with red carpets which gives the lesser famous of us a chance to pose like the famous. Quite good for a laugh and an interesting photo opportunity.

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Palais des Festivals - Cannes

The Cannes Walk of Fame.

Outside the Palais des Festivals in Cannes you can see the Cannes Walk of Fame. This consists of the hand prints of a very large number of famous actors and actresses. It is quite interesting to stroll along it and see how many of the big names you have heard of.

Julie Andrews - Cannes

Julie Andrews - Cannes

Sophia Loren - Cannes

Sophia Loren - Cannes

David Lynch - Cannes

David Lynch - Cannes

Jack Nicholson. - Cannes

Jack Nicholson. - Cannes

Sylvester Stallone - Cannes

Sylvester Stallone - Cannes

Ice- Skating next to the beach.

At Christmas time across the road from the waterfront and Palais des Festivals you can find a Christmas Market and next to the market is the ice­-skating rink. Both seemed very popular and busy during our wintertime visit.

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Ice-skating. - Cannes

Christmas Market. - Cannes

Christmas Market. - Cannes

Posted by irenevt 07:10 Archived in France Comments (4)

Nice, France.

Christmas 2015.

sunny

View over the Port of Nice - Nice

View over the Port of Nice - Nice

Christmas in Nice.

It has been many years since we were last in France. We decided to go there just before the terrible terrorist atrocities in Paris. When these happened, we briefly questioned whether we should go ahead with our visit or cancel. We decided to go ahead and we were very glad that we did as we had a great time. People were getting on with their daily lives. What else could they possibly do? There was a strong army presence. Security was being taken very seriously.

Nice has some wonderful Belle Epoque Architecture, a beautiful long stony beach stretching along the sparkling blue Mediterranean, a wonderful rambling old town, lots of stunning churches, a bustling port and during our visit many Christmas activities. We used Nice as a base from which we explored Nice itself, Monaco and Cannes. There are plenty more places left to visit by public transport such as Antibes, Grasse and Ventimiglia. Nice has a very pleasant, laid back atmosphere. There are lots of great places to eat and drink. People were friendly. We would certainly be happy to visit again and explore the surrounding area further. Nice is the fifth biggest city in France. It is the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département. Nice was founded around 350 BC by Greeks settled in Marseille. Nice was originally called Nikaia after Nike, the goddess of victory.

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare.

We stayed in this hotel for four nights in December 2015. To get there from the airport we took bus 99 to the train station. The hotel is on the street directly opposite the station, but you have to go to the right, cross another road then double back to the left to be on the correct level. It's a five minute walk from there in the direction of the sea. Check-in was friendly and efficient. Our room was spacious and clean. The bed was very comfortable. We had a lovely balcony. The room does not have a safe or a fridge. As it was cold outside at night we used the balcony as our fridge. Ibis styles favour a slightly quirky design with the odd strange feature such as a palm tree drawn on our bedroom wall and interesting arrangements of seats in the entrance. We quite liked these little touches. Breakfast was good. There were two coffee making machines, a selection of teas, a machine for making freshly squeezed orange juice, other juices. There were cereals and yogurt. There was a selection of fresh bread, croissants, pain au chocolate, toast bread, cheese and cold meat. The only thing missing that I would have liked was a bit of salad: tomato, cucumber, maybe even olives. The location of the hotel was good. There was a large supermarket just a couple of minutes away. You could walk to Nice's main shopping street in around 5 minutes. The old town is around 15 minutes walk away, the beach is around ten minutes away. The hotel was very quiet at night and we slept really well. Check out was quick and efficient. We would both be happy to stay here again. The hotel had free wifi and it worked consistently well throughout our stay. Address: 3 Avenue Durante, 06000.

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. - Nice

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. - Nice

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. - Nice

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. - Nice

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. - Nice

Ibis Styles Nice Centre Gare. - Nice

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

One of the first places we visited in Nice was the Russian Orthodox Cathedral and with our impeccable timing we arrived at ten past five to discover it closed at 5pm. Oh well, we could still see it through the fence. The church's full name is the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral. It is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe. It was opened in 1912. The Russian nobility began visiting Nice in the mid-19th century. When the railway to Nice was completed in 1864, Tsar Alexander II visited Nice by train. He loved the town and its pleasant climate. An association between Nice and Russia had begun. Directions: Off the Boulevard du Tzarewitch, near the train station (Gare NiceVille).

