Day 4: Villefranche!

We woke up late again but started the day with fresh croissants so all was well.
Our plan was to cover Villefranche and Eze, so we set out on foot to find the bus. On our way to Garibaldi Square, we saw a sign for the Tourism Office and thought it would be a good idea to pop in. There we learned that Villefranche and Eze could not be done in one day. The woman recommended we visit Villefranche and the Jardins Rothschild instead.
We took the tram from Massena to Garibaldi Square, where we picked up the 100 bus headed to Octroi.
We got off the bus in Villefranche and began our descent to the beach through (what I now know is) the old Fort du Mont Alban. We walked along the coast, taking in the beautiful harbor.
It was lunchtime, so we browsed the many restaurants along the water. We decided to sit outside at La Fille du Pecheur (small portions, but yummy!).

Street Music

After lunch, we headed to the beach. It was PACKED! We walked along the water in search of a place to set up. When we finally spotted a piece of unclaimed beach, we jumped on it.

The beach in Villefranche was one of my favorites. Like most of the Cote d’Azur (that we saw), the water got very deep very quickly. The water was calm, so we swam out pretty far (although not as far as some brave individuals who ventured all the way out to the boats!) and floated in the sea. It was so peaceful.
When we eventually packed up and left the beach, we walked up into the old city, stopping in a beautiful little church to see a quick art exhibit.
When we got to the bus stop, we ran into trouble. After waiting for an hour, it became clear that no buses were going to show up without “Complet” signs across the front. I made friends with an adorable white, long-haired chihuahua named Dustin. While Dustin gave me kisses, his mom/owner gave us recommendations. She looked like an older, French Carrie Bradsaw. When we asked about Jardins Rothschild, she took a moment before responding with a completely different pronunciation (no wonder no one had understood what we were looking for). “Ah,” she nodded, “Exquisite.” With the unfortunate bus situation, we knew we wouldn’t make it to the gardens that day, but we moved them to our “must” list. Eventually, Carrie fought her way onto a bus (not an option for our party of five). The conductor wasn’t happy to see Dustin. They argued in French before he conceded and the bus left the station with Carrie, Dustin and our hopes of returning to Nice any time soon.
As we continued to wait, we started talking to a young Dutch couple. Lisa and Teun were from the Netherlands and shared our love for American television. We chatted with them until my mom recalled a pub she had seen down the road earlier. Sick of waiting, we decided to grab a drink. We exchanged e-mails with Lisa and Teun and agreed to meet up later in the week.
Of course, as soon as we sat down at the bar, empty buses started arriving. I was forced to chug my rosé as we sprinted to the stop to catch a ride back to Nice.

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