Friday, 22 April 2011

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

Negresco Hotel, Promenade des Anglais, Nice

It sweeps along the majestic curve (I’m no enemy of the well worn cliché) of the Baie des Anges, past modern and Belle Époque palaces, past casinos and hotels, of which the most famous the Negresco, and past super-plush apartment blocks for those wealthy Russian emigrés, the new nouveaux riches of the Côte d’Azur.

Each year it plays host to a carnival and flower procession in which jolly protagonists throw mimosas, gerberas and lilies at one another in a meticulously rehearsed gesture of joy and bonhomie.

It is the natural habitat of joggers, skateboarders, roller bladers, buskers and other urban predators, as well as bucket loads of tourists and retired gentlemen strollers.

Busker with his own piano on Promenade des Anglais, Nice

On its route from the airport to the maritime port it passes the Parc Phoenix, allegedly Europe's largest botanical garden with a giant greenhouse enclosing seven tropical climates, and with an aviary, an aquarium, a lake, a terrarium, an orchid garden, fountains, and two and a half thousand species of plants. And just for good measure there's an Asian Arts Museum thrown in, too. And all for just two paltry euros!

Parc Phoenix, 405 Promenade des Anglais, Nice

There are bathers, too, on the shingle beaches that follow the avenue, or that the avenue follows, whichever you prefer, along the aforementioned majestic curve of the bay. And there are people just relaxing in the famous chaises bleues, the blue chairs that adorn the route. 

Bathers in search of that Mediterranean tan

So if you're a busker, a bather, a biker, a roller skater or a skateboarder, then La Prom is the place for you. But if you're intolerant to pollen (I almost typed intolerant to Polly) avoid the flower carnival, which takes place in winter (Feb/March). Otherwise Vogue la galère ! Just go for it!

For more on the beautiful city of Nice see Cours Saleya and Colline du Chateau.

1 comment:

  1. That very same pianist was prone to taking up residence under the arches on Place Massena of late. But there are some good musicians there, too...(sorry Mr Pianist).