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Half a Day on Mediterranean Coast: Nice the Beautiful

In early September I happened to stop for a few days in Nice, on the Mediterranean coast, with an important photographic mission, which I will soon tell you in a future post. September is truly the best time to visit Côte d'Azur: the crowds are gone, while the weather is still warm and pleasant, with the sea water temperature being close to air temperature, making the entire seaside experience even more enjoyable. Having only half a day to discover the city, I grabbed my camera and headed out in search of photo opportunities...

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I set on to explore the city camera in hand around 10 am. Soft morning light is almost gone; I am inexcusably late for sunrise photos on the beach. I therefore head directly to the Old Town with its tall buildings and extremely narrow streets, protecting passers-by from the sultry southern sun and providing refuge from strong contrasts for photographers.

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The Old Nice is a true fiesta of colours: crimson red, ochre, saffron yellow buildings of Italian architecture, decorated with contrasting light green blinds, omnipresent rows of freshly washed multicoloured laundry, so typical for southern cities, all of it agains a clear blue Mediterranean sky. I venture into the famous Flower Market, capture some of the local produce, look around for interactions between buyers and sellers.

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An interesting detail: besides French, the street names are also doubled in Nissart, a local dialect, still spoken today. Wandering in the maze of streets, I search for signs of local life: an elderly gentleman strolling with his cane, a lady coming out of the bakery, bags in hands, a curious dog observing passers-by through an opening in the door...

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Winding streets take me further uphill until I reach the stairs leading to the Castle Hill. It's closer to midday, the air is getting hot and the light is strong. I take refuge under the lush trees, stopping on my way up to capture the beautiful views of Nice from the top of the hill and the turquoise waters of the Bay of the Angels, glimmering in the midday sun.

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On my way back to the city center, I stop for a few minutes by the fountain on Promenade du Paillon, right by Place Massena. A large mirror-like surface of water jets, surrounded by trees and buildings, is a perfect spot for capturing reflections of kids playing in spraying water against the mountains in the background.

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As the afternoon is getting hotter, I finish my stroll by swimming in the warm Mediterranean sea. Nice the Beautiful, as it is tenderly nicknamed by the locals, will definitely remain in my memory as a warm and welcoming place.

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About the Author

Nadia Gric

Nadia Gric

Nadia is passionate about the visual aspect of life and the personalities she meets along the way. Living in the heart of Paris, Nadia never stops exploring the City of Light through her camera and readily shares her knowledge and love for photography.

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