On a visit to… Lyuba Sofronieva (Nice, France)

I think this is the most colorful post I have created so far and for sure I will not do another one like it soon :). Looking at how the autumn is painting everything with its natural colors, I thought it was time to brush the dust off the interviews I’ve gathered and introduce you to the artist, the traveler, and one of the most positive people I know – Lyuba. As I have promised, I will present you only people that will make you smile and believe that the beautiful things that surround us are created by such people and through contact between us we can make a better world.

I have known Lyuba since my student years at the Sofia University when we tried to create amazing memories while studying from the big historical books. When I offered her to take a part in this blog rubric, she immediately agreed. Today we will go on a virtual tour on the streets of the French Riviera and we will visit Nice. Lyuba has prepared interesting places for us to visit, as well as some useful tips and impressive details about the region. We have not been to Nice yet, but that will change soon after WizzAir has surprised us with the launch of a direct flight from Sofia, which will start in March 2018.

Let’s dive into the artistic world of Lyuba in the following lines and enjoy her story. Enjoy reading!

Moni

(BG) На гости на… Люба Софрониева (Ница, Франция)

on a visit to lyuba sofronieva, nice, france, www.omtripsblog.com

How does an “om trip” look like?

A journey that you take to run away from your every day and working responsibilities, from all sorts of problems and annoyances. A trip that you take with positive and adventurous spirit. A road trip where you do not hurry for anywhere, where every moment is impressive, where everything becomes unforgettable and every single person looks interesting. A travel from which you come back loaded, enriched, conceived and no doubt tired.

Can we have an “om trip” to Nice?

Definitely! Nice is a very beautiful and charming city, calm and dynamic at the same time in its own way. It’s often called a “city for retirement”, and you can feel that when you live here. For a traveler, though, Nice has everything for every and each taste, even for the most fastidious one.  

I cannot write about Nice not thinking about the region in its whole. The real traveler doesn’t come here just to visit only Nice. Only one step away from here are Monaco, Antibes, Cannes, is capital of the fragrances – Grasse, and other lovely towns with plenty of ateliers and galleries. Close to Nice is also the Provence, famous for its style and spices. Here is the Alpes-Maritimes, with their splendid scenarios, which are great for practicing extreme sports. Here is Côte d’Azur: tremendously picturesque, with natural landmarks and various terrain. Even the light here is incredible causing the colors of buildings and nature to change and vary their nuances. 

Lyuba Sofronieva, Cannes, France, www.omtripsblog.com

Lyuba Sofronieva, Nice, France, www.omtripsblog.com

Three things which we absolutely have to take with us to Nice in our luggage?

Sunglasses, swimsuits and beach shoes. Although the weather is becoming more and more unpredictable, most of the time it is warm and very sunny in Nice. People gather tan on the beach all year round. If you decide to get into the water, my advice is to get beach shoes: a kind of soft boots or sandals. The beach in Nice is covered with small rounded stones that may hurt you a lot when you lie down, sit or walk. These pebbles are a trademark of Nice. There are even candies in this shape and coloring.

Lyuba Sofronieva, Nice, France, www.omtripsblog.com

How to look like locals?

I have not noticed a specific local fashion. You will meet at the same time very elegant and fashionable people, as well as teenagers dressed in sportswear with white sports socks. Hipsters are also very popular in Nice. Perhaps the only common local feature is having a suntan.

What should we absolutely try when we’re in Nice?

Nice boasts several local specialties, strongly influenced by the Provencal, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. The locals here jealously follow the tradition of the “apéro“: a light drink and a snack in the late afternoon or early evening. Then you may taste the most famous local specialties of Socca (chickpea flatbread), Pissaladière (caramelized onion, anchovy, and olives tart), Pan Bagnat (French Tuna Salad Sandwich), and various types of tapenades. With these appetizers, you can have a glass of Pastis (an anise-flavored spirit and apéritif from France) which resembles the Bulgarian “mastika”. This drink originates from Marseille but is also traditional for the entire southern coast. For dessert, you can try the typical “Tarte de blettes: a kind of pie with Mangold or Chard (spinach beet), raisins and other ingredients.

