Sunday, August 2, 2009


Sunday, August 1st, 2004 Nice…the French Riviera

Slept in and then walked to the train station in Nice to validate our Italian Train Pass and check on making the rest of our reservations in Italy. It was extremely easy as everyone spoke English with ease. They validated our pass and informed us that the particular reservations we still needed could only be obtained after we were in Italy. Now we understand what they were trying to tell us at the first train station last week.

From the train station Jim walked to the Marc Chagall Museum. Museums in France are free on the first Sunday of each month; he couldn’t resist taking advantage of this plus he really wanted to visit this particular museum as many of Marc Chagall’s works are based on the Old Testament. The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, where Jim is a docent, will be opening a new exhibit this fall on “The Treasurers of Sheba”. The only written references of Sheba are found in the Old Testament. Today in the exhibit at the Chagall Museum; Jim found a picture of David and Sheba and also a large ceramic plate with their two faces entwined into one.

I walked back to the hotel, changed clothes and headed for the beach with my CD player. A very hot day and the beach was filled. Enjoyed the sun and was nearly ready to leave when a deep French sounding voice said in French: “madame” …it was Jim. He’d finished at the Museum and came to join me on the beach. Stayed another half an hour and then decided we were toasted enough as it was 1:00 pm.

We decided to go to the 2 pm show of “I’ Robot”. Since it is a very new movie we “assumed” it was a “V.O.” and would be in English. Opps…the ticket man asked if we knew it was in French? Oh well. He explained where the theatre that runs the English language movies in town was located. About two miles away but we had shade most of the way so it was a nice walk. The only new movie they had when we arrived was Spiderman II; since we’d already seen that in Paris we continued walking. By now we were back on the Promenade along the Beach. Decided to try the French McDonald’s (Quick) and had their chicken sandwich. Very good lunch especially since we were able to eat at a table outside enabling us to both enjoy the cool breezes and the views of the people walking back and forth to the beach.

Arrived back at our hotel and enjoyed the balance of the afternoon in the quiet and cool room that we now call home. I also spent some time on the managers’ computer reading emails. Not able to hook up my computer here in this hotel. Her computer had a French keyboard (letters are the same but located in different locations); so I used the hunt and peck method of typing. Once into the Internet, all of the instructions and buttons were in French. The only English was in the actual emails that I opened to read; but, still worth the effort as it’s always good to receive news from home.

Monday, August 2nd:

A quiet morning of walking around town. Spent time shopping at the large Gallerie Lafayette Department Store across the street (it was closed as were most other stores on Sunday). Found some snacks for the train trip tomorrow. Then we went to the individual shops including several bookstores; one had an Internet so I took another stab at the French keyboard and did better than yesterday. I found the comma and some other punctuation marks that I couldn’t find yesterday. The number keys require the use of the shift key to work; only two euro for twenty minutes.

Weather is humid and slightly overcast but still in the high nineties. We decided to wait until after 2 pm to go to the beach. I spent some time working on the photos in my computer. Even though I’ve eliminated a lot of multiple shots, as well as fuzzy ones, I’ve still got several thousand photos. But, from those I have a “Best of Spain” and a “Best of France” that I’ve selected for printing and photo albums when I return home. There are about two hundred fifty photos in each of those albums. Today I put titles on each of those and eliminated some more in the process. These “Best” albums are copies so if I change my mind the original is still in the main album; just harder to locate. I did set the camera up to print the date on each photo and that helps immensely when trying to remember the details on each photo.

Jim went window-shopping after he tired of the television repeats and brought back an egg and cheese crepe that we shared for a late lunch before heading for the beach about 3 pm. Thought we’d have an easier time finding space but the beach was still packed with people. We were lucky and found a spot very near the water for our bamboo mats. Stayed for a little over an hour watching the boats pulling the parachutes, cruise ships going in and out of the harbor, sailboats in the horizon and the bathing beauties of all shapes and sizes as they paraded past our mats on their way to and from the water. Occasionally we’d get an eye full if we were on our backs and opened our eyes at the wrong time! We have to pack tonight and get ready for our first train journey tomorrow.

We’ve decided to take the city bus to the train station. The train doesn’t leave until 10 am so we should be able to have breakfast and make our way there in plenty of time. We’re doing this train thing on second class cars so will probably be with lots of young people. The area is full of American and British youths traveling for the summer.

About 7 pm we started walking and made it all the way to the port, about two miles before heading into the old part of the city for dinner. Found a great little restaurant called Le Romarin and enjoyed a wonderful dinner while keeping a watchful eye on the sky; raindrops were falling now and then and we were sitting outside. Made a fast dash back to the hotel thinking it was going to pour, as it was very humid, but never more than drops here and there for the whole evening. Packed our suitcases and set the alarm for an early start in the morning as we cross the border into Italy.

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