Parc Phoenix, Nice

It is a place that makes you want to scamper around like a child and explore intriguing nooks, hide from friends and make discoveries  –   a park geared for the enjoyment of children, a place of fountains, foliage, trees, rocks, pathways and peace.  On the one side you see the striking backdrop of l’Arenas, the skyscraper showcase of post-modern architecture.  On the other, the beginning of the Promenade des Anglais, and beyond it, the sea.

Parc Phoenix

Parc Phoenix

At a menagerie under the umbrella pines, there are kangaroos, ostriches, owls and seals, the latter diving in a glass tank.  There is also a hothouse of exotic plants, a steaming rainforest, towering above the landscape of trees.

Hothouse, Parc Phoenix

Hothouse, Parc Phoenix

Exotic plants

Exotic plants

Adjoining the hothouse, with its playful, even ironical, block of Inca ruins, there is a huge display hall looking like an aeroplane hangar.  Along the walls was an exhibition of ink-on-tiles graphics by Gérard-Philippe Séllès, treated photographs of cracks in pavements, cement surfaces and so on.  Each one was something I could live with, elegantly rough and striking.

A graphic by Séllès

A graphic by Séllès

It was a day of sun and crisp cold.  Throughout the park there are figures from Chinese folktales, slightly smaller than real life, each with a little plaque explaining the expression or posture of the figure.  One was of a grumpy old man with the description that he was such a cantankerous teacher that his students had all left him, but today there was a new student.  Another figure, standing in the shimmer of the fountain, holding a mirror to her face… Meijuan’s husband had retired and she had started a fabric shop for fashionable ladies.  I suspect that the Chinese embassy, together with their involvement in the AsiaticMuseum, had placed these figures, each one the beginning of a story.

Meijuan looks at her mirror

Meijuan looks at her mirror

As I left, a huge turkey (yes, real, live) accompanied by two hens crossed my path, gobbling and pecking.

A turkey in Parc Phoenix

A turkey in Parc Phoenix

Vendredi  1 Fevrier 2013

www.willwilltravel.wordpress.com

Image Sources: Images by Will

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