Standing 191m high at the top of Mont Boron, heady with sea-breeze and the smell of pine, my view looked past the port to where the Baroque architecture of Vieux Nice meets the still, blue Mediterranean.
Good start to Sunday.
The warmer weather left me itching to be outside all week. So I ate a quick power breakfast:
A short walk up and east out of the city left me with breath-taking (pun intended, its a steep hike!) views almost immediately.
I headed for the Mont Boron Park . Its 57 hectares of natural beauty are perfect for getting lost one sunny afternoon. The park is littered with meandering paths, potential picnic spots and some spectacular ancient wild olive and pine trees. A true sanctuary, and antidote to the everyday mundane of living in the town centre.
But the real star of the park is the Fort of Mont Alban…
As you can see from the photo the fort is pretty imposing and I can tell you very impressive in real life. For the history buffs among you this fort has a fascinating past, and built in 1550’s as reinforcement following the punishing siege of Nice in 1543. It is a great example of French military history and is strategically placed between Nice and the fishing port town of Villefranche-sur-mer.
Etymologically (a fervent interest of mine) ‘Boron’ appears to be a deformation of ‘Mororum’ or ‘Maurus’ in reference to the Saracens or Moors who were frequent invaders in the Middle Ages. Similarly, Mont Alban, to the north, is named as such from the latin for ‘white mountain’ again as it was a location from which the Niçois attacked the Saracens.
A perfect view that lets the Côte d’Azur live up to its name. I love the juxtaposition of seascape, mountain and wooded backdrop which makes for a magical stroll.
Connecting with the local surroundings and learning about their past really helped to make me feel present. And whether it was the brisk walk, sunshine on my skin or just taking in the spectacular views which were so restful on the eyes and spirit, its difficult to say, but I certainly came back from the walk refreshed.
Power of the simple things in life…
If you want more information on this much overlooked (oh dear) part of Nice see more at: http://www.nice-tourism.com/en/nice-attractions/parks-and-gardens-in-nice/mount-boron-park.html#sthash.kjirfXYo.dpuf
Featured image is sourced from the Archives départementales des Alpes maritimes: http://bit.ly/1peeGMm