Back to writing about our trip last month to Turkey and France! After my last post I had some phone troubles, then was wrapped up in the business of life, but I’m determined to get back into this. I’ve decided to do shorter, hopefully more frequent posts, so I’m not overwhelmed.
We flew from Istanbul to Nice, picked up a rental car, and with the help of GPS, drove up the hills from the coast to the small town of Vence (only about 20-30 minutes from the coast).
As cliche as it sounds, words really can’t describe how beautiful this country is. We arrived at our inn, the Auberge des Seigneurs, which also housed a very nice restaurant in addition to the upstairs guest rooms. The owner was lovely and I was so pleased to be able to successfully speak a bit of French with her.
Our first dinner that night was one of the best meals of the whole trip. We ventured out into the twilight, and everything about Vence seemed too good to be true. It is a walled city, just the right size, with plenty of restaurants with outdoor dining, street musicians, winding lanes, hidden passageways…it was so atmospheric. We wandered around, looking at menus, and chose a place on the main square.
The service was so nice, belying French stereotypes, and the food excellent: crusty bread, fresh salads, perfectly prepared fish, inexpensive and fabulous local rosé. After dinner, we dropped by another cafe for crepes and more local wine, and ended the night at an awesome beer bar with tons of French craft beers! We were in heaven. That night, I wrote in my journal that my Nutella crepe was the best crepe of my life, and Vence was unreal.
The next morning, I awoke to birds chirping and stuck my head out the window of our room, taking in the street below, the shutters and flower boxes of adjacent buildings, the mountains beyond. The air was so fresh and the breeze so perfect; I felt like I was in a Disney movie!
We drove off to St Paul de Vence, an impossibly adorable medieval hilltop town full of narrow lanes, stone buildings, art galleries, and impressive views of the valley below. The village gets very crowded with tour groups during the day, so we were lucky to be there at 8/9am, when not much was open but we had the lanes almost completely to ourselves. We enjoyed espresso and pain au chocolat before setting off for the coast.