Nice and Èze
Nice and Èze sounds a little like a hair-color commercial, but this is a little (lot) different. Actually pronounced like Niece and Ezz, this was a fabulous day! But first a little recap of yesterday.
Olbia is located on Sardinia, one of the Italian Islands in the Mediterranean and was actually our next stop. After such a huge day in Rome yesterday, we were a little bushed and, while a beach day sounded appealing, sleeping in and no excursion at all sounded even better. We spent most of the day on the ship, with only a couple of hours on shore to see the sights and walk around Olbia a bit. We hit up a craft show, where I got a great pair of earrings, but there wasn’t a whole lot else to see and we ended up relaxing on the ship in the middle of the afternoon with a cocktail. On a future trip, one of those beach excursions would probably be the way to go, since on this island there are more than 1,200 miles of sandy beaches and a mountainous interior that is popular for hiking.
Next day our ship came into port in the Principality of Monaco. It would have been nice to see Monte Carlo – a tourist destination for the rich and famous – but since we are neither, we opted for a different excursion. Nice and Èze are both located in southeastern France, not far from each other. The pictures above were taken on our bus-ride to Nice. We took a spectacular scenic drive along the lower Corniche, past famous Riviera resorts, along the tree-lined Promenade des Anglais and past the Russian Orthodox Cathedral with its six domes and colorful ceramics. Sorry my picture of the Cathedral is not a good one, since we were bumping along on a bus, but you can see some GREAT pictures of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral HERE. It looks to be fantastic and would definitely be a great place to visit on our next trip!
We got off the bus in the Old Town area of Nice and strolled along a charming walkway to the Cours Saleye, an open-air marketplace featuring flowers, food items, produce and live fowl from neighboring farms. Since we couldn’t take any of our purchases onto the ship, it seemed a little silly to have this be a stop, but it was a gorgeous day, and the market was quite lovely, so we didn’t complain – not at all.
We ended this portion of the excursion with a walk along the French Riviera. The beach was very rocky, which didn’t look appealing to me from a sunbathing standpoint, although many were partaking (some topless). It was fabulous to see the bright blue water and the miles of beach on one side of the road, and the fabulous, colorful buildings of the city on the other.
The Hotel Negresco is the pinkish colored building in the center picture, just above. Dating back to 1913, this grand beachfront hotel offers stately, colorful rooms blending contemporary and traditional decor – many with sea views. Suites are also available with more rooms and furnished balconies. It has a very famous restaurant and a carousel-themed bistro with a terrace.
Henri Negresco, born the son of an innkeeper in Bucharest, Romania, left home at the age of 15 going first to Paris then to the French Riviera where he became very successful. As director of the Municipal Casino in Nice, he had the idea to build a sumptuous hotel of quality that would attract the wealthiest of clients. After arranging the financing, he hired the great architect of the “café society” Édouard-Jean Niermans to design the hotel and its now famous pink dome. The spectacular Baccarat 16,309-crystal chandelier in the Negresco’s Royal Lounge was commissioned by Czar Nicholas II, who due to the October revolution was unable to take delivery.
Contrary to popular belief, the large window of the Royal Lounge – listed as an Historical Monument – is not the work of Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel never worked at the Negresco; instead it is entirely the work of Edouard-Jean Niermans. – READ MORE ABOUT THE HOTEL NEGRESCO
After our stroll, we headed for the highlight of this excursion, which was Èze. Since you know how much I love to visit and take pictures of churches, The Church of Èze was a highlight of this excursion, sitting high on the hilltop surrounded by lush landscaping and great cobblestone alleyways with shops and benches for awesome overlooks.
That about does it for this day. The rest of the pictures were taken as we headed out of the Port of Monaco. This is where our ship lost propulsion, which got us a little worried given the streak of bad luck that Carnival was having right around the time of our cruise. Had we not had such an awesome view (and been so close to shore), we would have been a little more worried. The engines were fixed in just a few minutes and we were on our way. This was a wonderful day. Next time we come back maybe we’ll have just won the lottery and we’ll be rich and famous and can spend the day in Monte Carlo!!
Next stop: Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Another very FUN stop!