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral. - Nice

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral. - Nice

Notre Dame De Nice.

We visited this beautiful church twice. First we viewed it at night when it was all lit up, then we revisited it by day. The Basilica of Notre Dame de Nice is a Roman Catholic basilica located on the Avenue Jean Médecin. It was constructed between 1864 and 1868, and was designed by Louis Lenormand. The church was inspired by Angers Cathedral. It has two square towers and a large central rose window. The church is gothic in style and was built to help make Nice more French when it was annexed to France from Italy.

Notre Dame De Nice

Notre Dame De Nice

Notre Dame De Nice

Notre Dame De Nice

Notre Dame De Nice

Notre Dame De Nice

Place Massena.

Place Massena or Massena Square is Nice’s main square which links Nice's Old and New Towns. It is surrounded by beautiful old buildings, all painted red. The Fontaine du Soleil or the Sun Fountain is located near the old town end of the square. As we were there at Christmas, the fountain with its giant statue of Apollo had been enclosed and turned into a giant snow globe. Also in the square, seven statues by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa sit on top of tall poles. These are lit up in bright colors at night. Massena Square is mainly pedestrianized but is open to Nice's trams. During our visit the whole square had become Nice's Christmas Village.

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

Place Massena - Nice

The ice palace by day. - Nice

The ice palace by day. - Nice

Nice's Christmas Village.

As we visited Nice at Christmas time, Place Massena, Nice's main square, had been converted into a Christmas Village. It had a giant ferris wheel, an ice palace, an ice-skating rink, a huge Christmas tree and many Christmas stalls selling food,drink and Christmas gifts. The Fountain of the Sun with its huge Apollo statue had been converted into a giant snow globe.

Christmas stalls. - Nice

Christmas stalls. - Nice

The Ice Palace at night. - Nice

The Ice Palace at night. - Nice

The Christmas tree. - Nice

The Christmas tree. - Nice

The snow globe and the big wheel. - Nice

The snow globe and the big wheel. - Nice

Entertainment at the Christmas Market. - Nice

Entertainment at the Christmas Market. - Nice

The Old Town of Nice.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Nice's old town. It is filled with narrow winding streets, colourfully painted buildings, attractive shops, inviting restaurants, wonderful churches and a large market place. The market place is famous for its flower stalls but sells other things, too.

Colourful shop fronts in the old town. - Nice

Colourful shop fronts in the old town. - Nice

Colourful shop fronts in the old town. - Nice

Colourful shop fronts in the old town. - Nice

Peter by a fountain in the old town. - Nice

Peter by a fountain in the old town. - Nice

Narrow winding streets in the old town. - Nice

Narrow winding streets in the old town. - Nice

Narrow winding streets in the old town. - Nice

Narrow winding streets in the old town. - Nice

Nice's Cathedral. - Cathedral Sainte Reparate

Nice's old town is home to the wonderful Cathedral de Sainte Reparate. The cathedral is dedicated to Sainte Reparate, a virgin who was martyred. Her remains are sheltered inside the cathedral. The cathedral was built between 1650 and 1699. It has a bell tower and ten chapels. There are some wonderful works of art inside the cathedral. It was also home to a beautiful nativity scene during our visit. The cathedral's holy door, which is normally kept closed, was open during our visit by order of the pope as 2015 to 2016 is the Year of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy for the Catholic Church. I had never heard of a Jubilee Year, but have looked it up and found that it is a special year of remission of sins and universal pardon. Normally the pope opens the holy door in Saint Peter's, Rome during a Jubilee Year, but this year he ordered a holy Door open in every diocese around the world.

Nice Cathedral. - Nice

Nice Cathedral. - Nice

Nice Cathedral. - Nice

Nice Cathedral. - Nice

The Holy Door. - Nice

The Holy Door. - Nice

The Holy Door. - Nice

The Holy Door. - Nice

Nativity Scene. - Nice

Nativity Scene. - Nice

Place Rossetti.

