St Paul de Vence my last perched village!

Trip Start Oct 18, 2006
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Trip End Oct 19, 2007


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Sunday, April 8, 2007

Traveling on the bus to St Paul de Vence (my last perched village day trip!) l saw some not so happy people stomping up and own and curing in French at the bus driver who wouldn't let them in due to the packed bus. Traveling through Cannes Sur Mer in the bus l thought to myself perhaps St Paul de Vence is nearby to my employers beach house...as l had been told to meet them at Cannes Sur Mer station that evening as l would be working at their Beach house for the next week. But l didn't want to get my hopes up looking at the surrounding houses! I had seen photos on Margaux's laptop but it hadn't looked that amazing! (Little did l know...photos are not all as they seem.)
 
As l got of the bus l was presented with another beautiful perched village like Eze and Saorge yet this one once again was uniquely different. Of course over commercialized and extremely busy its restaurants were bursting at the seams and waiters were rushing through the narrow streets and alleyways carrying dishes and plates with them. I watched some old men playing petanque (a sort of lawn bowls game...but played on small yellow stones- played everywhere in France) for awhile and then started walking through the beautiful towns tiny streets, through the boutiques and art galleries and even managed to find a few tiny residential houses where it was only me and some cute fluffy poodles admiring the pot plants. I looked over the beautiful view and out over the terracotta mansions and dreamt of staying in one of them.....little did l know that in a matter l hours l would be!
 
Yes thats right, l caught the train from Nice to Cannes Sur Mer where Laurence and the girls eagerly awaited my arrival. (Why is it that when l go away for a week they all seem to have grown so much when l return!). Overwhelmed by now splendid tan (my sunburn had come through!) we made our to their house and on the steep climb up the hill l noticed we were heading the same way as l had gone to St de vence that morning. As Laurence opened the large remote control iron gate l was suddenly transported to what felt like my deepest fantasy! Before me lay my parfait (perfect) house! Surrounded by layers of olive trees we waved to the grandparents who were pottering around in their vege patch as we drove towards the Provencal style/ranch/Tuscan house. I feel in love with it immediately. The smell of lemons and thyme and lavender surrounded me and as l entered the chalk stained doorway and noted the lovely wrought iron door handle l looked down upon beautiful tiles and up to lovely exposed beams. The house is your ideal inside/outside style living house with the tiles extending outside onto the patios and the balconies, and to the swimming pool (the first of its kind built in France) which had the water flowing over the edges so that you could sit in the pool and feel as though you were swimming in actual Mediterranean sea that it overlooks! As l went into the house l was overcome with the indoor and outdoor speaker system, dual dishwasheres and ovens and stove tops, the huge tennis court on which l played with the girls and 4 German shepherd dogs played ball boys, the lovely spare house which me and girls Spring cleaned with it blue painted door and shutters and hanging dried lavender against its paint scrapped walls. Are you jealous yet??
 
Well don't be too jealous as l spent three of my days there in bed as l had come down with a nasty flu and its not that much fun working with four girls on holidays when you have the flu! Although the palm tree patio and Lillie's on which my bedroom looked out upon, the huge shower and bathroom with lovely tiling which l shared with the girls was enough to get me through! Ohhh but l was so jealous when l saw the bathroom of my employees! Their bath had been elevated so that it had a majestic view over St Paul de Vence! How l longed to take a bath there!!! Looking over at the perched village l smiled at myself and realized l was after all staying in one of the Mansions l had looked out upon and dreamt of staying in! It was paradise....despite the fact that l was tre malade (very sick). But l will never forget this place- the amazing comfy furnishings (which amazingly had not dated for over the 12 years they had been placed there), the large plate chester draws with built in lights illuminating it and its contents at night and who could forget the in built walls surrounding the inside and outside of the house.
 
 This was it.....this was my perfect house! Shame about the price! Prime location, looking over the hinterland, St Paul de Vence, Cagnes Sur Mer and the Mediterranean and yes it was right next door to Micheal Schumacher's house!! Hmmmm a little out of my league! So l spent every moment trying to enjoy it there (when l was out of bed), taking long walks in the olive groves with Chloe's and the German Shepherd dogs in toe, playing tennis, putting my feet in the freezing pool, lying on the deck chairs reading and the window seats, eating Brie fromage and easter eggs from the Easter table, eating salads consisting of olive oil made from the olive trees surrounding me and making lemon meringue pies and cordial with lemons l picked off the trees outside the kitchen! Ohh any woman could die happy in that kitchen!!
 
Robert Dallas- the famous architect who built the house even had it featured in his book on this style housing which he has created.
 
Overall this holiday has been my favorite so far next to Egypt. The perfect mix of adventure- who can forget the round the world adventures of Petit Bleu (Kats Nivea sunscreen which we nicknamed because of his blue coloring) which was not allowed in Kats carry on at Basel airport at the beginning of our trip, so she checked it into a plastic bag at Basel airport. However it never made the flight to Alicante so after many hours of tracking Petit Bleu down it was flown to Alicante where he missed us by one day, then to Madrid...where he missed us again by about a day, then at Marsielle airport we were informed that he was in London Gatwick airport!!! Janette and l both shouted "whats he doing in Gatwick??" where it appeared that he had to fly there in order to reach us in Marsielle. Once again he missed us in Marsille...where we have never seen or heard of him again....l think he may have arrived in Nice but the Pink Lady stole him and put in in one of her large black garbage bags littering her small dirty restaurant!! JFK! But this little blue bottle of sunscreen has nearly seen more of the world then me in one week thanks to Kats persistence in getting him back to her! By the end of it all l was really wanting to see him again and set up his own travel blog! But alas l will never see Petit Bleu again.
 
But my adventures were almost as good as his l think! Fun times in Madrid wandering the streets, hot flamenco nights, panella in Alicante and Mediterranean dancing in the sea, beautiful Alicante where wine, fireworks and tapas bars abounded and l got to slide down Gulliver's coat tails and feel like l was home in Sydney, lovely Marisellle where l came away smelling like lavender and lilac soap and the amazing Cote de Azur- the most beautiful colored water, coastal walks, hidden coves, perched villages, gorges, yachts and villas! And feeling like a movie star in Cannes and an artist in St Paul de Vence. Yes it been parfait (perfect)- and l don't want to forget a sight, taste, smell or memory of the last two weeks!
 


(Note- Unfortunately lam not allowed to post any photos of the house on the web due to security reasons, and l will respect this and my employees privacy. But l have taken almost a whole memory card worth of photos if you would like to see them when l get home let me know.)
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