OK, now I know why it’s called the Cote d’Azur.

The Mediterranean was obviously designed to be viewed in full sun. I kept my hat on all day but my arms are a bit red, though that’s not saying much from a man who got sunburnt in Scotland.

Here is the a French war memorial carved into the side of the cliff-face of Colline du Chateau. It must be ten stories high.

Here is the port of Nice.

No-one asked me to take a ride on their yacht.

Some more facades.

Nice has a very Italian flavour architecturally because of its proximity to the Italian border. In fact Nice has been Italian and French during its history. Also ancient Rome and Greece had a look in. Nice is named after Nike, the Greek goddess of victory.

As you ascend the hill towards the wealthy suburb of Cimiez the architecture is more clearly French style nineteenth century.

In the heart of Cimiez is the Musee Matisse set in an ancient olive grove.

It was a beautiful collection but photography wasn’t allowed inside. There was also a wonderful temporary exhibition of photographs by Pierre Boucher.

The entire hill was once a Roman city and there were plenty of ruins still to be seen. You can see that the grass is freshly mown. The smell of the cut grass drying in the sun made me immediately think of Australia – for me that smell used to always signal the beginning of summer. Grass doesn’t have the same smell in England but at least it usually stays green.

One of the day’s highlights was the gardens at the Monastery Notre Dame de Cimiez.

Just stunning.

After lunch I went to the Musee National Marc Chagall.

Such wonderful paintings.

In the afternoon I went to the top of Colline du Chateau, which is basically a large hill that was one the original fortification of Nice, the city later developing beyond its ramparts. The fortified city is long gone, though there were some archaeological sites still being worked on. Now its mostly gardens and recreational space. I had an ice cream. This is the view of Nice from the top. The top of Colline du Chateau not the ice cream. You can see the Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels), the Promenade des Anglais (the pedestrian walkway that stretches all the way along the seafront), Vieille Ville (the old city) is the triangle of terracotta roofs to the right, and then nineteenth and twentieth century Nice beyond.

Looking out over the other side of the hill you can see the port of Nice.

That massive yacht in the port is the Lady Christine. It has its own helicopter.

Another view into Old Nice…

…which is where I am now!

This is the flower market in Cours Saleya. I intend to explore this area of Nice in more depth over the coming days.