Place Rossetti is the lovely square which is home to Nice Cathedral. It is surrounded by narrow streets and lots of shops and restaurants. It was also the location of a very large nativity scene during our visit. The French, we noticed, seem to like life size nativity scenes with moving figures.

Place Rossetti - Nice

Place Rossetti - Nice

Place Rossetti - Nice

Place Rossetti - Nice

Nativity scene, Place Rossetti. - Nice

Nativity scene, Place Rossetti. - Nice

Nativity scene, Place Rossetti. - Nice

Nativity scene, Place Rossetti. - Nice

Shop near Place Rossetti. - Nice

Shop near Place Rossetti. - Nice

Cours Saleya.

Cours Saleya in the old town of Nice is a long open space lined with restaurants and bars. It is home to Nice's fruit and vegetable market and its flower market. On Mondays there is an antique and flea market instead of the flower market.

Flower market, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Flower market, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Flower Market, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Flower Market, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Cours Saleya. - Nice

Cours Saleya. - Nice

Restaurant, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Restaurant, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Church, Cours Saleya. - Nice

Church, Cours Saleya. - Nice

The Castle of Nice - Parc de la Colline du Château.

At one time there was a castle perched on the hill overlooking Nice. Now very little of the actual castle remains only a few foundations, a gateway and some walls. This area is also home to the cascade a large, artificial waterfall. As well as this, there are the remains of the former eleventh century Cathedral of Nice. There are also walkways paved with colourful modern day mosaics. It is possible to get here by a free lift from Cours Saleya. This was not working when we visited. We walked up the hill. It was not a difficult walk. The main reason to visit the castle hill is for the stunning views which I will explain in a different tip. There was also a lovely monumental cemetery which I will also explain in a separate tip.
Directions: Vieille Ville.

Mosaic walkway. - Nice

Mosaic walkway. - Nice

Mosaic walkway. - Nice

Mosaic walkway. - Nice

The cascade. - Nice

The cascade. - Nice

Seagulls swimming in the cascade. - Nice

Seagulls swimming in the cascade. - Nice

Me at the viewpoint at the top of the cascade. - Nice

Me at the viewpoint at the top of the cascade. - Nice

Peter enjoying the view. - Nice

Peter enjoying the view. - Nice

Remains of the cathedral. - Nice

Remains of the cathedral. - Nice

The Castle of Nice - Views over Nice.

It is possible to get to the top of castle hill on foot, by lift or on the little train. However, you choose to get there, it is well worth the effort, because although little remains of the actual castle itself, the views over Nice from the top of the hill are absolutely breathtaking.

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice. - Nice

Views over Nice Port.

Don't just look at the view in one direction when you climb up Castle Hill. On one side you have a spectacular view over Nice town and its lovely, long beach. On the other side, you have a spectacular view over the port of Nice. This view is also absolutely breathtaking.

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The view over the Port of Nice. - Nice

The Port Of Nice

The Port Of Nice

The Port Of Nice

The Port Of Nice

The Cemetery on Castle Hill.

As well as visiting the remains and gazing at the views, while on Castle Hill, visit the beautiful monumental cemetery. It has three sections: Catholic, Protestant and Jewish. Many of the monuments were very elaborate and beautiful. There was a little chapel near the gate. Inside it had a nativity scene using life size mannequins. The mannequins not selected for the display were just dumped on the floor at the side. All those broken limbs and dismembered bodies made it look like a massacre had taken place. Eerily disturbing and not what you want to find in a cemetery. Address: Rue des Ponchettes, Rue de Foresta.

Art in the chapel. - Nice

Art in the chapel. - Nice

The cemetery on Castle Hill. - Nice

The cemetery on Castle Hill. - Nice

The cemetery on Castle Hill. - Nice

The cemetery on Castle Hill. - Nice

Massacre of unwanted mannequins. - Nice

Massacre of unwanted mannequins. - Nice

Nativity scene in the chapel. - Nice

Nativity scene in the chapel. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais.

