Haa see what I did there! Like ‘nice and easy’ but Nice and Eze (pronounced Ezz). Haaaa. But that is where today’s shore excursion took us from the Villefranche port.
As a huge F. Scott and Ella Fitzgerald fan I was really looking forward to seeing the French Riviera. While I won’t get to go exactly where they stayed (or their ‘characters’), it wasn’t hard to imagine them swanning around, Flapper-esc in their tassels and charmingly drunk 24/7.
The day started in a bit of a state as we slept in massively and unfortunately missed our guided tour of Nice and Eze. A quick trip to the shore excursion services on board got us a ticket to an afternoon tour so all was not lost, apart from more of my money (the go fund me page is really looking like a good idea). So we got to leisurely eat breakfast and have a swim before getting ready to board the tender.
We were moored in Villefranche as opposed to Nice itself. I found Villefranche very charming and actually had no idea this area was originally under Italian control, up until about the 1860s or so. Hence some of the architecture, particularly the shutters on the windows, is Italian. If only they’d kept the language because I kept saying grazie and ci instead of merci and oui. I must have sounded insane, switching between English, crappy Italian and even crappier French (sorry Sarah F!)
Exploring with a larger group isn’t great and is very slow. We were the only Aussies on board and I was the youngest by about 10 years at least. We ditched the guide about 5 minute into both walks (through Nice and Eze), as it was driving me bonkers. We sat on the beach in Nice and ate fresh cherries from the market, then wandered up Promenade Anglais to end up back at the meeting point where we shared a blueberry slurpee which was DELISH. Nice was nice enough (Heh heh heh), don’t really have much to say about it as I didn’t see enough.
Our bus took us up the corniches which are very famous drives offering spectacular views of the water, all the super yachts and mansions. Our guide Claudine knew of many who were owned by famous people like Elton John, Tina Turner, Michael Flatley and Sean Connery. As well as really old homes built by British Lords or old-school American bankers (“old money”). One property which occupied a huge amount of land atop one of the hills was owned by someone to do with American Express I think. Anyway, some Russian baron wanted it and offered 360 million euros! But he forgot the French law that actually only allows him to own 10 per cent or something, so he tried to back out and lost 35 million euros. The lady donated it to charity because she clearly didn’t need MORE money.
During the drive I particularly enjoyed the guy behind me with his enormous camera continually taking photos through the window. Because of course the quality will be excellent. Worsened by his wife nagging “take a picture take a picture.” Shut the fuck up Mary we’re in a moving bus and the windows are dirty. He didn’t even get off to take photos at the actual ‘this is where you can get great photos’ stop. You can only imagine her saying later “is this the best you got today?” PUNCH HER DENNIS, PUNCH HER. (kidding no one condones domestic violence).
Eze was as beautiful as I thought it would be. But by then Hardy was pretty bored so I didn’t get to see all of it. It was a lot to ask him to do with all the walking and stairs and boring old buildings covered in vines with a blend of romantic and medieval vibes. Sigh. So I took him into a jewellery shop! He then played the ‘I need to wee’ card, clever kid, but not before I did some damage. I have added a beautiful new bracelet to my collection as well as a necklace. I compenstaed him with lollies from the stall at the bottom of Eze though because I’m not a monster. Actually the tour guide commented on what a good boy he was, not complaining and being ‘very cute’. Her words, honestly.
We came back hot and bothered only to find the pool closed. Did someone shit in it do you think? So now we’re a bit lost for what to do, so I think we’ll actually go and see some Caribbean band and listen to the captain’s address. Riveting.
UPDATE: We ventured up to take a look but I didn’t realise it was formal night, so with Hardy in thongs and me in a sundress, we looked like total trollops so I got us out of there quick smart.
As you can probably ascertain my mood hasn’t improved much and I keep wishing for the cruise to end. I’m sure it will improve/I’ll stop being a whiny bitch!