Au revoir Nice!

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January 17th 2012
Published: January 17th 2012
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1: Coast of Nice 58 secs

Matisse museum in the back
How do you say goodbye to a place you'll never see again? It's surreal, walking down a street you knowyou'll never pass down again or catch a last look at a scenery too beautiful to be captured by a simple picture. Even if you didn't like the place as much as you'd hoped, there is some sort of invisible connection that can't be denied. And the city won't even realize your passing. Bittersweet is the perfect word for it.

Nice has been a rollercoaster of emotions, to take advantage of the cliche. Hated it from the beginning, softened a little towards the middle, and now I'm happy to be moving on. Here's a brief summary of the past two days...

On my third day I dedicated myself to the modern arts. Ok, dedicated is a bit strong of a word, but I suffered through two museums in one day, and for those of you who know me well know it's a lot. I first went to a Matisse museum, which I found in a small haven of Italy-come-to-France: olive groves, a Franciscan Monastery, Roman ruins, and orange trees (very Assisi-ish). Honestly I was more touched by the scenery than the museum itself. Despite the lack luster of the exhibits, I added a couple of works to my list of "research later" and talked to a grandfatherly museum guard with breath smelled like slightly old cheese.

Leaving the museum and moving towards the monastery I had to pass through the park. (Side note: I've been walking without my ipod (not normal for me) in order to soak up more language) So, thus headphone free, I set out and only slightly registered the cry of "Momma" somewhere to my left. Not being a mother, I simply ignored the call thinking that the real mother would indeed arrive and save the day. Again the cry was repeated, this time insistently and with more panicked passion then you'd want to hear from the lips of a child. I turned around without stopping to discover a little boy frantically chasing after me on his toy bike, his little legs wisking against the ground as fast as they could go. When he saw me look back he screamed one last "MOMMA!!" with I'm sure was all the strength he could muster. "Crack" went my stone heart and I honestly would have picked him up
Monastery GardenMonastery GardenMonastery Garden

Just for you Mom
right then and there. Luckily (both for me and for the poor child) his father was nearby and deftly distracted his son so that he no longer tried to find his mother in the face of a stranger.

Departing my small Italy and my would-be son, I made my way over and down several, several...several hills to the Chagall museum, sarenaded along the way by the bright tones of a trumpet playing on a balcony above the streets. In that moment I only wanted a balcony of my own and a cup of coffee and I'd be content. However, had to move on to my Chagall destination and can I just say: WOW! I am not normally a fan of "modern art" mostly because I fail to grasp the deeper meanings behind the somewhat open interpretations of objects and ideas. But Chagall is something else; dark and vibrant all at the same time, spiritual and gritty within one piece. "Inspirational" was the word of the day and I can honestly admit I felt something more than just art, but communication. Maybe that's too hippie, or again too cliche, but honestly and truly I lost myself and was disappointed when I had to float back down to reality. Check out Chagall and I can only hope you loved it as much as I did.

Ok, moving on....

My last day in Nice was a bust. Not in the bad way. Nothing worked how it was supposed to: bus waits were longer than I'd anticipated, I arrived at sights just after they closed for lunch, and I took the wrong directions time and time again. But it was enjoyable none the less. I took the bus to Vence which is more inland than Nice and rests in the foothills of the Alps looking out over the Cote d'Azur. Again, a very Italian, Midieval feeling. Walked around it's little cobble-stoned center, sipped a cappuccino on the square, and after joining a group of locals watching a game of "boules", I headed back down the mountains

Bus back to Nice, uneventful. Then sat on the beach for a little, watching the waves (see video for a boring, yet hypnotic cycle of the Mediterranean).

Next stop, Marseille and Avignon. Will be between those two places for about a week and a half and am going to try to find a place to rent somewhere in the country. Till next time!



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