In the spirit of adventure, we decided to take the night train from London to the south of France in lieu of an easy 2-hour flight. Mistake? Who knows. It was exciting for Clementine :-)
We arrived in Nice, rented a car, and drove to the neighboring village of Villefranche sur Mer. GOOD DECISION! Villefranche is beautiful! The loveliest town on the Riviera. At least that we saw, and we didn't see everything.
Lots of trompe l'oeil windows, check them out. This one really is a window, just a small one and look what they've done, so cool:
The water! The water! But oh, it was cold. We swam the first day and it felt so good to be in the sea. This was a constant in my childhood, and hasn't been for many years. I miss it! Perhaps we should have contrived to be here in true summer when it would be warmer, but then it would have been much more crowded and even more expensive! Some day soon though: REAL BEACH HOLIDAY!
Easy day trips from Villefranche:
1. Nice. I'm not putting up many photos because I can't figure out how to shrink the file size of photos from my real camera and they're huge. But here's one pretty pic from Vieille Nice (the old quarter), where there was a fabulous market on:
2. Eze and the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild:
Eze is a tiny "village perche" (hill town) with an exotic garden at its peak, with spectacular view. This lady dwells there, looking over it all:
The village is full of art galleries.
And the villa! Highlight! Photos can't do it justice. It's this exquisite [PINK] Belle Epoque villa on the ridge of the hill of Cap Ferrat, with stunning coastal views in both directions. There are like nine distinct gardens strung in a row. You just want to stay all day.
Cross this stones at your risk. This is seconds before the "water show" began and drenched us:
And the restaurant is really good, so plan on lunch there!
The view of Villefranche from the Villa Ephrussi:
We went to Monaco one day where we petted sharks! That was the coolest, though we kind of hurried away because it's such a big city, not really our thing.
THEN SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED! A STORM!!
Moving along the coast, we drove to St. Tropez (stopping on the way in Saint Paul de Vence, a bigger village perche than Eze (LOVELY), and we had one nice evening in St. Tropez (so beautiful) and swam in the pool before the storm hit! The whole next day, our only day in St. Tropez: rain rain rain!
Stormy sky in St. Tropez: