43° 42.4' N 7° 16.7' E Nice, France
We casted off those bow lines. We are away. Cruising the Med.
Our first stop; Nice. They gave us a warm welcome and an easy berth. We got the bikes out and magically I managed to drop the pedal from our folding bikes through the only gap in the whole pontoon. FFS. Not an easy part to replace readily and too deep and cloudy for either of us to dive we slipped a diver at the end of the pontoon cash to fish it out for us. It took him less than a minute. It seems all things want to go in the sea, where they are either hard or impossible to retrieve.
Clearly a lesson I needed to learn early on.
I was rather glad we retrieved it when the next morning we rode up to the Monastry, a steep, relentlessly hot climb. It was worth it. The gardens were a peaceful find. We dropped down into the Olive fields and popped into the Matisse Gallery, before careening down the hill for a wander around city centre.
Every morning I'd bounce (not to be confused with bound) up Parc du Chateau (aka. The Castle Park), only 92m above sea level but the highest point in downtown Nice. It was like the great-great grandmother of my favourite run in NZ, up 'The Mount' (Mount Maunganui). The steps I was climbing were laid before the founding day of NZ, they had that lovely worked curve where the outside edges of the stone are an inch higher than the centre where the footsteps fall. At the top were ancient archaeological sites and a great view over Nice, the Old Town and the harbour housing Silver Paws. One morning I followed a lot of yogi's to the top and was stoked to find a free yoga day at the top, courtesy coconut water and all!
Nice seems happy in its skin. It doesn’t try and be something its not. It was active, humble and the weekend we are were there happened to be the french festival Fete de la Musique. Saturday saw the festival kicked off with a free launch concert on the boardwalk, streamed to 4 million french viewers. Our new mate & solo cruiser David joined us, the crowd were family friendly, a couple of the songs were in english and there was fireworks!