Wednesday dawned overcast and grey so it was perfect weather to take a longer trip in the car. I have previously called Nice my “happy place” – I love it, so even a short purposeful return was fine by me, and I was hoping to pay my respects at the site of the terrible Bastille day tragedy. Our plan was to head straight to the Russian Cathedral, as two years ago when we were there it was closed for renovation.
Having found the Cathedral (set in a peaceful park), we were all suitably blown away by its exterior presence. It is beautiful, colourful and quite magnificent. Walking around the outside of the church, it was easy to stand gazing at the design and architecture as the golden decor glistened in the sun. It is a compelling sight.
On entering we were disappointed that no photography is allowed, but the images, the icons, the painted roof and walls will be easily remembered. Some of the images were embroidered with the tiniest beads and jewels and there was much gold on display.
After the Cathedral visit we intended to try and find a park close to the memorial site on the Promenade des Anglais, so we could all fully pay our respects to those lost on July 14, but sadly that was not to be, however we were able to drive past the moving memorials which Dave had seen a few days ago.
Antibes holds a special place in my heart – we have been there twice and it is a wonderful place to spend some time. On our last visit, many streets sported large hanging baskets of purple bougainvillea in full profusion – today they bloomed with muted red begonias.
It had been a long morning so we declared lunch and found a restaurant in a shady square and tucked into some tasty fare – my favourite for me – melon and jambon. We were kept amused by two delightful elderly French women (probably late 70’s) seated nearby, who were both eagerly tucking into steaming black pots of moules – they were so enjoying each other’s company and the food – I surely hope am enjoying my life, food and friendships like that when I get to their stage of life.
We walked up to the sea wall and saw an amazing bronze sculpture – which turned out to be one of a series all around the town by Nicolas Lavarenne. In the marina, one super yacht in particular stood out, towering above all the other vessels moored around it.As it turns out, it is the Dilbar – 600 million dollars worth of boat owned by a Russian billionaire – and the biggest in the world. The marina itself is very pretty with a view across to a very old and impressive fort.
On our return home, a thunderstorm passed through and it began to rain (on our parade) but we managed a barbecued meal nevertheless, and we have been relaxing in the lounge. One thing that would be nice would be to find a good movie we could all watch in English. The only television fare we have had since being in France and Italy has been BBC news, CNN or Euronews – we are well versed in current affairs now!
Tomorrow? I wander the streets of St Tropez alone …