I take a bus to Monte Carlo, mainly to see the beautiful view from the Moyenne Corniche. I got off in Eze, a small highly recommended medieval village perched on the rocks. The site itself is indeed beautiful. Nietzsche was so fond of this place that he spent time there writing the third part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra and a trail now bears his name. It was a long time ago, though. Since then, every square centimetre has been covered with artisan shops. What is sold is very pretty, but the outrageous exploitation of the site makes the experience rather mundane.
I have to wait for the bus until 2:30 p.m. to go to Monte Carlo. Soon the rock appears, just like in the movies. I have the James Bond music in my head. He will probably arrives soon, right? No, he does not comes out of his luxury hotel room before 10pm, fully dressed, ready to seduce and get his magic pen / gun / camera etc.out. The crowd is divided into two: the tourists who are there for the day, who are easily recognizable thanks to their unkempt appearance, and the others, who wear their designer eyewear and clothing (they could be on a James Bond film). The concentration of oversized mouths is impressive. I watch for a while the superficial beauty wandering in search of something, but what? Nothing that has to do with Proust. I go back on the one euro fifty bus towards reality, via the Basse Corniche. I prefer small cafes in Nice.
After twenty-five hour flight and ten hours in transit between Auckland, Melbourne and Dubai, arriving in Nice is first and foremost a relief. The rather casual attitude customs pleasantly surprises me: I think we already forgotten the attacks, but soon crossed the customs, I encounter a strong military army presence that gives chills in the back. The military is everywhere in the city and do not fail to remember that it is always alert although all traces lately has been removed, except for the memorial, which recently filed flowers alongside lint beginning to sag. The Nice mention nothing, eager no doubt to forget as quickly as possible the horror that befell them. They are gracious and grateful tourists slowly return to their city. As for me, it almost empty tourist like.
The sun is always warm on the Promenade des Anglais and the beach is crowded with well-tanned body who do not fear the sun. After many years in New Zealand where the sun burns the second or third degree in a few minutes in summer (and where the skin cancer rate is one of the highest in the world), this show seems odd. No trace of Burkini or policeman chasing. Nice is so well known that it seems to be already come, even if it is the first visit. I was immediately struck by the atmosphere of sweetness and kindness that prevails. It is a city where one simply feels good. The Nice appear relaxed and affable. It is my pleasure, on my first trip to discover that James Joyce spent some time there and that the first lines of Finnegan’s Wake, or walking down the street or Napoleon lived for a time. I walk aimlessly near the port, in the antique district and Market Streets. Tomorrow I take the bus to Monte Carlo for the pleasure of enjoying the view from the Moyenne Corniche.