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Boat Trip and the Negresco

Posted on 2009/07/05 16:55:41 (July 2009).

[Friday 3rd July]
The last full day of our holiday. Chie, being much more organised than me, had proposed most of our daytime activities up until now, so today asked if there was anything I wanted to do. I just had a hankering to go on a boat trip, which fortunately seemed to appeal to Chie as well. So after pouring over a few leaflets, we decided the best thing to do would be to get the train to Juans-les-Pins, where there was a company which did regular boat trips a short distance along the coast from there, and had the added novelty of being one of those glass bottom boats that lets you see under the water.

We phoned up and booked ourselves on the 2pm trip, and arrived in Juans-les-Pins with time to spare for lunch, so went to an interesting little cafe of the "restauration rapide" variety. It was actually quite great - they did simple lunches like salads, omelettes, toasted sandwiches etc, and as it turns out an omelette with chips was pretty much exactly what I fancied. The staff were very bubbly in here - and despite (or perhaps because of) the extremely down to earth nature of the place this was for me probably one of the best lunches we had of the whole holiday.

From there we headed to the sea, and got on our boat. It was quite a fun trip - a mixture of oggling the yachts and villas of the super rich, interspersed with going below deck to see the local marine life. The sea wasn't particularly clear today, so we couldn't really see a huge amount of sea life, but definitely a few schools of little fish, etc. Overall this was definitely a good idea.

After that we headed back to Nice to check in to our hotel for our last night - the famous Negresco. It's like an art museum inside, so on a recommendation from Mum we set aside some time to go and visit every single floor, and wander up and down the corridors, looking at the numerous works of art on the walls. My favourite corridor was on the 5th (I think) floor, which was lined with 1920s/30s style cartoon-esque pictures of the fronts of some of Europe's most famous hotels (including of course the Negresco itself). They also had a whole corridor of Dali's work as well, which was quite impressive.

For dinner we decided to go to Nice's one and only vegetarian restaurant - La Zucca Magica (Italian for "The Magic Pumpkin"). It's quite an unusual experience - the decor is quite eccentric, the walls filled with pictures of pumpkins - and there's no menu. You just show up, and they serve you five courses. We started with a chilled bean soup, this was followed by a kind of risotto dish, then an aubergine and smoked cheese bake, then some canneloni, followed finally by dessert which I think was a sort of tart with nectarines. I think we both probably ended up eating a bit too much, and so we decided to walk back to the hotel to try and burn some of it off. It was also quite a nice opportunity to see the seafront by night one last time.

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