Saturday, May 05, 2012
Another beautiful day in the French Rivera…rain was predicted but all we got were few sprinklers early in the morning. God is good! We did eat breakfast inside this morning because of the sprinkles but never opened the umbrellas even though we carried them all day just in case of rain.
Our first challenge was to find our way up and out of the Port de la Darce to the high road towards Nice and then into the hills for our first destination of St. Paul-de-Vence. We made several U Turns and decided that one of them was to give us the perfect photo shot of the Village from across the valley; but we eventually found our destination. We also found our first underground parking lot of the day; always tricky getting into these cavernous storage rooms designed to test your skills and nerves with tightly twisting paths down into the earth.
We then walked all the way up and through the village as we delighted in the many shops full of art; mostly very creative and modern. A cat wearing women’s high heels, a man partially invisible, horses made of horseshoes, and a man shaped like a bird are only a few of the ones that I remember. Soon we were at the far end of the village and then walked along the base of the ramparts overlooking the valley on the way back to the parking lot. Terry found a small model of the old Citroen car for his collection and the rest of us just took mental images of beautiful and priceless items home with us. As we were leaving the village we spotted a car that had come beyond the limits and was blocked by large metal posts in the road designed to only let the locals drive their cars into the village…they have remote controls to lower the barriers. There was a policeman there plus a large truck behind them complicating the turn around.
After a couple of hours we were back on the road and headed further up the hill towards the larger town of Vence. Spent about half an hour there but nothing too special other than we were impressed with the multi colored buildings lining the town square.
Soon we were headed down the hill into the large city of Nice. We found our underground parking again…even more challenging than the first…and started walking across the massive square with the large male nude statue at the center of the large fountain. Notice that we got creative with a photo of Linda touching his “buns”!
We first walked into the old city and enjoyed a late lunch in one of the many restaurants lining the plaza within the city walls. Then we walked out towards the beach and the broad expanse of the boardwalk known as the Promenade Les Anglais after the Englishmen who came in the winter on vacation and stayed in the large hotels built along the coast of Nice.
We were surprised to see so many people lying in the sun as it was not all that warm. Oh yes, many of the women lying on the beach were topless….all shapes and sizes. But we were really entertained by a couple who were on roller blades. They were turning cartwheels and making other very graceful maneuvers on their skates. There are large pieces of art scattered along the way and various hotels have their individual sections of the beach with chaise lounges. It’s a very entertaining walk.
We eventually turned around and headed back towards the car. Soon we were again programming Fifi to take us to see the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church with the colorful “onion” towers. She ended up taking us all over town…a great tour….but we finally turned her off and used a paper map and the road signs.
Home to our hotel in Port de la Darce by 5 pm where we all sat on the balcony and enjoyed a drink and some snacks. We watched the large cruise ship in our marina load their passengers who had returned from their day excursions. Then we watched the ship trying to get the lines free from a large buoy…the crew of the liner was working very hard but could not release the lines. We finally left before the cruise ship was able to leave the port. We decided to skip dinner and have enjoyed some extra time on the computer this evening. I think that Terry and Linda were going out to dinner.
Tomorrow we change hotels and the Internet is “available” but not necessarily free. But we’re only in Cassis for one night so not a huge problem. But if you miss me tomorrow…not to worry…will be back the following night.