Russian church walkabout


This is the walk we took on Day 2, morning.

Our apartment is in the famous Quartier des Musiciens, so it was a short walk to the Russian Orthodox church.  All we had to do is walk from rue Rossini, where we are staying, turn right on Gabetta, go under the elevated autoroute, left of Blvd du Tzarewitch, and voila, there was the church the Romanoff royals built long ago, no doubt to pray for their sins.

I was told by a dour attendant to take my hat off when we went inside the church proper; the architecture was ornately baroque, in that Eastern Orthodox way.

Later, we went to visit the venerable Nice Tennis Lawn Club, a very short distance away on rue Suzanne Langlen by the Parc Imperial (where the church is located), and took in the grounds, which were terre battue and hard court.  For non members, 50 euros an hour; but you can come at 9am, we were told, and for only a 15 euros participation fee, a member might invite your for a game.

This sounded promising,  So we went in the tennis shop to see if they had the new Serena Williams racket.  Inside was some blondish late 30s / early 40s tennis shop guy dripping with arrogance.  He was one of those types who answered you back in English, after you made the effort to converse in French, and his answer to the Serena question was, “why?” –as in, why would you want that racket?

He was stringing a racket for someone in the shop, and then he said to no one in particular, sneeringly almost, eyes dripping with condescension, all these tennis fans like to buy the rackets of famous players, like my wife was sort of weekend banger, and not someone who has played the game well all her life.

A simple “merci monsieur” was enough to end this conversation in a way that it might not have ended in 1971-72, when I was as a student in Nice, and rarely averse to verbally taking on, in rapid-fire, slangy French, any pompous little twerp who tried to get away with Gallic pretensions.

I mean, there’s not even an actual lawn in the Nice Tennis Lawn Club, you know what I mean?

Later we stopped by a bistro and had a huge plate of Couscous Royale that had different kinds of veggies and meat in it — lamb, chicken, beef and my personal bête noire , Mergez sausage — which remained untouched.  I did smear some harissa sauce on my off-white pants, and that was not my only regret, as I mistakenly paid the addition with a debit card instead of my bank’s credit card.

That will end up costing me a packet in transaction costs, a mistake that shall not be repeated, as the debit card has been packed in a suitcase.  I could excuse the error by saying that the HSBC debit and credit cards are the same color, and plus which, it was getting hot out, but excuses are for losers.

I’ve done enough of that the last 16 years, living in Florida. So, no excuses, no regrets — especially since the harissa came out in the wash later that day.

Be choosy in life about which fights to pick, and you’ll do just fine. I don’t know if Nietzche thought of writing that when he composed Zarathustra on a hilly trail leading to nearby Monaco, but if he didn’t, he should have.


A walk around town



We took a walk around Nice shortly after checking into our Airbnb rental in the Quartier des Musiciens.

I soon remembered why I love this town so much: the architecture reminds me of the Alexandria I grew up in and loved during the 60s.  An elegant city, with colonial era buildings that shimmered lazily under the sun by a dazzling Mediterranean sea.

The calm and serenity of Nice this afternoon was unexpected.  It was a Wednesday, after all, but it felt as if Erin and I were going on an afternoon stroll in a city whose residents were enjoying their Sunday off,

I started grinning the minute we got on the 99 bus to take us from the airport to Blvd. Gambetta (only 6 euros, and the stop we got off was two blocks from our street!), as I took in all the familiar the sights along the Prom, as we entered Nice proper.

I was getting closer to home, and didn’t even think about how casually I slipped into speaking fluent Medi style French with people we met.

Tomorrow I will go looking for more.





In Nice!

We made it to Nice.  Here is my wife on the Prom, obviously stressed about Irma.

nice promenade

Erin , first day in Nice

However, I am pleased to report that our beautiful sheppie is doing well, and that plans are in place to safeguard her — in case Irma hits FLA while Erin is away.


German shepherd dog

The Beauty Girl at the hotel where she’s staying