Thursday, May 3, 2012


Thursday, May 03, 2012

This morning we both woke about 6 am and turned on our computers until seven when the alarm when off.  By 8 am we had our large suitcases down and had paid our hotel bill before Terry and Linda arrived.  We walked to the same Pastry Shop as yesterday and enjoyed another inexpensive French breakfast.

Loaded the car and headed south before 9 am.  We used the auto route today and paid about twenty Euros but covered many miles in much less time.  Our first stop was in the large city of Aix en Provence.  Daisy took us to the Atelier (studio) of Paul Cezanne; a famous artist that lived and worked in this city.  We enjoyed our visit…just missing a large tourist group that arrived as we were leaving.  There was only one toilette and they all lined up to use it moments after we’d finished.  Then we walked up the street about a mile to the place where Cezanne and other painters painted various views of the mountain called Sainte-Victorie in the early 1900’s.  Unfortunately the sun was such that we had shadows but we did find some wonderful postcards that show the colors that the sun would caste onto the mountain later in the day. 

After a hair rising drive though one way streets in the old center of town; we emerged onto a two lane street and Linda said enough…she’d bypass the fountain in the center of town and we could be on our ways to Antibes.

So back to the auto route and we continued south until we reached the port of Antibes where we again ventured off the highway for the narrow city streets.  We located a marina full of everything from small sailboats to massive yachts.  We enjoyed our lunch there and then all walked the length of the marina along the waterfront until we had reached the harbor entrance and enjoyed the views of Nice at the far reaches of the bay.  There was an old fortress looming over our heads but no way to reach it from where we were.  Back to the car and a problem to solve…we were not sure about getting out of the marina parking lot.  The gate stated that you could only use a Mastercard or Visa to exit; none of our cards have the chip that is generally required in Europe.  But we bravely entered the queue, slipped Terry’s card in and voila…the gate opened!

Back on the auto route and we arrived about 5 pm at our Hotel de la Darse in the Port of de la dares in Villefranche sur mer located on the lower Cornish just east of Nice.  A very nice little hotel that has been recently upgraded but no elevator; we had to carry our luggage up two flights of marble stairs and Terry and Linda had three flights of stairs.  But…we only have a view of the garden and they have a marvelous balcony with a view of the entire bay…for a few extra pennies more than our room.  But…the Internet is free and works very well in our rooms.

We met in the lobby about 6:30 pm; walked along the seawall to see the lower town and then back to the restaurant next door to our hotel for dinner.  We had to whisper when we talked for the first half hour as they were hosting a discussion group in the bar area of the restaurant.  The subject matter was theological in nature and the room was full.

Another wonderful dinner and I joined Linda and Terry for dessert tonight.  We will be here for three nights and will enjoy visiting the sights in and around Nice while we’re here.  Getting an extra half hour in the morning and we’re eating breakfast in the hotel.

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