We boarded our cruise ship, The Celebrity Equinox, in Barcelona on May 17th, and sailed for Nice that afternoon. We were anticipating a sun-filled Mediterranean cruise with visits to several ports in Italy, Dubrovnik, and Montenegro. Our first port, Villefranche, was the very next day, May 18th. Villefranche is the gateway to Nice and other beautiful sites in the French Riviera. We know from a previous visit that the architecture, beaches, and sea shores are lovely. So this time we opted to take a bus tour through Nice, and end up at the small town of St. Paul de Vence, which we have heard is a charming, artistic French town. Our vision is of walking leisurely through this charming town, taking photographs, shopping, and eating lunch at a sidewalk cafe. Unfortunately, that is not what happened.
When we woke up, the view from our cabin was of a water soaked harbor in Villefranche. It was cloudy and rainy, and the weather forecast didn't sound promising. Luckily we had brought our raincoats, so we figured what's one day. We'll get this bad weather out of the way and the rest of the trip will be fair and sunny.
We took our bus ride through Nice in the rain, then headed to St. Paul de Vence...and it began to really pour! We did walk through part of the town, but it was not a leisurely walk, there was no picture taking except with my iPhone, and very little shopping. After walking up the hill from the bus, and venturing just a bit into the old, walled portion of the town, it was raining so hard we ended up taking refuge in a local creperie for lunch...where we hid out pretty much until it was time to make a dash for the bus again. So, we were really disappointed to miss seeing most of this cute little town, and would love to come back in better weather.
You can see from the couple of photos I did get of the town, it has a lot of potential. Hopefully we'll get another chance some day.
On the plus side, the little crepe restaurant was warm and dry, and the food very good. I had a cheese and ham whole wheat crepe, and Rich got a little more adventurous with a ratatouille filled crepe topped with a fried egg. Interesting.