Where would you take us to have a cup of coffee?

I’ll take you to Castle Hill even though there isn’t a sign of a castle there. This hill is located between the old town and the port of Nice. Nowadays it is turned into a large and quiet park. There is a great view of the city and the sea. And it would be best to have a picnic on the Boron Hill. The fortress there is intact, and the view is uniquely beautiful! From there you can see the entire city of Nice, as well as the bay Villefranche-sur-Mer and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Lyuba Sofronieva, Nice, France, www.omtripsblog.com
Lyuba Sofronieva, Nice, France, www.omtripsblog.com

The place you’d like to share with us?

There is a place here that proved very special to me over the years. It was here that I made my first exhibition and shot my first show, and presently I am managing it. I would say that this is an “alternative place of culture”. It is called “La Zonmé”, which in Verlan (a French argot) means “House”. It is a cultural association with an exhibition space. In the daytime, it houses various workshops (Naturopathy, Art-Therapia, several types of Dances, Yoga, conferences etc.), and in the evenings’ concerts, exhibitions, screenings, festivals and other cultural events are organized there. It is cozy and artistic. You have the feeling that you are at home or in a friend’s living room. And you are surrounded by friends because almost everyone who passes by the association “stays” and becomes a friend and a part of the team.

We can’t do without stopping by some galleries and museums. Show us some of your favorites?

Without hesitation, I’ll take you to the “Le Pigeonnier“: Art Squat in the heart of Nice’s old town. At first glance, it looks like an abandoned apartment building. If you cross the threshold, however, you find yourself in Wonderland. Each room is painted and converted into an art studio, and each one of them has its own style. For 15 years dozens of artists have been there, whose traces we still find on the walls, the stairs, the ceilings, the closets and the furthest corners of this building. At present 10 artists share the space. Exhibitions of “external” artists are also organized once a month.

Which book should we take with us for our trip to Nice?

I already mentioned the Provence and Grasse. You may take with you the “Perfume” by Patrick Süskind as the events described in the book take place exactly here. Or maybe “The Man in the Iron Mask” because he was exiled to the island of Saint Marguerite near to Cannes

There are lots of clichés about Nice which ones proved to be false?

Everything I had heard of Nice proved to be true.

Please share your experience from your first days in Nice?

My first days here were thrilling but also confusing and annoying because of all inevitable administrative procedures. I was lucky not to be alone. I arrived together with a big group of students with whom I have studied in Sofia and Frankfurt (Oder). Together we discovered the life in Nice.

Where should we head to after Nice?

Go to the Nice port and take the first ferry to Corsica. It will take you five hours to reach there. You will arrive at Calvi. From there no matter where you decide to go, you will like Corsica a lot. It is not a coincidence that the name of the island is “The ‘Isle of Beauty”.

 

Who is Lyuba Sofronieva?

Lyuba Sofronieva, Nice, France, www.omtripsblog.com

I was born in Sofia. I grew up in Varna. Graduated from the Sofia University and arrived in Nice almost seven years ago. The idea was to complete the last semester of my Master’s degree in “Media, Communication, and Culture” and then leaving for some other unknown place. I liked the city: not very large, not very small, neat and calm. Nature in the region is wonderful and varied – beach, mountain, rivers, and lakes. You always have the feeling that you are on vacation.

Soon afterward I started an internship at the regional music magazine “Nouvelle Vague”, for which I write to this day. I was originally a music reporter and editor and then appointed a marketing and communications manager. My daily life began to follow the rhythm of local press conferences, festivals, and concerts. So I gradually discovered, became acquainted and became a part of the local cultural and artistic landscape. And I stayed in Nice.

