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More Nice and Eze

Posted on 2009/07/05 16:55:40 (July 2009).

[Tuesday 30th June]
Spent the day in and around Nice. We started off again by heading towards the old town once more, and stopped off for lunch at the Lebanese restaurant we'd noticed the other day. I had a very satisfying mixed mezze plate for something like 10 Euros. After that we went to take a look at the Cathedral Ste. Repare, but didn't actually work out how to get inside, and instead just sat in the square in front of it having an ice cream. We went for the rather unusual combination of violet and Chocolate pimento - the latter being quite spicy.

Chie had read that the old castle grounds give quite good views out over Nice, so next we headed over there, and keen to avoid a steep uphill climb in the rather oppressive heat we used the lift instead, which seemed quite reasonable at 1-and-a-bit Euros each. There were indeed some quite Nice views to be had from the top, as hopefully the pictures attest.

There seems to be quite a good bus system in the Nice area, and for a very reasonable 4 Euros you can buy a pass which will let you uses as many buses as you want for the day. This includes routes which go a fair way out of the city centre. So capitalising on this, we thought it would be a good opportunity to visit Eze, a little village perché some 20 minutes or so drive outside of Nice.

Eze was exactly my sort of thing - I love those kinds of villages on hilltops, full of higgledy piggledy ancient stone houses, where all the streets are little windy cobbled passageways, there are no cars, and with the exception of the occasional shop selling postcards you could easily believe you were still in the Middle Ages. A real visual treat. Whilst we were there we also visited Eze's exotic gardens, which weren't quite so much my cup of tea, but still some nice views to be had nonetheless.

Eze seems to also be famous for perfumeries - there are at least two of these here - and so we thought it might be interesting to go on one of the free factory tours. The stills they use look very similar to whisky stills, and I was surprised to learn it can take a ton of flowers to produce just a litre of perfume - it had never previously occurred to me what an environmentally unsound proposition perfume was!

We got the bus back to Nice after that, and in the evening went to a restaurant called La Merenda for dinner. Chie had seen it recommended in her Japanese guidebook, because of the fried courgette flowers - a favourite of mine. It was quite ridiculously cramped - they squeezed probably 20 people onto tiny little tables and stools into a space that was smaller than some restaurant's toilets. Still I suppose it was sort of jolly in it's own way. The courgette flowers were very well cooked - they had a great texture - but were a little lacking in flavour - I think I preferred the ones I'd had at a place near where I work in London. In fact that was a general theme for pretty much all of the food we had during this holiday - I'd had a better version of the same sort of thing back in London.

We rounded off the evening with a drink or two in a bar in the old town.

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