Saturday, August 24, 2013

Photo Set: French Riviera

Our day in France found us porting in Villefranche sur Mer in the French Riviera.  We took a ship-sponsored tour titled Monaco, Monte Carlo, and Eze which was a bus tour to each of the three towns / villages with a little bit of guided tour and a whole lot of free time in each place. 

We were there on a Sunday so we couldn't go into the cathedral in Monaco.  We had to rush through the palace in Monaco which was a little disappointing as I would have enjoyed a bit more time to look around, but we were hoping to catch the changing of the guard so some of our rush through was self-imposed, never mind the bazillion other people in the groups they had enter at the same time.  And when we exited the palace, there were so many people in the courtyard that we wouldn't be able to see anyway.  The garden was beautiful and we enjoyed walking through.  The day was overcast so our photos aren't as stunning as sunlight would allow.  We found a place to eat pizza for our lunch, not really what we would have chosen for a lunch in the French Riviera, but we had limited time and were afraid a sit-down cafe would take too long.

Monte Carlo was mostly closed as well with just a few places open - the Casino, which we didn't enter as we weren't appropriately dressed for even entering the lobby, plus the boys were too young, and the cafe beside the casino where we went to the walk-up window for the most expensive gelato of the trip.  The shops were all closed and there wasn't much time to venture away from the Casino area. 

By the time we got to Eze, the clouds were beginning to accumulate which just added to the whole overcastness of the day, but we trudged on.  The boys were beat by then and wanted nothing more than to go back to the ship, but we had another hour plus of "free time" in Eze.  We trudged around the village which was pretty cool and had several shops (open) and lots of winding paths.  The views were lovely, and the village was quaint, much like you might expect.  After we descended from the village to the bus parking area, we found the tourism office had free wifi and a nice place to sit.  I've made sure to post about this every time I've written anything about our time in Eze because if we had known about it from our reading pre-trip, I would have parked the boys there with their electronic devices and internet access and they would have enjoyed the break and allowed DH and me to spend a little more time poking around the shops.

The town of Villefranche is easily walkable and on our second cruise, DH and I spent part of the day doing just that.  There is free wifi for a 20 minute increment in the terminal area where the tenders drop off and pick up.  You'll see a lot of cruise staff using it - in fact, that's why I even noticed it was there.  The train station is a 10-15 minute walk from where the tenders drop off - the signage is clear for which way to go.

I think Villefranche is the prettiest of all the ports we stopped at. 

You can find our photos from the French Riviera portion of our trip in our Photobucket.

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