By Day Three, we had provisioned for the basics but still needed a few things for in-home cuisine. So off to the market in Cours Saleya, just steps from our apartment.
Lynn shopped for vegetables and fruit to prepare a dinner of sausage and peppers plus salad with homemade dressing. Here was the bounty: a huge head of delicious delicate lettuce, tomatoes, peppers larger than we ever see in the U.S., garlic the size of a satsuma, lemons and an onion–for 5.50 euros.
After depositing the vegetables at the apartment, we walked around the corner to the boucherie for sausage and to the pasta store for a couple of sheets of homemade ravioli. There, the clerk insisted we must buy two sheets, even though one was easily enough for us. But at 1.40 euro per sheet of 24 ravioli, who could say no? Besides, she would not take no for an answer.
Finally, we were ready for exploration, despite the fact that we had traipsed across Old Town at least three times in the last two days. Our target now was Castle Hill to see if the elevator was now open. It was, even though it had been sealed off the night before.
The Castle Hill elevator (ascenseur) is free, accessed down a long hallway decorated on the walls with displays of the history of the fort, which is essentially the history of Nice, going back to Roman times. The most significant moments in modern Nicoise history were Napoleon’s conquest of the city in 1805 and the city’s accession to France in 1860.
As I read the display about Napoleon’s conquest, it occurred to me that if the Little Emperor had not interfered so drastically, Nice would still be Italy, Barcelona and Catalonia would still be an independent country and New Orleans would still be French. Hmmmm…….
Near the top of the hill is a small snack bar, where we gratefully slaked our thirst with a couple of cold 1664s while gazing at the view below and across the hills of Nice, which run right up to the shoreline.
By the time we worked our way back to the ground level and wandered into the heart of Old Town, we realized it was nearly 3 p.m. and time for lunch. No wonder we were hungry, despite our hearty breakfast of Lynn’s eggs and lardon. So we stopped at the street-side cafe for salads, Nicoise for me and Italian for Lynn. Both were excellent and both were huge. At 9 euros each ($10.80), it’s about the same price as the U.S. but much fresher and much larger.
Fortified for more exploration, we decided to walk over to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, which we had never seen. After about a half hour of trudging through the streets of downtown Nice, we decided that the Orthodox Cathedral could wait for another day. It was definitely not as close as the map had indicated.
So back we went to our familiar streets of Old Town. By now, it was ice cream time, and long lines formed in front of every gelato store, of which there are literally dozens. The French do love their sweets. We see the same thing in Paris, and they don’t think twice about enjoying a cone before lunch sometimes.
Eschewing the ice cream, we finally headed back to the apartment for some of Lynn’s finest cuisine. And a bottle of wine. Both turned out delicious.
I have been told that this blog sometimes sounds like a series of food reviews. If that is the case, so be it.