Written by Villadon on 26 Feb, 2005
Our timeshare at Villefranche-sur-Mer (#2408), between Nice and Monaco, is also great. It is right on the marina, and our room overlooks said marina. It is so picturesque - how lucky are we!! There is a plaque on our building "Le Palais De…Read More
Our timeshare at Villefranche-sur-Mer (#2408), between Nice and Monaco, is also great. It is right on the marina, and our room overlooks said marina. It is so picturesque - how lucky are we!! There is a plaque on our building "Le Palais De Le Marine" which says that it was the former Palace of the Princess of Savoy. The town has little narrow streets and pastel coloured houses. There is a 13th-century vaulted street called Rue Obscure (the oldest street) which is so narrow and shady it has lights on day and night. There is also the Citadel, constructed in the 16th Century by the Duke of Savoy. We took 'La Petite Train', a tourist train around V-S-M, past Saint Jean Cap Ferrat and Beaulieu-sur-Mer - all just beautiful seaside villages.
Day trip was less than 10 minutes on the train to Eze-Bord-Du-Mer; then we walked to Eze village, 45 minutes uphill (phew!) and 429K above sea level, a 3-tiered medieval village. Another fabulous place with lots of very beautiful buildings and little paths criss-crossing the ancient village where arts and crafts abound. We then went to a great restaurant and practised our French with our waiter over lunch and met a very friendly American couple. Took a tour through Fragonard Perfume Factory with our own private tour guide. They have been making perfume in France at Eze and Grasse since 1929 (Grasse the centre of perfume making in France with over a hundred factories there). Very interesting. Went back up to the village and met up with our new U.S. friends at Jean-Claude’s Wine Bar as it was raining (21 Euros for 3 glasses - about $40). They were so kind to us, and gave us a ride back to our timeshare in their car – you just meet the nicest people whilst travelling!
Day trip (train 15 minutes) to Monaco/Monte Carlo on a beautiful sunny day. Home of the Grimaldi Dynasty (they own Monaco)--pristine, clean, no graffiti, beautiful people, shops, and cars - what can I say! Underground train station was the best we have seen, with marble everywhere--spotlessly clean. Saw ceremonial changing of Palace Guard - had the royal whistle blown at us for going where we weren't allowed, tsk! Went to the small casino (for the non-rich and famous) and lost 10 euros quick smart, and Gerry is still complaining because he had to pay 1 euro ($2, approx.) for a pee. The gardens and parks are magnificent. Workmen are constantly keeping everything up to scratch all over the principality. We saw the cathedral where all Monaco princes and princesses are married and buried - saw Princess Grace’s grave marker on the floor, and it had fresh flowers on it. Whilst out walking, we saw this old guy parking his car and noticed it had a royal crest on the door - can you believe it was Prince Ranier! Went our to dinner with a couple of fellow timeshare owners. More nice people.
Thursday 11/11 we went back to Nice for another look and saw the Armistice Day Parade and service. It is a public holiday to celebrate the end of World War 1. At the end of the march, they gather by the war memorial and present medals. Very interesting to see how other people celebrate 11th November.
Friday 12/11 we took the train the Ventimiglia on the border as we had been told they have a huge market every Friday – were they ever right; the markets are HUGE. You can buy just everything. We had intended to call into Menton on the way back, as we found it to be a charming place on a previous trip, but there were so many people on the train we wouldn’t have got back on again due to the large numbers of people coming back from Ventimiglia.