Nice Not So Nice

Our cruise ship was too large to dock at Nice so we docked at the little seaport, Villefranche, and took a shuttle boat to port, then the city bus into Nice.

It was raining, of course, so much so that we had to get an umbrella for David as mine was to small to cover both of us. The dashed through town and finally found a supermarket that had umbrellas. By that time, we were drenched with water soaking my jeans right up to my knees. We took refuge in a little cafe to regroup.

We saw the Musee d’Art Contemporain from the cafe in the Place Garibaldi. It was closed on Mondays. in fact, we discovered all the museums and most restaurants we closed on Mondays. Funny, the cruise ship declined to mention this in the morning announcement.

We roamed the streets of Vieux Nice, the old part of town. I stopped in a store that featured a grand old olive press and many types olive oil, dented with everything from bergamot to lavender to quince. I commented to the store owner how lovely her store was. We stepped out and into a square line with restaurants with signs that touted, “Specialite de Nicoise” and a light wanted on. I ran back to the lady in the olive shop and said that my favourite Salad was Salade Nicoise and I just realized that it was the salad of Nice. I always thought it referred to the type of olive in the salad. What a revelation! I was hoping for a good laugh, but instead she asked me where I was from and why you idiotic tourists don’t take five minutes to understand something about the cities or countries you visit. When I said that we had, she proceeded to tell me that I could possible know anything about her city. She could tell from my stupid question. She expressed this with such vehemence that it felt like I had been hit in the gut. I walked around stunned and silent.

David grabbed me and suggested we go back to Villefranche and find a restaurant. Food is always the best solution. We found one near the shore called, “Palmiere.” I ordered one glass of red wine and it was so good we decided to buy a bottle to calm my nerves. It worked.

Eating Mussels

I ordered Moules Provencial and David had the linguini with fresh garlic, tomatoes and basil. As we waited, I watched as the local man at a table beside us as he ate his mussels.


He had a technique that, in hindsight is obvious, but I had never seen before.








He used his small fork to remove the mussel from the first shell.









He then used the now empty shell as a tweezer and pinched out the next mussel from its shell.










As soon as my mussels arrived, I tried it. It worked like a charm!



Eating Mussels








On the way back to the ship, we decided to visit the Citadelle de St-Elme, an ancient fortress that surrounds much of Villefrance.




We discovered a museum deep in a cave that was dedicated to the sculpture of the female form.

Beautiful! We emerged into a square that lead to a lovely garden. The sun had finally arrived, so before we left, we strolled along the sea wall eating a gelato.




We returned to the ship and sat on our sunny deck. We decided to have one of those wines David smuggled in. Never could understand why my suitcase was confiscated and his was not. However, we now had a dilemma – no corkscrew. Every university student learns how to solve this problem…push the cork down into the bottle and voila!

1 comment

  1. Petra Carter

    Phew… I’m so relieved you found a way to open that bottle of wine after that bitter woman spoiled your day!
    I think people are friendlier in the Languedoc but it always amazes me that some people insist on a job in tourism while they hate dealing with people!
    And NO, Salade Nicoise is not meant to have chicory nor sweetcorn haha!
    Looking forward to the next entries… xx

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