Nice is home to a very long stretch of pebbly beach next to the sparkling blue waters of the Bay of Angels. A long walkway known as the Promenade des Anglais runs along the waterfront. In the second half of the eighteenth century, many wealthy English people began spending the winter in Nice, due to its mild climate. In 1820 when a there was a large influx of beggars to the city, they were put to work building Nice's long promenade. The promenade was paid for by the Rev Lewis Way.

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

Promenade des Anglais. - Nice

The beach at Nice - Nice

The beach at Nice - Nice

The Hotel de Ville, Town Hall.

Nice has an attractive looking town hall or Hotel de Ville which is located in the old town close to the Cours Saleya. It was built in the first half of the eighteenth century. It had a rather attractive Christmas tree outside during our visit. Address: Southeast section of Nice.

The Hotel de Ville. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville at night. - Nice

The Hotel de Ville at night. - Nice

The Opera House.

Nice has a rather grand opera house in the old town. It is the third opera house to occupy this site. The first was demolished, the second burnt down in a tragic fire caused by a gas leak. The present Opera House was designed by architect François Aune. It opened on February 7th 1885 with a production of Verdi’s Aida.

The Opera House. - Nice

The Opera House. - Nice

The Opera House. - Nice

The Opera House. - Nice

The Promenade Du Paillon.

The River Paillon once separated the old and new parts of Nice. Nowadays most of it has been covered over and made into a long stretch of pleasant parkland. We walked along it starting from the sea. Part of it goes through Place Massena and its Christmas Market which I wrote about in another trip. It is also home to statues, children's playgrounds, theatres and museums.

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

The Promenade Du Paillon

Place Garibaldi.

Place Garibaldi or Garibaldi Square is one of the oldest and the largest squares in Nice. It was designed by Antonio Spinelli in the second half of the eighteenth century. In its centre stands a statue of Garibaldi. It is between the old town and the Promenade de Paillion.

Place Garibaldi

Place Garibaldi

Place Garibaldi

Place Garibaldi

Monument Aux Morts.

We walked past this monument on our way to the Port of Nice. It is located at the bottom of Castle Hill on the side nearest the port. This monument was inaugurated in 1928 in honour of the 4,000 people of Nice who died in World War I. We also passed this monument at night when it was lit up in the colours of the French flag.

Monument Aux Morts

Monument Aux Morts

Monument Aux Morts

Monument Aux Morts

Monument Aux Morts

Monument Aux Morts

Restaurants.

Hotel Negresco.

We did not stay in the Negresco, but we did walk along the Promenade des Anglais and stop to have a look at it. The Negresco was named after Henri Negresco, who had the palatial hotel constructed in 1912. Henri Negresco was the son of a Romanian innkeeper. He left home at fifteen and went to Paris, then the French Riviera. Over time he became more and more successful eventually becoming the director of the Municipal Casino in Nice. He had the Negresco built to attract wealthy clients to his casino. The Hotel Negresco has a famous restaurant Le Chantecler. We did not go inside the hotel. It had a sign up saying it had changed its visiting policy and only hotel guests were allowed inside. I think this may be a security measure. There is a famous statue outside the hotel. Address: 37 Promenade des Anglais, Nice, French Riviera Cote d'Azur, 06000, France.

Hotel Negresco. - Nice

Hotel Negresco. - Nice

Restaurant at Hotel Negresco. - Nice

Restaurant at Hotel Negresco. - Nice

Famous statue outside Hotel Negresco. - Nice

Famous statue outside Hotel Negresco. - Nice

One of the statues outside Hotel Negresco. - Nice

One of the statues outside Hotel Negresco. - Nice

Ma Nolan's Irish Pub: Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

This Irish pub/restaurant is located in the old town near Cours Saleya. We went here on Christmas Day after spending the day in Monaco. The service was friendly and efficient. The food and draft beer were good. I had a chicken burger and my husband had the beef and ale pie. Both meals were tasty and hot. The price was reasonable. We sat at the front part of the restaurant, because the restaurant was very busy. This proved to be quite smoky, which I normally don't mind, but I must admit it was a bit of a pain smelling of smoke on holiday when I could not wash my clothes.

Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

Pleasant Place To Eat In Nice.

Point of View: Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

This little cafe is at the top of Castle Hill. It is located close to the viewpoint and has pleasant views from its outdoor seats. These are over the town, to see the view over the sea you must go to the viewpoint. We stopped here for a drink and to use the toilet. There was a charge of 50 cents for the toilet, but I think that was for non-customers. Service was pleasant. The people near us had snacks and they looked nice. We just had a drink. The little train stops right next to this cafe.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Pleasant Spot For Refreshments.

Posted by irenevt 03:48 Archived in France Comments (0)

Paris.

In the year 2000.

Looking out of our hotel room. - Paris

Looking out of our hotel room. - Paris

Paris.

I kept nagging my husband about the fact that, although I am very well travelled, I had never actually been to Paris. Now that I am based in Hong Kong that may not seem so strange, but I was brought up in the UK and had been to several other parts of France namely: Cabourg, Dives sur Mer, Bayeux, Boulogne and Strasbourg. In the year 2000 my husband could take no more of my complaints and we finally visited. It was an enjoyable, but not all together successful trip. About half way through our stay as we walked on the banks of the Seine, not far from the Eiffel Tower, a pavement artist called out to my husband to try and coax him into having his sketch done. Looking at the artist and not paying attention to where he was going, my husband fell over and badly damaged his ankle. In my normal horrible, selfish manner, I was just horrified we could not look at things rather than sympathetic. After several, not very romantic fights, my husband agreed to hobble to public transport, be deposited on a bench while I looked at stuff, then hobble back to the hotel. I suppose we should return and do full justice to the city at some point, but we still did manage to do quite a lot. We sailed along the Seine, saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, the Champs Elysee and Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Luxembourg Gardens, Parc Monceau. Most of these we viewed from the outside as Paris was very busy and neither of us will queue for things. If I return, I will do a more Paris off the beaten track type visit away from the swarms of tourists. This is the style of travel I prefer, especially on a revisit.

Me in our hotel - Paris

Me in our hotel - Paris

The River Seine.

The River Seine flows through the centre of Paris. It is crossed by more than thirty bridges including: the Pont Neuf, the Pont Des Arts and the Pont Louis Philippe. Sometimes the Seine has been known to flood. We used Batobus as a means to get around Paris. It stops at eight different places and is a pleasant means of getting around. It stops at at Port des Champs Elysées, Quai du Louvre, Quai de l'Hôtel de Ville, Port de la Bourdonnais at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Quai de Solférino near Musee d'Orsay, Quai de Malaquais, Quai de Montebello near Notre Dame Cathedral and Quai SaintBernard. It runs all year. In summer it runs at 20 minute intervals from 10 A.M. to 9.30 P.M. In winter it is at 25 minute intervals and runs from 10A.M. to 7P.M.

Batobus, The River Seine - Paris

Batobus, The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

The River Seine - Paris

Pavement artists, The River Seine - Paris

Pavement artists, The River Seine - Paris

The Eiffel Tower.

This is of course a world famous symbol of Paris. Being very bad people, we did not go up it because that would have involved queuing. The Eiffel Tower is situated on the Champ de Mars. It was designed and built by engineer, Gustave Eiffel in 1889. It was originally the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair. The Eiffel Tower is 324m high, still the tallest structure in Paris. At one time it was the tallest man made structure in the world. It held this claim to fame for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid monument in the world; see I told you there was a queue. As it is so tall, the Eiffel Tower can be seen from many different places in Paris. We visited in the millenium and the tower had special wording to welcome in the year 2000. Address: Trocadero Directions: You can't miss it!!!

My husband with the Eiffel Tower. - Paris

My husband with the Eiffel Tower. - Paris

The Eiffel Tower. - Paris

The Eiffel Tower. - Paris

A new millenium. - Paris

A new millenium. - Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame Cathedral, the Cathedral of Our Lady, is also world famous. We viewed it from the outside again because of horrendous long queues. Notre Dame Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité. The cathedral's treasury houses Christ's Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails that were driven into Christ's body. The area around the cathedral has lots of book stalls and cafes. Notre Dame Cathedral was the setting for Victor Hugo's famous novel about the hunchback bell ringer, Quasimodo, who falls madly in love with the beautiful gypsy dancer, Esmerelda. Notre Dame was complete by around 1345. It has several famous and hideous gargoyles scaring away any evil spirits that may try to enter it.

Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

Notre Dame - Paris

Sacre Coeur Basilica.

The Basilica of the Sacre Coeur is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is located at the summit of the Butte Montmartre, the highest point in Paris, so there are good views from the top of the steps that climb up to it. The Sacre Coeur Basilica was designed by Paul Abadie. Building work began in 1875 and was completed in 1914. Although it was busy here, we did manage to get inside. Some restoration work was going on when we visited. I especially wanted to visit the Sacre Coeur when we visited Paris. I remember as a child in primary school our whole class doing a project on Paris and trying to make models of its most famous buildings. I had to make a model of the Sacre Coeur and of course instantly wanted to go and see the real thing. Finally made it in the year 2000.

The Sacre Coeur - Paris

The Sacre Coeur - Paris

View from the Sacre Coeur - Paris

View from the Sacre Coeur - Paris

The Moulin Rouge.

The Moulin Rouge or red windmill first opened its doors to the public in October 1889. Its owners were Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler who described it as a temple of music and dance. The Moulin Rouge popularized the then outrageous can can dance. One of the Moulin Rouge's most famous customers in its early years was artist Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, who painted a number of famous Moulin Rouge scenes. We did not go to see a show here, just looked at the windmill and the paintings of dancers in the entrance way.

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Moulin Rouge - Paris

Moulin Rouge - Paris

The Arc di Triomphe.

The Emperor Napoleon ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe in 1806. The arch was built to honor the Grande Armee of France which at that time had conquered most of Europe and was considered invincible. The Arc de Triomphe cost 9.3 million French francs to build. Under the vault of the arch are written the names of 128 battles and 558 generals who fought in them.The arch was finished in 1836, fifteen years after Napoleon's death in exile. Address: Place Charles de Gaulle Etoile Directions: Metro Line 1, 2, RER A : Charles de Gaulle Etoile.

L'Arc de Triomphe - Paris

L'Arc de Triomphe - Paris

The Arc de Triomphe de Carousel.

The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel is located in the Place du Carrousel. It is built on the site of the former Tuileries Palace. Construction of this arch began in 1806 and was completed in 1808. It was originally built to commemorate the victories of the Emperor Napoleon. It is half the size of the Arc de Triomphe. The arch was originally adorned with the famous horses of Saint Mark's Cathedral in Venice. These had been captured and stolen from St Mark's in 1798 by Napoleon. In 1815, following the Battle of Waterloo, France handed over these statues to the Austrian Empire and they were returned to Venice. The horses were replaced by a sculpture created by Baron François Joseph Bosio. This sculpture shows Peace riding in a triumphal chariot with gilded Victories on each side.

L'Arc de Triomphe de Carousel - Paris

L'Arc de Triomphe de Carousel - Paris

L'Air by Aristide Maillol - Paris

L'Air by Aristide Maillol - Paris

The Place de la Concorde.

The Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris. It is located at the eastern end of the Champs Élysées. The square was designed by Ange Jacques Gabriel in 1755 and was decorated with statues and fountains. At one time this square held an equestrian statue of King Louis XV. During the French Revolution this statue was torn down. The square was renamed Place de la Révolution and a guillotine was placed in the square. It was here that King Louis XVI was executed on the 21st of January 1793. Queen Marie Antoinette was also beheaded here. Our visit was a bit more peaceful; we rode the big wheel here and enjoyed views across Paris. The Luxor Obelisk, a 23 metre high Egyptian obelisk, can be found in the centre of this square. This obelisk was originally located at the entrance to the Luxor Temple in Egypt. Address: Metro 1, 13 : Concorde.

Place de la Concorde - Paris

Place de la Concorde - Paris

Place de la Concorde - Paris

Place de la Concorde - Paris

The Louvre.

The Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world and home to the Mona Lisa. Of course we did not go in, that queuing business again, but we enjoyed people watching at the fountains outside. The Louvre exhibits around 35,000 objects stretching from prehistory to the 21st century. It was initially built as a fortress and the original building dates from the late 12th century. Later it became the Louvre Palace and during the French Revolution it turned into the Louvre Museum. Since 2008 the Louvre collection has been divided into eight major areas: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. Outside the Louvre Museum you can see the Louvre Pyramid. This is a large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids. These date from 1989 and were designed by I M Pei. The large pyramid is the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. Not everyone was impressed by modern works of art being placed next to classical ones. Prince Charles described the pyramids as a monstrous carbuncle on the face of an old friend. Conspiracy theorists claim the number of glass panels making up the pyramid is 666 the number of the beast in Revelations. Personally I did not count them so I cannot comment. Directions: Métro: Palais RoyalMusée du Louvre.

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

The Louvre - Paris

Jardins du Luxembourg.

The Luxembourg Gardens were one of my favourite places in Paris. They are currently the gardens of the French Senate, which is housed nowadays in the Luxembourg Palace. The Luxembourg Gardens date from 1611 when Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry, decided to build a palace to remind her of her native Florence. The Luxembourg Gardens have lots of flowers, statues and water features. They are a peaceful and calm place for a stroll.

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Luxembourg Gardens - Paris

Pond and Arch - Paris

Pond and Arch - Paris

Parc Monceau.

Parc Monceau is a pleasant and interesting public park. It can be found at the junction of Boulevard de Courcelles, Rue de Prony and Rue Georges Berger. The park was originally the brainchild of Phillippe d'Orléans, the Duke of Chartres. He was a staunch Anglophile and wanted to create an English garden complete with follies. The garden was completed in 1779. Its follies at that time included a miniature Egyptian pyramid, a Roman colonnade and a Dutch windmill. In 1793 Phillippe d'Orléans, the Duke of Chartres, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror and Parc Monceau was handed over to the French people. In 1871 the Paris Commune, a revolutionary socialist government that ruled Paris from the 18th of March until the 28th of May 1871, fell from power. Supporters of this commune were massacred by the French army in Parc Monceau. Claude Monet was a frequent visitor to Parc Monceau. In 1876 he painted three paintings of springtime in the park. He painted two additional paintings of the park in 1878.

Parc Monceau - Paris

Parc Monceau - Paris

Parc Monceau - Paris

Parc Monceau - Paris

Churchill Statue.

We were surprised as we were walking around Paris to suddenly encounter a bronze statue of Winston Churchill. The statue is located on the Avenue Winston Churchill. It was unveiled on the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I.The statue is ten feet high and was created by French sculptor Jean Cardot. It cost £250,000 and was funded by donations from the French public. The statue is modelled on a photo of Churchill walking down the Champs Elysee with General Charles de Gaulle on 11 November, 1944. In 2009 the statue was vandalized by antiwar protesters who daubed its hands with blood red paint.

Churchill Statue

Churchill Statue

Clock Sculpture.

Outside the Saint Lazare Station there is a sculpture consisting of many clocks joined together. The clocks show lots of different times, so when looking at it you can choose the time you want it to be. This sculpture is called L'heure de tous - everyone's time. It was sculpted by French artist, Arman. Arman, whose real name was Armand Fernandez, was born in Nice in 1928. He later moved to America and became a naturalized American citizen. He died in New York in 2005. One of Arman's specialties was accumulations sculptures in which he welded large quantities of the same objects together. For example, avalanche an accumulation of axes which he created in 1990. This is on display at Tel Aviv University.

Clock Sculpture.

Clock Sculpture.

The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls,Le PasseMuraille.

Le PasseMuraille, which means the one who could pass through walls, is the title of a story by Marcel Ayme. In this story his main character, Dutilleul, discovers he has the ability to walk through walls. He uses this ability to rob banks, have affairs and escape from angry husbands and free himself from prison. There is a wonderful statue of Le PasseMuraille in Place Marcel Ayme in Montmatre.

The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls

Posted by irenevt 20:51 Archived in France Comments (2)

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