Part 4 - Villefranche / Nice
Villefranche / Nice
The next day greeted us with the sun bathing the bay of Villefranche in an extremely beautiful light. I had read somewhere that this bay was one of the finest in the Mediterranean. What I saw gave me no reason to doubt.
Shortly after we anchored, a boat with a gangway had moored at the Liberty. This made access to the tender boats easy. Even for Hildegard and her wheels it wasn’t a problem to get into the tender boat. From the boat we had a beautiful view not only of the Liberty but also of the idyllic village of Villefranche.
Even though there is an excellent train service between Villefranche and Nice, we decided to go the easy way and take a taxi. This took us to Cours Saleya, Nice’s flower market. The square is lined with many restaurants and beautiful buildings, and fruit, vegetable and various other goods are offered for sale.
Obviously, it wouldn’t be complete without the eponymous flowers.
From the flower market we walked past the Miroir d’Eau (water mirror) towards Place Massena.
Through some pretty alleys we reached the famous promenade “Promenade des Anglais”.
Of course I wanted to take a photo of the famous and equally beautiful facade of the renowned Hotel Negresco. The beautiful Belle Epoque building was backdrop for numerous films and hostel to many celebrities of both old and modern times. To me, even today it exudes an honorable charm.
We went back towards the flower market along the turquoise waters.
Back at the flower market, we picked one of the many restaurants and enjoyed a good lunch, which wasn’t overpriced.
Well fed, we continued on the promenade towards the marina and ferry port. On our way, we couldn’t help stopping every now and again just to take in the beautiful view and the sight of the turquoise waters.
When we reached the marina, we came across the Wind Star. A journey on this ship surely is another very pleasant way of cruising.
From here we caught a taxi which took us back to Villefranche. Once there, Birgit and her parents sat down in one of the pretty restaurants on the waterfront and took their time to enjoy a bottle of wine.
I used the remaining time to take a few photos, so I went up the hill towards the castle. It hosts a museum and a botanic garden, both of which can be visited free of charge.
I left it at taking a few shots of the truly beautiful bay, where the Liberty was anchored and enjoyed the view of the deep blue waters.
And then it was time for me, too, to let the alleys of Villefranche take me back to the port.
At the port, we all boarded a tender boat without any wait, and with a last look back said good bye to Villefranche. We were much luckier than guests at the boarding spot of Ibero Cruceros, whose Grand Holiday also anchored in the bay. They had to stand in line and wait in a very long queue.
During dinner, the light of the setting sun fell into the dining room, and the main topics at our table were the impressions of yet another beautiful day. Through one of the large windows we could see the Wind Star leaving Nice under full sail.
Our evenings were always filled with pleasant and animated conversations, and we’d usually spend them in the Viking Crown Lounge, enjoying the beautiful views of the sea and the illuminated pool deck. That’s why we never went to any of the shows or musicals.
I had suggested, however, that we go see the ice show – after all, that’s not the usual entertainment you get on a cruise ship. That evening we went at 9.00 pm. The show was entertaining, eclectic and gripping. We all enjoyed the mix of figure skating, entertaining and cabaret, which was a perfect closure of the day.
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