Suddenly, the roar of a single engine disturbs the peace of mind. On the beach of Nice, at this time of the year, it is rather the heavy lifters, who usually land at a sustained rate after having described a pretty curve along the Baie des Anges.
But now, France's second airport - 14 million passengers last year - saw its traffic collapse by more than 90% with the health crisis. No more Cannes Festival, Monaco Grand Prix or Monte Carlo Open to fill the cabins.
For lack of boats, the horizon of the bather also cleared. It now stretches as far as the eye can see, the fine weather cutting off the tapered coast of Cap d'Antibes and the first foothills of Esterel in the distance. The yachts remain moored, in the absence of owners to sail them. The parasailing stand remains empty, offering unprecedented tranquility to swimmers and walkers, the only ones authorized by the prefecture on the 7 km long Nice pebble cord.
The scooters of the seas are also stored and the beach owners are biting their brakes while awaiting a government decision concerning their mattresses. There are only gulls to sometimes challenge the occupants a piece of territory on the edge of the Big Blue. Even cars have avoided the coast since the municipality transformed one of the two lanes from the Quai des Etats-Unis into a cycle path, a natural extension of the Promenade des Anglais towards the port.
Read also - Deconfinement: in Nice, delighted bathers and worried beach attendants
In this month of May, the French Riviera thus offers its residents an enchanted break, a teleportation experience bringing them back to the 1960s, when, with the train, the national 7 sung by Trenet was the privileged means of access to these southern regions. The small plane landed and a fisherman on board his "pointed" comes to dawdle near the edge, throwing his rod limply. A generous sun is responsible for warming up translucent waters which, if they evoke those of a lagoon, do not exceed 17 ° C. Cours Saleya, past the florists 'stands where the compulsory mask does not prevent you from tasting the scent of Nice carnations or Grasse roses, the market gardeners' stalls are full of Carros strawberries and zucchini flowers fits here in delicate donuts.
You would almost expect to see an antique 403 loaded with crates of early vegetables or rabbit cages… What if we went, after lunch, to play a game of boules at the Cimiez arenas, on the heights of the city? Carefree, we would then enjoy, with friends, the shade of olive trees, near the beautiful ocher building which houses a Matisse museum still deserted. This happiness may be short-lived ...