The sun wasn’t up yet, but I could tell that it was going to be another beautiful day and I couldn’t wait to get outside. I told Kevin how much I loved my morning jog the day before so he joined me for the stroll this morning. Unlike the weekend, the beach was deserted so we walked along the shore for a while. I wasn’t brave enough to go in for a swim so early in the morning but I thought I should at least dip my toes in the Mediterranean Sea. There wasn’t a single wave to speak of but the beach was so rocky that I felt as if I was getting reflexology on my feet. Any sleep that may have been lingering was quickly chased away by the chilly water. It wasn’t long before I put my shoes back on.
We were by the lighthouse when the sun came over the mountains.
The guys were headed to Monte Carlo for the day but Kevin, Ruben, and I decided to stay in Nice for a leisurely day. Kevin, like me, enjoys walking so we didn’t think twice about trekking up to the Chagall museum. Ruben got a later start to his morning so he took a taxi there to meet us.
This museum was interesting in that it was created and built during Chagall’s life time, and the artist himself selected the pieces he wanted to show. Also known as Musée National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, all the paintings are biblical illustrations from Exodus, Genesis, and the Song of Songs. We arrived in time to watch most of the 40-minute video presentation on Marc Chagall, which I thought was quite informational. There was a temporary exhibit of “artists in exile” but I found the permanent collection much more fascinating. I could clearly see and appreciate the artist’s own background and history in his paintings (the audio guide helped a lot!)
After a quick lunch at the outdoor museum café, we continued walking up on the hill to the Matisse Museum. Its small collection (mostly of remnants and scraps of paper cut by Matisse but never used) and other works of art inspired by Matisse were rather disappointing. I briefly entertained the idea of visiting the archaeological museum as well, but thinking of the return journey on foot we decided to skip it. I had my mind set on trying out this gelato shop called Arlequin Gelati Italiani but sadly it was closed when we went by (Monday!). So we settled for a cold beer accompanied by some people watching.
I thought the guys would live it up in Monte Carlo playing high stakes poker and drinking martinis like James Bond, but they returned to Nice for cocktails and dinner. We met up at the hotel lounge for a round of drinks and hors d’oeuvres (enough foie gras to satisfy the guys who are living with the foie ban in California now). Our dinner was all about seafood this evening. At first glance, Boccaccio didn’t look like a place we’d like (large, kitchy decor, on the main drag, probably catering to tourists) but the service was efficient and the food was just fine. The portions were ridiculously big and I’m still shocked that Peter finished his giant bowl of pasta with shrimp, mussels, clams. The cold seafood tower literally towered over us. And the paella Kevin and I ordered was so huge that it took the two of us plus Marco, and healthy servings dished out to Ted and Victor to finish it off. Ted and Peter had room for ice cream after that! Ah, to be young with high metabolism… I took a bite anyway to end my artsy day on a sweet note.
Musée National Marc Chagall: Avenue Docteur Ménard, Nice, France.
Boccaccio: 7 Rue Massena, Nice, France