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Asian Arts Museum and Phoenix Park - Nice, Côte d'Azur, France, November 2015

[Continued from our visit in Feb/March 2015]

This was our second trip to Nice this year (our first trip in Feb/March can be found here if you are interested). We revisited many of our favourite places, so this time I am mainly showing our visit to the Asian Art Museum and Phoenix Park, both in l'Arenas district, a nicely redeveloped area near the airport, on the western side of Nice.

This area houses many modern business buildings, an excellent restaurant (Le First), the free Asian Arts Museum, and Phoenix Park (admission €3, free for children). It reminds me of some redeveloped areas in London, but with a distinctly French (and sunny) flavour. It is easily reached from many parts of central Nice by a #9 or #10 bus.

The Asian Art Museum, seen from the bridge linking two of its sections

The quiet refreshments room has a unique atmosphere. While you can get coffee from a Nespresso machine, it would be a shame not to ask for Jasmine tea, which will be made and served for you in a very uncoffee-shop way. It also displays some nice things, like this.

Stairs leading to the upstairs art gallery...

...currently showing a series of very nice abstract paintings by this Chinese painter, who lives and works in France (click my photo of the poster above for information about him)

My photos of three of the very large paintings hanging in the gallery, which I particularly liked

“Cosmic Tree”, “Tree of Immortality”, also “Money Tree” - click the label for some quite interesting information!


Click the label if you would like to know more...

This had an abstract appeal, so I tried a monochrome image...

“Scholar's Rock” in Ying limestone on a wooden pedestal - click the label for some quite interesting information!


Phoenix Park, just across the water from the Asian Arts Museum. The enormous greenhouse can be seen in the distance.

A pleasant walk around the lake...

...brings you to the Phoenix Park Greenhouse, one of the largest in Europe. It is much larger than it looks here.

A small aquarium has recently been added, currently at an early stage of construction - it has no ambitions to compete with the awesome Lisbon Oceanarium that we visited earlier this year

Outside the greenhouse you come to a great play area for children - one of several in Nice. This is probably much busier in summer, but this kind of off-season weather is one reason why we like Nice so much.

There are also safe mazy trails around this area where kids can explore safely

The rest of our visit (in brief)...

We actually spent two weeks here, the first at the end of October when we had our daughter and grandchild with us. I have spared you many family mugshots as well as pictures of places seen on our previous visit in Feb/March 2015.

As apparently is typical of the off-season months, in any 2-week period you can expect 2 or 3 days of cloud and rain, which duly arrived. Rain here, however, is not the same as rain in England! This is taken outside the National Theatre.

Most of the time the weather was like this (taken in the sheltered bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a 3-minute train ride from Nice, mostly through a tunnel), where there is a good beach of fine grit and higher-than-normal prices!

One of several lookout points at the top of the Colline du Château, on the eastern side of Nice...

...from which there is a great view of the Port. Descending on foot from here to the inner part of the Port takes longer than usual at the moment, because the construction of a new section of tramway to the Port (and a new promenade) has cut off the shortest route.

Nice, I have to say, has one of the best and cheapest public transport systems that we have found anywhere. Bus tickets cost €1.50 on the bus, but only €1 if bought in packs of 10 at the tram stops (coins or card only), or in the Lignes d’Azur boutiques across from the main train station, or on Blvd Jean Jaures on the edge of the Old Town (thanks to Best of Nice Blog for the info). You can change buses on the same ticket, providing you revalidate the ticket on each bus and the whole journey is within 74 minutes, as it was for all journeys we took. The same tickets can be used on the superb modern trams.

Children under 4 years go free, and two children under 10 can travel on the same single ticket.

Farewell to Nice, at least for this year... taken outside Les Jardin du Capitole, a great (and inexpensive) place to have a last meal before catching the #98 express bus, right outside, for a short ride to the airport (the buses for Phoenix Park also stop here).

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