2 PICTURE ALBUM
Thursday, October 2
Steve: The itinerary for today consisted of relaxing
explorations of Nice and Cannes. I've been curious to see the French Riviera,
and today we got a good feel for what the area is all about. Of course, we're
seeing it in the off-season, and we tried to imagine what it would be like
filled with people. As it was, these places are still very busy, even here
in October (more on that later
We started by walking through the old section of Nice. The highlight for
us here was clearly the flower and produce market. It's on a site called Cours
Saleya, close to the Promenade des Anglais (the long road and boardwalk along
the coast). This is one of the best markets we've been to so far. There is
a huge variety of flowers and plants - David was determined to find a way
for us to bring home one of the olive trees that were for sale. We had to
disappoint him, explaining that it probably wouldn't live through our remaining
five weeks of travel
We also saw a bonsai tree that sold
for 480 Euros! The produce was all extremely fresh, and we especially liked
the large varieties and displays of olives and spices. It was hard to see
everything and not be able to indulge. We promised ourselves that we'll look
for outdoor markets like this when we're in Arles and will have our own kitchen
After walking through the town some more, we headed to the beach. Today was
very warm and sunny, and there were several people in the water. However,
a beach full of rocks just doesn't cut it for us. The French seem to be able
to walk and lay on the rocks as if they were sand - we weren't even able to
take a single step. Our travel book described the rocks as "small pebbles"
- we'd call them rocks. Now that we've seen it during daylight, the scenery
along the waterfront
is not that attractive to us. While there are some interesting hotels and
buildings, Nice really looks like a typical beach-front resort city - nothing
all that special.
We decided to take advantage of the weather, and head to Cannes so that we
could explore the town and also swim on a sandy beach. Cannes is well-known
for its film festivals, the rich and famous people that frequent its beaches
and its harbor filled with huge yachts. We drove to Cannes along the coast,
giving us the opportunity to see several of the smaller towns along the way,
including Cagnes-sur-Mer and Antibes (from what we saw, these both looked
like smaller versions of Nice).
After we arrived in Cannes, we walked to the main beach. Most of the beach
is split into private sections owned by hotels. Several of these will allow
non-guests on their beaches, but for fees that start at 12 Euros/person! For
this, you get the privilege of a lounge chair and the ability to order what
we assume are outrageously priced drinks and food. Fortunately, there are
a couple of free public beaches, and we found one of these at the end of a
row of private hotel beaches. Interestingly, the sand at Cannes has all been
imported and placed over the natural rocks - it is amazing to think about
how much sand must have been required to do this. We spent time swimming and
relaxing, and then walked down the beach so that we could see some of the
private areas - again, nothing all that special. We're sure that it's much
more fun to be here in the heart of the season when it's possible to watch
the rich and famous indulge.
walked into the town center for lunch, and then headed to Cannes' main marina.
The main attractions here are the huge yachts. It was hard not to admire the
beauty of some of these boats. On every boat, we saw crew members doing some
kind of work - primarily cleaning or repair. We stopped and spoke to someone
who was doing repair work on one of the largest boats in the marina. He explained
that he's part of a group of nine crew members who take care of the boat full-time.
He said that the boat is owned by an individual, but that it is rarely used.
He said that over the past summer, the boat had only been taken out for one
two-week trip. We guessed that the boat is simply one of many toys available
for entertaining its obnoxiously wealthy owner
Our drive back to Nice was unbelievably frustrating. The roads were absolutely
packed with cars, and it took us over two hours to travel the 40 kilometers
from Cannes to Nice. Our hotel told us that traffic is not a problem this
late in the season, but at least for today they were very wrong. We tried
to imagine how bad it must be here during the high season - not a pleasant
On the way back, we stopped along the coast to let the traffic pass, and
the kids enjoyed playing along a rocky beach. It was also fun to see the variety
of people walking, jogging, roller-blading and biking along the promenade.
We finally arrived in Nice tired and hungry, and had a wonderful dinner at
an Asian restaurant called Le Mandarin (a nice change of pace).
Tomorrow we plan to visit the homes and studios where Matisse and Renoir
did much of their work, and also to take a train to Monaco for the afternoon
Distance Walked: 3.25 miles
Katie's Komments - The topic for today is
two of my favorite pieces of
artwork in Florence
After discovering a great deal of artwork in Florence, I have finally decided
which pieces are the most striking and meaningful to me. The pieces of artwork
that I found to be the most effective and striking are Botticelli's painting
The Birth of Venus and Michelangelo' famous sculpture, David. The following
paragraphs describe my feelings about each of the works of art and why they
will stick in my mind forever.
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli
When you enter the room there is no turning back. Your eyes are firmly set
on the beauty of Botticelli's Birth of Venus. As you gaze at the painting
in wonder, the peacefulness and beauty of Venus penetrates your skin and emotions.
There is no turning back. Everything about the painting relaxes you-the warm
colors, peaceful setting and the beauty of Venus. There is an enormous amount
of movement in the painting, but unlike Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel it is
a steady, relaxing and dreamy effect that changes the mood of all paintings
surrounding it. On the left side of Venus are two angels blowing pink flowers
gently toward the goddess. They slowly move toward her nude body and blow
back her long golden hair. On the other side is a woman holding a peach cloth
toward Venus guiding your eyes to the flattering appearance of the Deity.
The woman is beautiful but nothing compared to the godly, delicate body of
Venus. Venus stands weightless on the object she was born in, and she sheds
her young beauty to all viewers. She looks completely balanced on this shell
floating on the serene ripples of the sea. You notice her hand placed gently
against her body as she looks out at us ignoring the attention she is getting
from her sides. This clearly shows us her vanity and awareness of her godly
features. Her harmonious appearance not only strikes you and other art lovers
today, during Renaissance times churches were astonished by the beauty Botticelli
portrayed of a Greek mythological god. This well known painting was one of
the first pieces of artwork that began the Renaissance period which was a
rebirth of Greek and Roman ideas.
What was another piece of art work that portrayed the meaning of the Renaissance
era? The answer is Michelangelo's David.
TO BE CONTINUED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!