Scenery to take your breath away.
Just a drive of 42 kms before reaching Cannes we actually took almost two hours not including lunch but well worth the effort. The scenery just takes your breath away with the the blues of the sky and the ocean fighting for your attention while on the other side of the road are the Maritime Alps. This rocky formations take on the contrasting colours of ochre and almost pinks and you can see where the buildings of Provence get their colour influences.
We finally arrived at the town of Theoule, again by chance rather than plan. There was a really nice terrace cafe which was exactly to our liking. How does Fritto Misto with a small bottle of rose in the sun overlooking blue skies sound. We could see Cannes and Antibes from where we sat. Once again we found a friendly waiter who was working at the cafe for a friend who owned it.
Having enjoyed our view for much too long we needed to get to our next overnight stay at Vence, some 15 kms or more in the hills behind Nice. Driving towards Vence, the roads start to become narrower as you get closer and as you enter the village, buildings seem to enclose upon you. It sits perched 1000 metres above sea level.
We knew there would not be parking available at the Hotel la Victoire and dreaded the thought of lugging two heavy suitcases to the hotel. By luck our GPS took us directly to square where the hotel is located and underground parking was available under the open square. Quite amazing really when it goes down probably three or four levels and you wouldn't know. In Melbourne our city car parking is above the ground in unsightly filing cabinets for cars.
|Vence has many colourful shops. This Florist shop seems to cover them all.|
|I prefer the dark colours of shadowed lane ways as they take you to what Vence was really like all those centuries ago.|
With a walk of no more than 100 metres we were at our hotel and ready for a discovery walk of the historic village of Vence. Our hotel was only 30 metres from one of the entrances or "Ports" of the walled old town. As you enter, there is a fountain built in 1822 but replacing the original 1578 one. It really is a town restored for the tourists but so enchanting with its narrow streets and covered walkways in some areas. You need to work your imagination to picture what the town must have been like over the centuries. The cathedral built in the 4th century is on the site of a Roman temple and several chiselled plaques that were saved are set into the walls of the cathedral. The fortified walls that surround the village, although much different to what they were in the middle ages, actually retain the original masonry from early 200 AD.
|No clothes dryers here.|
|Vence even has its own bike race.|
One of our readers, Dianne from "Adelaide and Beyond" said she would be interested in our thoughts on Vence. After wandering its streets, both inside and outside its walls, having dinner within the historic village, all I can say is its a place not to be missed in your lifetime.
|One of the ancient Roman tablets found during Vence's many transformations.|
|Looking out from Vence to the mountains we cross later today to Castellane.|
|Although a sunny and warm day, we ate along with others inside the restaurant in the historic centre of Vence.|
|In 1578 sat a fountain replaced by this one in 1822. Vence is also known for its natural spring water.|