This is my third winter in Nice, France. In comparison to the other places I have lived, it is nice. Not warm, like Los Angeles, California. Not cold with ice storms, like Gainesville, Georgia. Not FREEZING, like Madison, Wisconsin. Not mild, like San Antonio, Texas. But, as winters go, Nice winters are different. Cold. (Usually) Very blue skies. (Usually) Very blue Sea. Frequent rain. Snow-covered Alps in the background, with great ski resorts an hour-and-a-half drive away. AND, no matter what the temperature, people in down jackets are eating, drinking coffee, or sipping wine – outside! Rain is the ONLY thing that keeps the French inside. Even then, they open doors and windows for fresh air. Amazing.
So, in my pursuit of “the French lifestyle” and healthy living, on a typical winter day, I will put on my walking gear and head out the door, putting one foot in front of the other. That is my mentality as I walk into the cold. Don’t think. Just put one foot in front of the other. This is what I see when I go down the elevator (from the first floor – Frenchspeak. In the U.S., it would be the second floor – don’t ask) and start out the door.
I turn right and start down my street – Rue de Lepante, passing my favorite shops and familiar storefronts. First, I am greeted by the smell of fresh-baked croissants and coffee, coming from the corner bakery. It beckons me, but I keep walking – having gone about 20 steps. haha. This shot doesn’t give this place justice. But, I was on a mission to take photographs during this walk. So, it will have to do.
I cross the street to the aroma of chickens, cooking on a rotisserie at Giusta. Oh, my heavens. I want to eat grilled chicken for breakfast! Maybe lunch, …or dinner. I make mental note to buy a chicken on my way home. For now, keep putting one foot in front of the other….. Haha
On past my neighborhood ATM (haha), my favorite bakery, wine store, butcher, and flower shop, heading for the Sea.
After I leave my street, Rue de Lepante, I cross the Boulevard, heading for the Contemporary Art Museum. Once there, I cross through the arch of the Museum, and arrive at Garibaldi Square. (Note to Reader: This is Jayspeak, not Frenchspeak).
From Garibaldi Square, it is a few blocks walk to the Port. Once there, I see them – gorgeous yachts and the Sea! The beauty never fails to take my breath away.
I turn right, and head for the crest of the hill, walking along first one side, and then the other of the street. On the right side, I like to browse in the antique stalls. Some of the sellers have interesting things to sell – like this brass flamingo (“pink wannabe”).
I cross over to the left side – the walk on the side of the Sea, heading up the hill, among walkers, runners, amblers, bicyclists….
I round the bend. And, I see it – the famous coastline of Nice, France. The Bay of Angels. Snow-covered Alps in the background, visible on a clear day.
On to the Flower Market, past the fruits and vegetables, buying some roses, heading for Justice Square (more Jayspeak) and breakfast!!
YES!!! By now, I am sufficiently “cold” and wanting hot coffee, fresh orange juice, water, and the restroom – not necessarily in that order. Haha.
From there, it is back past favorite shops, up the “donkey steps”, across the park, heading for home. Sometimes, I walk back down Avenue Jean Medecin, past Notre Dame, maybe lighting a candle or five.
Then, it is back home. The average walk covers approximately four miles, according to how many stops I make, in and out of shops, exploring and looking, making a concerted effort NOT to buy (unless it is a chicken at Giusta’s). After a good walk, I feel exhilarated and tired, ready to go to work (at my computer). I am currently doing my 2017 income taxes, working on Steve’s books, and writing my own. Plus, every day, I spend at least 30 minutes, working on my French. It is definitely better. Slowly, but surely. And now, as Paul Harvey would say, “you know the rest of the story” – A Winter Walk in Nice. Signing off for now,