I'm trying something different with the photos from today so that rather than having a few blog posts, I am combining the photos here. They may appear too small for detail. It if you click the collage, it should appear larger on your screen. When we return, I plan to upload our photos to our Photobucket account where they can be more easily viewed. I will include a link for each port at that time.
In 2007, I thought Villefranche was the most beautiful of all the ports we saw on that Mediterranean cruise, and she has not let her beauty; if anything, she has improved with age, much like what is said about French women. The top left quadrant of photos are from near the harbor with part of the Citadel in the lower portion and the Welcome Hotel awaiting guests. I thought the Chapelle Saint-Pierre was interesting with the eyes painted on the facade, particularly after having been in other countries where eyes are prominent in their culture... We saw symbols of eyes to protect the Greek and Turks, we saw eyes to protect the fishermen in Malta, we saw the Eye and Ear of the watch tower in Valletta. I haven't noticed eyes on things at home; perhaps I am oblivious to them.
The top right quadrant is my reconnaissance mission to see for myself how easy it really is to get to the train station from the port station. So easy! When you arrive on the tender dock and enter the building, turn to the right at the information counter to exit the building. Tour groups generally go straight through which is why I hadn't noticed the side exit before. As you exit, you will pass through a free wifi zone where you can connect free for 20 minutes. This area was full of cruise crew.
As you exit the building, you will walk to the street and there will be a sign with information about which way to go. You will follow the directional information for Gare SNCF (train station). We followed the street towards the beach and then there is a sign just at the car park that leads you up to the station. You will pass through the station tunnel to get to where you buy the tickets. We were on shoreside at 10:15 in the morning and it was less than a 15 minute walk to the station, but there was quite a queue for tickets, so allow time for that in your plans. I don't have a link to the train schedule or fares, but a search should get you there. Also the platforms are clearly marked for whether you are heading towards Nice or towards Monaco for the day.
The bottom left corner of photos are of things we found interesting. I remember seeing the marker for Missud Louis before, but it struck me again as a sobering reminder of how vast the effects of WWII were. We have seen memorials, markers, and the results of damages caused by the ravages of war 70 years ago, and heard the stories of battles fought, alliances made, etc. and not just from recent history (which is quite a different time span from a European point of view than from an American one), but from battles fought and won centuries ago. The other two photos were just ones I thought were pretty.
The bottom right photo is from the public beach in Villefranche. There was another ship in port today which you can see alongside the Disney Magic in the far background.
Sent from my iPad