"" Writer's Wanderings: France - Village of Eze

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

France - Village of Eze

One of the places we were most eager to see on our trip to southern France was the old medieval village of Eze which sits high on a rocky peak looking out at the Mediterranean Sea. It is situated between Nice and Monaco. We took a bus from the Nice bus station that dropped us off in Eze but the old village of Eze is actually still quite a climb up the hill.

The 12th century village is built right into the cliff area and seems to be one with the mountaintop it sits on. Tiny streets barely wide enough to get a horse and cart through wind all around in a circle at the base of what used to be a castle. Little shops are in every nook and cranny as well as some cafes and restaurants.

There are two hotels in the center of it all and I’m sure it costs a pretty penny, make that Euro, for a night’s stay. One was featured in one of Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown segments.

At the very top is a cactus garden, Le Jardins Exotiques, amid the ruins of the old castle that used to be there. Sculptures are nestled here and there among the cactus. You have to pay to go through the garden but it is the only view in town—er, village. The views were wonderful and the cactus interesting although it’s not my idea of a relaxing garden with all those prickly needles lurking around you. The sculptures were very serene though and had some interesting verse posted next to them.

The whole old village is stone and has been restored to, yes, attract tourists which I’m sure abound in the high season. We arrived early in the day and of course off-season so we were able to leisurely wander the streets stopping to catch our breath when needed. Thankfully it was all down hill on the way back.

Our last stop on our travels through France was to Monte Carlo which is actually in Monaco. We had stopped here once on a cruise and wanted to actually get to see the inside of the casino. We waited for it to open in the afternoon and walked into the central lobby area. There is a huge stained glass dome over the area and off in each direction on the other three walls were large wooden doors through which you enter the gaming areas. There is a 10 Euro cover charge/person to go in—something we would not have been able to recoup at the tables since we don’t know how to play anything. But it was fun to imagine Sean Connery or Roger Moore wandering through in search of their special James Bond martini.

1 comment:

Cathy Messecar said...

Karen, I love your new header. How adorable.

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