Today was to be a big day. We were packing up and heading back to Ireland. We would not have to hike the 96 stairs up and down to our apartment after today.
After enjoying another American style breakfast at a nearby bistro, each couple headed away to do some last minute shopping, us to Ave. Jean Medecin and J & F to Old Nice.
We were barely past Place Massena, when we noticed an increased police presence. Hmmmm, what was going on?
There were police in body armour on every corner and at one point, we overheard a tourist chatting with a constable, say….”Well, we better get outta here, then.” Hmmm, what was up. Patty walked up to the constable and asked that very question. He advised that there was a Yellow Vest protest scheduled for 10 AM in Place Massena. Yikes, it was 9:40 now and we were staying in Place Massena and hoping for a taxi pickup around Noon. As our Euro SIM card was not working, Pat went to find J & F, while I finished our errands and headed back home. On the way, the Police presence was even bigger.
We all arrived home just before 10:00 AM and went up to the belvedere to see what was happening. The crowd was larger now and we could here some chanting in French.
As we were returning to the apartment, some locals advised that these Yellow Vest protests took place every weekend and that they were no big deal and usually wrapped up shortly after they began. Emboldened, we went back out to watch the festivities. Chanting, milling about, protest signs, a Macron dummy being tossed up and down in a blanket. Some other causes were even being piggy-backed on this one.
We still had time to kill, so walked on up Jean Medecin to do a bit of window shopping. As we went, the police presence was still high, but they seemed to be using this more as a training exercise than an actual riot control. Paddy wagons were being shuffled about. A water truck with pump was sitting there, in case they needed a water canon and military troops, dressed in camouflage and carrying semi automatic rifles were chatting on the corners.
Now close to taxi time, we sauntered back, pausing beside the demonstration group, which appeared to be winding down.
Our checkout time was 12:00 Noon and we were all packed up and ready to go. We dragged our cases down the 96 steps and waited for our cab. In no time, we were loaded in and at the airport waiting to checkin.
As our flight time was at 3:25, our gate was not yet staffed. We took turns holding our spot, until the agent came about 1:15 and then made our way into the boarding lounge, looking for a bite to eat. There were few choices and all were expensive, so we settled on drinks and bought something from the shops to take on board.
Loaded on the Aer Lingus plane, we were soon under way, taking one last look at the Cote d’Azure before distance and clouds obscured our view.
Thinking back, we had a really nice time in Nice. A bientot, Nice.