A weekend on the Côte d'Azur
The sea glitters turquoise in the sun as our plane approaches Nice via Nice . As perfect as if Hollywood directors lit everything. "The Bay of Angels", I think and enjoy the tingling in the stomach: anticipation of my weekend on the Côte d'Azur, the supposedly most beautiful coast in the world.
For over 150 years, the jet set from all over the world has been meeting here to bask in the splendor of the land, to eat divinely - and to celebrate. In the middle of the 19th century, wealthy Englishmen discovered the coast between Toulon and Nice with the perfect mild climate and incomparably bright blue water.
Accordingly, Nice's most famous boulevard by the sea is called Promenade des Anglais, English promenade. Luxury hotels and splendid villas line up like pearls on a chain. I dare to make a detour to the legendary hotel "Negresco" - where Coco Chanel and Marlene Dietrich already stayed. Of course, I can not spend the night in the Belle Époque building, a room costs from 330 euros the night. Instead, I treat myself to a café au lait on the terrace. And watch the pretentious walkers and hotel guests. A great experience.
But I know: Nice is more versatile. Behind the glittering facade is a second, down-to-earth and very charming face. And so I do not move five minutes later through small winding streets. At some point I end up at Cours Saleya, in the heart of the old town, where there is a market.
There are fresh foods of all kinds - nuts, fish, fruits. The most delicious smell of Theresa, a dark-haired woman baking over hot coals in a ton of delicious flatbread from chickpea flour, water and olive oil. "That's la Socca, a specialty here in Nice, " she explains, pushing the paper-wrapped flat cake into my hand. "Just eat with your fingers!"
Next I stop at a perfumery on Rue St François de Paule. Here at Molinard you can make your own perfume for 59 euros - mine smells delicious honey and almond.
Just 32 kilometers from Nice, Cannes is the city of stars and film festivals. In just under two hours and for only 1.50 euros brings me the bus back. As I get out of the car, I am standing in the middle of the elegant Croisette, which stretches along the sea almost the entire length of the city. A fine boutique joins the next, and I leave it in the window shopping.
Luckily I took Nadja Graf (32) from the tourist office on my trip. She recommends: "Better go to the parallel street, in the Rue d'Antibes there are great shops that are affordable!" For lunch, Nadja shows me a secret tip: We dine on the beach - but not in a tourist trap - but in the chic, but not overpriced restaurant "314 Plage". There you can enjoy the dream view of a first-class three-course menu for 38 euros.
With my feet in the 25 degrees warm water I walk then over the beach to the Palais des Festivals, where in May at the Film Festival the Golden Palm is awarded. Handprints around the building are reminiscent of the stars, who have already cleared prices here.
In the afternoon there is another cultural point on my list: I take the ferry to the island of Sainte-Marguerite, 15 minutes from Cannes. Here, in 1685, Fort Royal was established, a state prison that had a famous inmate: the man with the iron mask.
The walls of his cell feel damp and cold, and through the barred hole in the wall, one sees far too little of the breathtaking nature. "Quick out again in the sun, " I think. I would rather enjoy a bit of the view of the actually most beautiful coast in the world. And immerse my feet in the already glorious turquoise sparkling water.
Côte d'Azur tips
Two cities in five days: A great tour is the "self-drive city combination". You book two nights in a double room incl. Breakfast in the "Hotel Massena" (4 stars) in Nice and in the "Hotel Montaigne" & Spa (4 stars) in Cannes. Per person from 334 euros, for example about Dertour.
Getting there: Lufthansa, Germanwings and Air Berlin fly from many German cities to Nice. Flights from about 120 euros.
Information: http://en.nicetourisme.com and www.cannestouristinformation.co.uk or www.cotedazur-tourisme.com
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