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Nice observtory: has anyone been there?


Rosanella
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I was away on holiday to Nice -- came back yesterday -- but I never made it to the observatory in Eze this time round, but I would like to go next time.

Has anyone been there?

(I passed by Eze on my way to Monaco by bus)

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Hope you had a great holiday Rosanella. :)

Jeff.

Yes, thank you, though it was a very brief holiday of just 3 nights and when I found out about the observatory in Eze there wasn't enough time to go. In fact, I wish I had found out before taking the bus to Monaco, as I found Monaco claustrophobic and not accessible in many places :-(

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Ten years ago I was living in Nice and often made a trip at weekends up the hill to the Observatory and on one occasion my trip cooincided with their annual Open Day. At first the guy on the gate would not let me in as I had not arrived on their Official Bus! Then I explained that I was an amateur astronomer with a small observatory in my garden back in England and that I had read the book by the Nice director, Paul Couteau, "Observation of Double Stars", who is a world authority on the subject and that I too was an enthusiast of double stars. At this the guy's attitude changed completely and I was not only admitted but he practically gave me a conducted tour of the place including showing me the magnificent 74cm. refractor in the main dome as well as the solar scope which projected an image of the Sun about a metre in diameter.

All in all it was a memorable afternoon.

Lawrie

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I've been to Eze a couple of times but I did not realise there was an observatory there. Looking down onto Cap Ferrat from the botanical garden on the top of the hill at Eze is one of the most beautiful views in the world IMHO :)

John

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Hope you get another chance next trip, Rosanella! There are quite a lot of observatories large and small scattered around France, so it seems. It happens that there's a small public one not far from our house in France, a fact we only discovered after we'd bought the house there. It's within walking distance (well - a long strenuous walk alright, but lovely countryside) and we've often passed it in daytime, but I've never visited it when it's open (I'm not really the observatory type of person, I prefer to play with my own kit :)). Here is its website - with a short intro in English here. I really ought to pay them a visit one Friday - during one of our all-too-brief visits to France, but when the skies are clear I'm always so preoccupied with my own telescope.

Does anyone else know it?

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Hello Rosanella!

It is a long time since I was in Nice but I guess that things haven't changed much. The observatory is not normally open to the public except for the annual Open Day. I guess that they still have one because some of their funding comes from the city. The tourist office will know I'm sure.

I was lodging in the Port region of the city and at end of my street I could catch the bus which went "a l'observatoire". I often went up there with sandwiches and a small bottle of wine for a walk and solo picnic. The walks and views were marvellous.

The observatory site is quite large and they had a special bus to take visitors around. Only at the main dome, I think, were there steps to negotiate.

The bus route was a circular one which went on around and down the other side of the hill back into the city. The bus trip alone was worth it!

If you ever go back call in at the "Syndicat d'Initiatif" for information.

Lawrie

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Hi Rosanella,

Yes I have been up to the observatory! A friend of mine has a flat in Nice and you can see the observatories from there. Once we ealked up the mountain to the observatory. We got to the gates and found that they do indeed give tours, but the tours are only done in French (the Nice Tourist Office has details of opening hours and buses), sadly there were not keen for anyone to use the telescopes and I was unable to persuade the director to let me use the telescope to make a drawing of Jupiter- I will try again however!

Hope this helps,

-Paul.

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