On the way to the azure sky

In the light of the little resort town located as conveniently as is Nice. Even in a series stretching from Saint-Raphael to Menton and almost continuously flow from one to the other towns of the French Riviera, it can not compete unless the couple Antibes-Juan-les-Pins so St. Tropez. And then ... the Alps fit around Nice is so close to the sea, here are rare microclimate - rare even for the Côte d'Azur: thirty kilometers from here, in Cannes can rub snow, and here will let a little windy and damp, but warm and even possibly sunny. Those mountains forced the railroad to move away from the coast, and want to bathe occupants city hotels can reach the beach, getting rid of the humiliating need to cross the railway line.

My last visit here came at the beginning of May, and the people on the beach was still quite small. High season has not started yet, and most people on the beach were fully clothed, almost in a coat. If somewhere and there were naked people reckless, desperate to throw into the water, can be no doubt that this fellow. Once I had the opportunity to observe the evolution of sunbathing throughout the whole year, and I was surprised to find that the approach of the season there is always expected "in full dress," and only with the onset of the inhabitants of the beach are gradually beginning to undress. The water is warmed only by the end of May - but then warms up very quickly. So fast it cools down in the fall, but after that, up to the December Sun enthusiasts will maintain the maximum allowable nudity, catching the last warm rays.

But I would not go to Nice for local beaches, what a joy to sunbathe and swim in the middle of the city? In addition, because of the two rivers flowing into the sea within the city limits - Options and Payon - the water in the bay is always a bit muddy. We love this city for quite another to have it for a long time already shining with reflected light: we love him because he was loved by others. In the XIX century it traveled here in the winter royal family, and behind it stretched all the Russian aristocracy. The track appeared beaten, and after the revolution is going to color most of the Russian aristocracy. Now the majority of its members scattered in all directions: one in the damp earth, who are further to the west, one north, one unrecognizable mix with the local multi-ethnic population.

It is believed that Russian made Nice luxury resort. First started looking for a place for a military base in the Mediterranean and chose Villefranche-sur-Mer. Even in our time, by the way, there was an American military base - so the place was right. At the same time the court so impressed the local climate that began to come here to escape from Russian winters. The direct train from St. Petersburg has been called - "the train of great princes." When the Empress Alexandra Feodorovna in 1857-m Boulevard opened its own behalf, on what occasion it was built a triumphal arch of flowers, there is already lived several hundred of our families ever Tolstoy's heroes.

Russian bought the best areas in Nice and built luxurious villas, and is now marked their dissimilarity to the houses of wealthy Italians and the French. Is not it like, then you will not understand - probably native Asiatic its way even through the Gothic and Renaissance Genoa. They are today called by the names of former owners - "Apraksin", "Kochubey", "Lobanov-Rostovsky." In "Kochubei" now the Museum of Fine Arts in Nice (Musee des beaux arts), which, incidentally, interesting to see - a collection worth. In the castle of Baron von Derviz, surrounded by a park Valroz - natural science faculty of the local university. Baron was a great original - moved from his estate by boat this wooden hut, and it is here away from home for more than a century. Background Derviz loved music, and ordered Russian architect theater on four spectators, a place which for the most part took only his family, which sweetens the evening hearing the orchestra of 70 musicians. Sometimes he gave soirees, which sought to get there - the orchestra was famous throughout Europe. The treasury of Nice after charity balls transferred huge amounts of gold.

The bus company Sunbus seems to me unduly expensive. An even greater outrage is the high cost of a taxi. I was once told that the current taxi drivers union has a history of union cabs. They are then used to carry the rich Russian aristocrats who came to replace the even more rich American uncle and aunt, and now add to them, and even more rich Russian bankers. The five-minute trip from the "Galeries Lafayette" to Simeza fifteen euro seems riding waste. The car, rent immediately brings man out of Nice Cote d'Azur then all is one big settlement, which was nice - the least pleasant to travel the quarter. Many machines everywhere - all of them well, make, not proedesh. Perennial difficulties with parking: not only that there is no place to put, so also have to pay so much that it's better to take a taxi ride.

But bicycle life in Nice ideal. With him and walk along the promenade is much more pleasant, and the perception of the city expanded beyond the usual tourist Piglet, limited port and the old Nice to the east, Rue Gambetta and "Kochubey" in the west and the north quarter of the musicians. Quarter of musicians - "myuzisen" - so called not because they all lived here, though, probably, many of them here there were, but because their names are named streets - Paganini, Berlioz, Gounod ... By the way, on the Rue Paganini, in front of the local Notre Dame Cathedral, the best Chinese restaurant in the city - we have been in it more and Nina Armand.

A man with a bicycle can easily get away to the north, where already there are mountains in the fashionable district of Nice-Nord. Going up the road, escapist from the city, it can be seen in a completely different way than with the Mont-Gros, perspective. Only there, will be seen on top of impressive villas of celebrities unrecognizable, hidden behind tall fences are buried in greenery and adorned with gardens and swimming pools. Climbing up on the bike, and then sinking by the incredible beauty of landscapes and the upcoming opening of the azure of the sky, you can yet again make unexpected - just outside the city begin the Alps.


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