Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Week on the French Riviera #1

During my research, I considered staying in Nice. However, it seemed that Nice was another large city like Paris. George had been to Villefranche when he was in the Navy and remembered it to be small and quaint. So that is what we chose. I'm really glad we did!

l'appartement: La Barcasse

Overlooking Quai Admiral Courbet and in the heart of the old town with views over the harbour nestles this beautiful one bedroom apartment. The apartment has just been lovingly renovated to the very highest standard. You will love the attention to detail. There is even an remote bed so you can sit comfortably at night to log your memories of each wonderful day in this magical and special village. Enjoy a glass of wine on the balcony and just outside your door you will be spoiled for the choice of great restaurants. Only few minutes lovely stroll away is the beach making this the best location in town.

This apartment was just as described. 


Not as comfortable seating as the apartment in Paris, it excelled in views! 

le quartier

Directly below the apartment was a location for vendors who set up their tents and tables each day a cruise ship came into the harbor (which was most days). One day I watched as the village came awake - vendors arriving to unload their wares, restaurant staff sweeping, deliveries being made. A rush to be prepared for the first tender to drop off the day visitors. I felt very much a part of the village from my balcony overlooking it all.

The waterfront is lined with many restaurants. George remembers Le Mere Germain as a dingy bar where Mere Germain welcomed American soldiers and gave them free beer.

une courte promenade

A short walk to the beach. On Sunday it was very crowded. The beach is directly across from the train station, making it very accessible for locals. Of course French Riviera beaches are famous for topless sunbathing ... we saw only three - I won't post the one photo I got :-). The beaches were less crowded on weekdays ... I suppose because school was still in session. I did notice that some of the cruise passengers made their way to the beach for the day.

le port

There was only one day during the week with no cruise ship in harbor. One day there were two large ships. Because Villefranche is a small town but centrally located along the coast, many passengers took tours to other places such as Nice and Monaco (which I will post in my next blog).

This was the bench that became my favorite place to view the ships. One day George said to me, "I could stay here all summer." I felt the same way ... except that Sue, the manager of the apartment, told us that summer is really really crowded here with several ships in harbor each day and people swarming around like ants. Plus it gets very hot. So the idyllic scene we experienced one week in May is not experienced during the summer.

Next ... we head to Nice.

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