A Nice Time in Nice (Yes That Pun was Intentional).

While I was in taking the train in Geneva I met a really nice student who was working at CERN during the summer. We talked about summer studentships very briefly, but as she studied physics and engineer, and I knew virtually nothing about theoretical physics or engineering, I’ve decided it was best to shy away from those particular topics. So instead we talked about our travels. She told me about her experiences in Montreal, in which she said the citizens were very nice and friendly to her there. Upon learning that my brother and I were going to Nice in a few days, she told me that she was actually from Nice and suggested that I go check out Cimiez.

IMG_0333So a few day later, heeding her advice, I went to Cimiez. Cimiez is an extremely gorgeous neighbourhood that stood on top of a hill in Nice. It contains several elaborate houses, that were all well decorated. Tourist maps probably highlight it because it has a park, a monastery, Roman Ruins and an archeological museum; all within close proximity of each other.

Attached to the monastery was a graveyard. It wasn’t a graveyard like those witnessed in zombie movies. It was an elaborate graveyard, full of marble tombs, stone statues, delicate paintings, and clear pathways. Some graves had flowers placed upon them, and one of them somebody even left a cactus.  If one could be buried with style, it was here.

Yet, amidst all the glamour, the graveyard had a very solemn atmosphere to it. Hardly anybody was around, and nobody was talking. I could hear the sounds of my own shoes scratching on the pebbles as I walked around. As I walked around, none of the names seemed familiar to me, although I’m sure many of them have accomplished great things, or at very least, must have achieved great wealth.

The monastery itself was also very quiet. It was decorated in artwork, but contained very few people. You could hear a pin drop from the other side. The park however, was the exact opposite. The park consisted of a vast space, full of children laughing, adults strolling around and chatting, while friends and families were playing games and sports of various sorts. Some teenagers even tied a garbage bag between two posts and were spray painting it, occasionally pausing to examine their artwork.

IMG_0304The Roman ruins were just right beside the park. On one hand, they were completely abandoned and literally fenced off from the rest of the world. On the other, there was a tremendous amount of vegetation that was growing between the cracks of these ruins. It reminded me of an episode of Community my friend made me watch a long time ago, in which a Biology teacher was telling the students how he was inspired about life growing where it normally shouldn’t (it should be season 3 episode 1 if I remember correctly).

As I walked around I thought about this juxtaposition, how people were being so lively around the dead. But I won’t talk about that much, as there was already a video on YouTube that did a wonderful job of this already (click link here). Instead, I would finish off this entry saying that I was glad to have taken the suggestion from the girl I met on the bus in Geneva. I’m sure there are many more intelligent questions to ask somebody who studies at CERN, but I am still happy with this encounter because otherwise I would never have taken the chance to explore Cimiez.

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