Monday, July 02, 2007

from Nice: the last Sunday

At some point, one has to pack up and return home.

Many would roll an eye at that, given how many days I spend on this side of the ocean. I’m beyond explaining the hows and whys of being here so often and for so long. It’s just the way it is. Though, at some point, work and resources (or lack thereof) kick in and the period of staying put in the Midwest has to be far longer than I would want it to be. Like this next season. Sigh.

But right now, I have a Sunday in Nice. The best thing that you can do with a Sunday in France is to do nothing grand, nothing stressful.

I’m good at that.

Naturally, I head for the beach. And watch young men do their usual pick up game of volley ball. The one who misses a hit gets dunked.


In the afternoon I visit several parks. The one on the Rock, with the view toward the beaches..


…and toward the water, which on a hazy afternoon blends into the sky so perfectly that it looks like a boat is suspended between the two.


…and I go to the park with the merry-go-round…


…and the one with all those different palm trees.


None of these are grand, but each and every one offers a quiet space. Children playing, yes, but even that is muted, like some distant rumble of happiness. I may miss Sundays in the parks even more than baguettes and fraises des bois and glasses of rose wine, shared with countless others.


So long as I am writing about tourists and visitors from other nations (see previous post), I may as well add that this city has been a favorite destination for Russians for a long time. Like, during the days of Tsars and, subsequently, after the Revolution, for those who felt they should save their necks and live outside their homeland (Russian aristocracy comes to mind).

And so it is not really surprising to come across this, one of the lovliest churches in Nice:


I went there as well, but I am put off by places that forbid cameras and so I spent more time on the outside, admiring the domes and the flowers that grow in the gardens.


In the evening, I eat a good seafood selection (with baby artichokes!) and end with a variety of strawberry treats.


A Belgian group is at the table next to mine. Here for the weekend. How nice. Nice for two days. A Sunday down south. In Europe, it is so easy to forget that travel home requires, for me, many many hours chasing planes and buses and who knows what else. To be endured, because there’s no other way.


I take their picture and so they insist on taking mine. I will include it here, if only because it may be the only time the flash was used on my camera. [And no, I did not betray my man Jason, the hair king back home; all my life, my hair has turned blonde in the summer - it may be the only good thing that befalls those with fine Slavic hair.]