After Cannes and Antibes on our giant whirlwind tour of the Côte d’Azur, we checked into our hotel in Villefranche. After dropping off our bags and trying to find a parking spot in the very steep and very crowded streets of Villefranche, we walked along the Boulevard Princess Grace de Monaco to Vieux Nice (old town Nice).
After so much time in the car, it was great to walk and move around. It was a beautiful evening and the scenery was amazing. These were the views we’d been hoping for in the south of France, a rocky coast with clear water and a gorgeous blue sea.
Nice’s harbor was peaceful and the boats were a bit more modest than in Antibes.
Being from the US, I’ve never really understood the concept of renting a space on the beach. It’s common in the south of France. Most of the beaches are rocky so I guess it’s nice to have a lawn chair that you don’t have to lug around and waiters who will bring you cold drinks. Notice they even put down aisle-like mats so that you don’t have to touch the rocks! I guess everyone has different ways they like to experience nature. We have friends who like to tube down rivers with coolers tied to their tubes. To each their own.
We so busy sightseeing that we missed lunch and hadn’t eaten more than an apple since breakfast 12 hours earlier. Oops. By the time we arrived in Vieux Nice, we were ravenous. We headed to the Cours Saleya which has been Nice’s main market square since the middle ages. Filled with cafes that spill out onto the square, there were plenty of options so that we didn’t have to wait for a table.
Luckily for us, France is a great place to be hungry. We had a wonderful meal and gorged ourselves on French specialities. I had salad (Niçoise, how could I not when in Nice), oysters (they don’t serve them with Tabasco Sauce), and bouillabaisse. Near the sea, I felt pretty confident that the seafood would be good. It was better than good.
Vieux Nice is a tangled mishmash of ancient streets and alleyways. Strolling through them was a perfect way to end our amazing day in the south of France.