Waterfalls, Guards and Whistles : just your typical Nice sunset.

Phweep, phweep!  There’s something particularly recognisable about a French whistle. Whether it’s a policeman or a security guard, french whistles just sound different.  Or so I discovered one dusk in Nice.

The Bay of Angels is still amazing, even without the sun

After days of feeling poorly (along with a distinct lack of sun)

waiting for the sun in Nice

we decided to head up to La Colline du Chateau (Castle Hill) in Nice for a view over the Bay of Angels to try and capture one of the Riviera’s famous sunsets.  Luckily, although the afternoon was overcast, the sun started peeking through the clouds as we walked along the Promenade,

Here comes the sun

and as we climbed to the top of the hill (with the aid of a well placed elevator!!) came out in full, bathing the waterfall at the top in golden light.

Originally, the hill was the sight of a fortified castle (and the origins of Nice), but when that fell to neglect, a very philanthropic King had the idea to turn it into a public space.  City officials agreed and since the 1800’s, Le Parc du Chateau has been a drawcard for locals and tourists alike.  During the day, shop for fixings du piquenique (picnic) on the Cours Saleya before either hoofing it up the steep stairs, or cheating and catching the lift (free in off season).  For a truly stunning dusk view as the lights come on, head up half an hour before dark, but be prepared to work fast!  

For safety reasons (or so I could gather) the park closes at nightfall and guards are fairly enthusiastic about chasing down the last stragglers. During summer the cafe may be open and they may be a little more relaxed, but when we there in March, the insistent phweeping of whistles could be heard echoing around the hill as soon as the sun touched the horizon.

Working your way down the various levels of the park will bring a new view at every turn, so choose your position well before dusk or else do what I did, and frantically snap off shots between phweeping whistles, flapping arms and curses shouted in cross French. All in all, not the relaxing sunset I had hoped for, but still, another great French memory!

looking down on the Port from Colline du Chateau.


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