Yesterday, we visited our only French port of our cruise…Villefranche, which is a gateway to Nice. We really just wanted to spend time exploring the city on our own, but it’s kind of far from the port, so we booked a shore excursion that would basically drive us into Vieux Nice and drop us off to explore for a few hours before driving us back. On the way up there, the driver gave us a lot of color and history for Nice and the entire Cote d’Azur.
Once in Nice, we were dropped off in the market area. And…oh my…the markets! We were so jealous of the ability to buy fruits and vegetables from this market and the surrounding shops…and the wine, and meat, and cheese! While the convenience to run to Central Market or Kroger and stop up on everything I need in one big trip is certainly nice, I can’t find figs the size of avocados there!
We spent some time walking up and down the Promenade, which our guide pointed out as the area that last year’s terrorist attack occurred (she simply referred to it as “the terrible thing that happened,” and said that Nice will never be the same).
There was very, very heavy police presence absolutely everywhere in Old Nice, understandably. We shopped, bought Belinda a handmade dress, bought some soaps, and stopped for a nice Cafe Au Lait. I think the highlight for the kids was getting to eat some real French macarons! It is definitely a city we will come back to and explore further someday. Very charming.
After the bus ride back to Villefranche, we walked around the village a bit. It is very small, but also charming. We had planned to eat lunch off of the ship, but the kids were getting tired and hungry (it was a very early morning for us…we had to be off the ship before the restaurant opened for breakfast), so we gave in and came back. After lunch, we let them burn off some energy in the pool before dinner.
A wonderful day spent exploring in France….even though we all realized that our French language abilities are really terrible!