One day in a casual conversation with a friend who is also an artist I decided to show him some of my old drawings as well as two or three newer ones. A few months later we did a collective exhibition in Nice. My first one! I continued to paint in my spare time. When I am drawing I feel so relaxed and liberated. I have a rich and strange fantasy. I’m an adventurous soul, curious, observant, and communicative. I lead an intensive and rich cultural life. Expressing and sharing all these impressions and emotions is my real urge. And my favorite way to do that is painting. The reaction of the people who saw my drawings encouraged me to continue. Thanks to the support and the organizational spirit of my excited friends I have over 20 exhibitions, mainly in France, but also in Zurich, Beirut, Sofia, and Varna.

The drawings take too much time and because of that two years ago I decided to take a creative break. Soon after I began my volunteer work at the La Zonmé Cultural Association and soon I become a manager. And again I had little time to create my art. On the other hand, I’ve had my own atelier-exhibition hall in “Le Pigeonnier“: Art Squat for a year and a half.

If you are interested, you can follow my creative work on Facebook. Or click on my sites here and here.

 

 

PIN IT

 

Lyuba Sofronieva, Nice, France, www.omtripsblog.com

 

31 Comments

  1. Easy Tutorials February 27, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    wow, great place.. I think I should be there someday.. thaks for info

    Reply
  2. Tiazim January 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm

    I just love everything you presented in this article and you made me fell in love with this place. Thank you so much for sharing! Keep on the good work

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog March 7, 2018 at 10:53 am

      So happy that you felt this way after reading it! I hope you visit Nice and do not forget to drop me a line and tell me how do you find the city! 🙂 Happy travels!

      Reply
  3. Amalie December 10, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Wonderful post! I would love to take the trip to Nice very soon and do some of the things you did!

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:36 am

      Thanks for your comment, Amalie! I am happy that you love the post! Wishing you happy travels! 🙂

      Reply
  4. Nadica November 23, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Great post.Very informative 🙂

    Reply
  5. Debbythechocoholic November 22, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Wauw what an amazing experience! As a yogagirl I would love to go on an OM travel!
    And the places you’ve seen, like the
    Waterfall.. so beautiful!!

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:42 am

      Namaste, @Debbythechocoholic! Wishing you peace and light during your travels! I am glad that you liked the idea for the “OM trips” and I hope that you can find a piece for you here on the blog.

      Best,
      Moni

      Reply
  6. James November 17, 2017 at 11:28 am

    Very detailed preparation book you’ve got there. Even if we don’t manage to replicate your experience (which we don’t intend to), it gives us a great starting point to tailor from. Well done!

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:43 am

      Thanks, @James! I really appreciate you positive comment! 🙂

      Reply
  7. kelly collins November 17, 2017 at 9:41 am

    being long i saw gravels and and fine lily

    Reply
  8. r0ky24 November 16, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    France is definitely not just Paris… There will come a day when I will see it. Good post!

    Reply
  9. Danish Rasool November 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Great post, its really informative and mentions every important element for anyone travelling to nice. Happy travelling!!

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Thanks for the nice words! Happy travels to you, too!

      Reply
  10. Lara Green November 16, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing! I love your pics and it has a lot of info!

    Reply
  11. makeupadda1 November 16, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    it’s a very beautiful and informative post.. Lovely pictures Thanks for sharing this

    Reply
  12. Sonja Josipovic November 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    France is such a great country! Love your post and beautiful photos!

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      I am feeling the same way about France. Great country and so many inspiring place to visit.

      Reply
  13. beblessed23 November 13, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Woooww!! Very nice place and beautiful pictures! I want to go there!

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:35 am

      You can put it in your travel bucket list for 2018! 🙂

      Reply
  14. roamy November 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I visited Nice some years ago and I felt if I could afford it, that would be the kind of place I`d love to live.thanks so much for sharing

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog December 12, 2017 at 9:32 am

      Thanks for stopping by. I also think that Nice is a much more than a tourists’ destination. 🙂

      Reply
  15. All blogroll November 13, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Wonderful article. I kindly envy you for the experience.

    Reply
    1. omtripsblog November 13, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and thank you for the nice words! 🙂

      Reply

Leave a Reply