Monday, September 2, 2013


…Nice is beautiful, stunning really, a seaside resort for the carefree and—one would think from merely glancing around—rich.

The hills overlooking the surf are covered with buildings, opulent hotels or mansions whose architecture evokes Italian influences.  In a little over two hours, I counted more than 100 Mercedes automobiles on the streets.  Being that land here is extremely valuable, everything is packed together closely, tightly, and there is certainly a claustrophobic quality to the city planning, especially where the narrow roadways are concerned.  How buses are able to negotiate some of the turns are anybody’s guess.  Pedestrians, as in Rome, flee for their lives.

People swim in the curved bay below breath-taking cliffs, going way out toward wobbling buoys or splashing shore-side.  A few paddle standing up on the water.  Even as early as 7am, rows and rows of folks have lined up on the rock-covered beach with their striped towels, claiming a section as their own.

There are couples and families but mostly there are young people who come to Nice, particularly at night.  Last evening, a group of 70 or so, paired off into smaller groups of ten each, laughed and regaled themselves in darkness merely light by the moon and its reflection beaten off the water by waves.  These kids seem quite giddy and nonthreatening, as if they have it all and are going to enjoy it all in a leisurely pace.

It’s impossible not to be affected by Nice’s beauty, but it’s also difficult not to imagine what the area would have looked like before it became the man-made tourist mecca it is today.  Nice reminds me of a naturally beautiful woman who becomes a model, loses all her weight, takes to wearing excess make-up and accessories, has her hair done by stylists while donning stilettos with impossibly high heels.

I’m not sure what you’d think about her.

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