July 8, 2018

Europe 2018 day 9: a nice day in Nice

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We dragged ourselves up before sunrise, cleaned up the lovely AirBnB apartment we were staying in, saw a beautiful sunrise over the Place de la Bastille, and headed for Orly Airport.  We're spending a few days in the south of France with some old friends of mine, and Nice would be our first stop today.

After landing at Nice Airport, we made our way to Gare de Nice Ville and dropped off our luggage.  There were two museums I wanted to hit while we were here, and the first one seemed just a relatively short walk from the station.

Marc Chagall is one of my favorite artists, and I was very happy to have the chance to visit Musée National Marc Chagall.

The museum is currently doing an exhibit of Chagall's series Biblical Messages, originally intended for display in a chapel.  These works were mostly in large format, and absolutely stunning to behold with the naked eye.  This piece depicted Adam and Eve being driven out of the Garden of Eden.

I also loved this piece about the creation of man.

I've always loved Chagall's stained glass work, ever since I first laid eyes upon the panels he did for the Notre Dame in Reims depicting the life of Jesus.  There's also a set here at the museum.

After getting ourselves the very last set of dessert plates made by Bernardaud, it was time to get some lunch.  Rather than trek back towards the station for restaurants, we decided it was easier to just eat at La Buvette du Musée right here in the garden of the museum.

Since we are in Nice, Hello Kitty decided to order herself a salad niçoise...

As for me... I regressed back to being a kid an ordered a steak haché.  It was strangely satisfying.

It was here that we met the west highland white terrier roaming the grounds, who turned out to be the restaurant manager's dog. This little fella was friendly and went to practically every table looking for food.  Not only that, he was picky about what he wanted to eat, too!  He wasn't the least bit interested in greens, bread, or eggs.  But if you offered him any kind of meat - like a slice of cold cut or a bit of steak haché - he would happily lap it up.

Having refuelled ourselves, we were ready for our next museum.  Once again Google Maps told me that it was within my definition of "walking distance", and since there were no taxis nearby, I convinced Hello Kitty to walk to Musée Matisse.  What Google Map didn't show me, of course, was that it was an entirely uphill climb... so of course it was painful and I was completely drenched in sweat by the time we arrived...

The museum is part of the Jardin des Arène de Cimiez, and depending on which way one approaches the sloping terrain, can be see as underground.   Besides the museum's permanent collection - which also include Henri Matisse's collection of works from other artists - there was an exhibition entitled Matisse et Picasso: la comédie du modèle.

One of the rooms near the entrance was dedicated to the piece called La Piscine. Hello Kitty decided it would be a great use of her Insta360 camera, and she was absolutely right.

We decided not to walk back downhill to the station, and waited for a bus instead.  We ended up waiting a long time due to a breakdown, but at least we didn't have to sweat it...  So we retrieved our luggage from the storage service, tried to wipe the sweat off our bodies, changed into fresh clothes, and got picked up by my friends on the way to one of the best meals of our trip...

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