"Villefranche-sur-mer" Villefranche-sur-Mer by maykal
Villefranche-sur-Mer Travel Guide: 94 reviews and 239 photos
Due to adverse weather conditions (you wouldn't know it from the blue skies in my photos, but a hailstorm was approaching...not good if you've got to board a ship by tender), I only had three hours in Villefranche...no time to hop on a train to Nice or Monte Carlo, then. With two cruise ships in the bay, and around half the passengers from each "brave" enough to jump onto tenders and go ashore, coupled with the fact that it was a public holiday in august in France, the harbour of Villefranche was swarming with tourists. We swamped the place, and it is only a small place to swamp. Yet another reason why I hate cruise ships with a passion.
Anyway, if there is a way to avoid the hordes, climbing steps is usually a sure way to do so...Villefranche is a town packed full of steps, and in my three hours, I managed to find a fair few to climb. Un cafe dans un cafe, et puis un randonnee dans les ruelles...and it was time to board the dreaded ship by tender, on increasingly rough seas. After leaping aboard and avoding being crushed between ship and tender, we watched from the deck as Villefranche disappeared in cloud and hail, while crew members attempted to manouevre the tenders alongside the ship so they could be hauled back on board. It was a rare moment of excitement.
As luck would have it, leaving Villefranche, the skies cleared, and we had good views of Monaco and the Cote d'Azur as we sailed into Italian waters. The intercom announced ice carving by the pool and cha cha cha classes in the Atrium, and I instantly wished I was back on shore.
Villefranche...yes, a nice place...but too small to cope with big ships on stormy days.
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