[FR] Tram and more in the South of France III: Nice+Aix-en-Provence

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for part three some mixed pictures from Nice and Aix-en-Provence

Gare Nice-Ville
A trip from Marseille to Nice takes about 2,5 hours. If you take a TGV or a TER train makes a difference of only a few minutes. I prefered the comfort of the 1st class in a TGV to a TER. The journey was nice, because the line runs close to the shore line most of the time. So there was a lot to see.

Impressions from Nice-Ville station




The facade

Tram Nice

Tram stop "Gare Thiers" is a 5min walk away from the station. The tram network consists of one line (further expansions are planned). A tram approaching terminus "Henri Sappia"

The station is located under a parking garage. The maintenance yard is close by. This tram will head to "Hotel Pasteur" in a few minutes

In the city centre, there are sections without catenary. I have seen two catenary-free sections (Masséna to Opéra and Cathedrale to Garibaldi), but there might be more. As I only had about 6 hours in Nice and wanted to do some sight seeing, I did not ride along the full length of the line. The trams run on battery power in these sections. This made for some nice, catenary-free pictures.

Some pictures taken between Masséma and Opéra stops. In combination with the great architecture around, this was a perfect setting (apart from the "pole-sitting" artwork, which I did not like that much).



A welcome place to cool down (it was 27° hot that day): A dust of water

Always great to look at: Tram on gras



Chemin de Fer de Provence

A quick jump to the "Chemin de Fer de Provence" that links Nice to Digne-les-Bains. The station was unmipressive...

...but the rolling stock inside, was worth seeing. Choose your favourite: old

or modern

The old CFP-station "Gare de Sud" is a fantastic piece of architecture

Sight seeing
A reminder of Nices past as part of Italy: The buildings surrounding the square in front of the cathedral

A must do in my book: Climbing up the hill near old town. The reward for the hike is a great view

Two zoom tests for my camera, that turned out better than expected: An airplan that just has taken of from the airport...

...and a tram near "Masséna"

I will wrap up, Nice here. Apart from a sunburn that I got, this was a succesful trip to a charming city. Next stop: Aix-en-Provence


For a city that has 150K inhabitants, the station of Aix-en-Provence is very calm (Note: The TER on the right with the Pays-de-la-Loire paint job is a long way from home).

The station may be small, but it has a piano.

In contrast, the TGV station "Aix-en-Provence TGV" is very busy and an architectural highlight (especially the roof)


The other side


Let's take a peak inside

A look from the overpass between the platforms. On the right, the AVE I took from Marseille to get here

A look from the southbound platform on the overpass and an Ouigo TGV

A TGV passes the station on the through tracks without stopping

A TGV, the roof, the blue sky and some postcard clouds: The motive cannot get any better.

Aix is a very green city. Platanus wherever you look.

The tower of the cathedral tops the surrounding buildings


The cathedral had some great windows. Like this one

As it was Ascension day, I went to mass. The collection was for renewing the audio system. The priest encouraged people to give generously, with an anecdote, that took place a few weeks ago: The bishop had started the mass with the traditional "In the name of father....". When he recognized that the audio was not working and said something like "We seem to have problem with the audio" and the parish responded "And with your spirit.", because they had expected him to say "The Lord be with you". This is how we Catholics are: No need to listen, because we know the drill ;-).
I am always surprised how catholic the Frensh are: In 10 days in France I used more Latin in mass, than in a whole year in Germany.

Want to take a stroll through the past of Aixes most famous son? Feel free...

From a distance, I thought this to be the tourist information. But it turned out to be a shop for fruit that someone had taken a bite of ;-).

Honestly, considering the praise it got in my guide book, I found Aix a bit disappointing. I liked the TGV station better than the city. But thats just my point of view.

Here ends part three of my trip to southern France. One more coming up.


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