Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nice is nice

The last stop on my Febrary vacation travels (although it was actually March by this point) was Nice. My goal in Nice was mostly to relax and look around. I did make a point of stopping at the Musee National Message Biblique Marc Chagall, which is full of absolutely beautiful paintings. Chagall is one of my favorite artists, his use of color is amazing and emotional and evocative. I also enjoyed the fact that these are paintings I can easily explain to myself, since they were all Old Testament stories. I know the Old Testament pretty well, the New Testament only very vaguely, and it's hard to interest myself in the endless paintings of saints whose names I don't know and religious symbolism I don't understand. But give me something like Jacob's Dream and I'm right at home:

Or Adam and Eve Chased Out of Paradise (interesting that Eve has red hair)

And The Visitors, depicting Abraham recieving three angels announcing that he and Sarah, at the ripe old ages of 100 and 90, would finally have a child. Why is Abraham protecting his, err, private areas? Because he had been circumcised shortly before the arrival of the angels. This teaches us that we should always welcome and be kind to strangers. How amazing is the red in this picture?

I absolutely loved this museum, but I was too cheap to buy the €20 book about the paintings in the museum and I am kicking myself now. In any case, the museum is a MUST SEE if you are ever in Nice. And if you go, please buy me the book.

Nice is a beautiful city, full of colorful stucco houses like the rest of the south, although considerably more elegant here. A friend from Brandeis, who is currently a lecteur at the university there, was kind enough to host me for the weekend, and it was lovely to connect with him again. He doesn't live in one of these apartments, unfortunately!

And of course the ocean. My pictures don't do it justice at all. It was so relaxing and wonderful to walk up and down the Promenade des Anglais/Promenade des Etats-Unis, stopping at a bench to just look at the ocean or read something on my Kindle. The weather was gorgeous, but of course that is typical for Nice.

And now I get to prepare for my upcoming spring break travelling extravaganza with Leesa: Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest, and then I'll head to Brussels for the last weekend. Meanwhile I've changed my plans for the upcoming Easter mini break. To save money I'll be taking day trips around the Paris region. I'm definitely going to Chartres, and other possibilities are Fontainbleau, Chantilly, Compi├Ęgne, and Senlis. Maybe Rouen.

PS How lame am I for posting twice on April Fool's Day and both posts being completely serious and without one single joke? Totally totally lame.

*Chagall painting pictures taken from the web


shannon said...

Sounds like you had a good time in Nice! Such a lovely city!

Both Chantilly and Compiegne are on my train line (though to be far it only stops in Chantilly like twice a day), and I have never been to them. Well, except for driving through Compiegne and the train station. LOL. Paul's friends are assistants there though. They like it. If you want me to ask them anything about it, I can. They're coming here this weekend.

Oh! Wait! I've driven through Senlis as well. The airport bus goes through there. It's a cute medieval town. And the "fake" train station is really pretty as well. It was rebuilt after the war but trains no longer run through it.

Andromeda said...

Oh don't even get me started on redheads . . . natural enemy of the blonde, lol. Last time I was in Nice I did nothing but sit on the beach being a bad lazy art historian. Next time I'll be better hopefully.

Animesh said...

totally agree. Nice is amazing!

au soleil levant said...

Shannon - thanks for the infos, sure, if you get a chance to ask the other assistants, that would be very nice of you.

Andromeda - I thought brunettes and blondes were the enemies? I don't think there are enough redheads (natural, at least) for you to really be enemies!

Animesh - glad you liked Nice too!

Zhu said...

I heard Nice was really... nice :-)

Chagall's use of color is amazing, love it! I must go to museums while I'm in France.