… so on Monday my friend Bärbel and I will be landing in Nice, France around lunch time. Haven’t been in Nice since October 1997.
We are spending a whole week during “Carnaval de Nice”. The Nice Carnival is one of the world’s major carnival events, alongside the Brazilian Carnival. Today the event attracts over a million visitors to Nice every year. This year the carnival dates are Sat, Feb 16, 2019 – Sat, Mar 2, 2019.
We have booked seats for the 3 different events: Carnival Parade Of Lights, Flower Parade and King of Cinema. A total cost of 122€/£107/$138/1278SEK for 2 tickets. Very reasonable prices.
Something I have wanted to do for nearly 40 years. Better late than never, somebody has said.
The earliest records establish its existence in 1294 when the Count of Provence, Charles Anjou, wrote that he had passed “the joyous days of carnival.” This may make the Nice Carnival the original carnival celebration and in 1873, a committee was created for the Carnival, headed by local artist Alexis Mossa , with later contributions from his son Gustav-Adolf Mossa. The Carnival was reinvented into a parade, adding masquerades, satirical floats and competitions.
Nice was a sort of playground for me during the years I had a boyfriend in Monaco in the early years of the ’70s but in those days Nice wasn’t a very friendly city. It was very ignorant and unfriendly. I have been coming and go to Nice through all the years and wasn’t until my visit 1997 that we really clicked.
A massive attitude change had happened to the city during the 20 years I hadn’t been visiting. Suddenly it was a smiling and chatty city, willing to speak English and very helpful. I wish the same change would happen to Paris.
I don’t really know why during my years with Byron we never made to the carnival … Monte Carlo Grand Prix we did.
The forecast for our week is sunshine and more sunshine, up to +17C. Wonderful.
Of course, are we doing a day trip to Monaco – we are taking the bus one way and the train back. Back down memory lanes … for a day. I guess it hasn’t changed much … there is really not much space to change this little fairytale country.
We are also doing a visit to one of my favourite spots along the Côte d’Azur, the little medieval village Èze that sits on cliff only 20 min bus journey from Nice in the direction off Monaco.The area surrounding Èze was first populated around 2000 BC. Èze has been described as an “eagle’s nest” because of its location overlooking a high cliff 427 meters (1,401 ft) above sea level. The oldest building in the village is the Chapelle de la Sainte Croix and dates back to 1306.
I have been so lucky with a hotel room in Nice, got 2 double rooms for single use with breakfast at Hôtel Apogia Nice 4* by the congress center, 20 min walk to the seafront – the Prom. des Anglais. With a tram stop more or less outside our door for 690€/£605/$777/7225SEK for 7 nights. I don’t have a clue about the standard of breakfast, because France is France … and it could be only croissants, jam, butter, and Café au lait.
We are flying with Norwegian Air Shuttle from Copenhagen, I got my flight for free because I used my reward points. Bärbel paid 1425SEK/£120/154$/€136.
Really looking forward to being back in Nice … visit the Old town (Vieux Nice) with its Cours Saleya Market, especially the flower market.
Have some looking good restaurants booked, with one million people in town … it will be crowded. Have even booked on Hard Rock Cafe, because it’s one of the very few restaurants where we can eat before the evening show. 98% of all restaurants don’t open until 7pm and we have to be seated at the carnival 8pm.
Hopefully, during our week, I will be able to enjoy a truly delicious Bouillabaisse, even if that is really the “national dish” of Marseille … there should be some fantastic ones served in Nice, only to find the right place for it. And of course, a proper Salade Niçoise for lunch has to happen too … more than once.
”The French Riviera: A sunny place for shady people”
W. Somerset Maugham