Tou rist or not tou rist
Trip Start Jun 24, 2011
31Trip End Jul 19, 2011
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I'd heard so much about it, I thought this is one place that we must visit - Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
It's not too far from where we are. Just up the road to Grasse, then head east (instead of west, where we went through the gorge a couple of days back).
Juliet set the GPS for Vence (which we'd identified on the map Simon and Mary lent us) and we were off through another mountainous, winding track looking at more stunning scenery.
This time, I was surprised at how built up the area was, being a good few kilometres from the coast and in some mountainous country. I was trying to work out what all these residents would do for a crust and couldn't come up with an answer
Anyway, it didn't take long to arrive at Vence and we found a car park for a couple of euros and went off to explore on foot.
We started out in the modern part of the town, had lunch as a brasserie that was obviously popular with the locals (my measure of a good place for a feed), then headed off to the historical section.
I had asked (in my less than intelligible French - much to Juliet's consternation) whether this was indeed Saint-Paul-de-Vence or if there was another place we should be seeking. With Juliet's assistance, it turned out we were off target and the place we were looking for was a few more kms down the road.
Anyway, we hoofed around the old part of Vence and it was still quite interesting.
After a while, we made our way back to the car and headed off once more towards where we should have gone in the first place.
When we got there, it being extremely hot and the only parking space I could find being up a steep hill about a kilometre from the town, Juliet opted to stay in the car that I'd parked under a shady tree where she could read her book and relax - she wasn't really interested in exploring another ancient village.
I trotted off [trotted? lumbered?] to check out this attraction.
It was absolutely mobbed with tourists - great mobs of them.
Many of the tourists were obviously on organised tours with tour leaders holding up identifiers so their followers wouldn't get lost
While the town itself had all the charm one would expect, and I'm sure the history is amazing, squeezing past these masses on a hot day, having to stop every couple of steps to avoid getting in the way of someone's photograph and looking in one tourist-trap enterprise after another became less than appealing, especially on my Todd Malone, so I turned on my heels and trudged back up that steep hill to the car.
As I reported to Juliet, it's really just a bigger version of Mougins Vieux Village with more art galleries and more vendors trying to make a quid out of the tourists.
Nevertheless, I'm glad we checked it out and now we have a better idea of what's around us - and it was a lovely drive.
We came back by going down to the coastal strip and returning from the east.
In the evening, I made another big stir fry to last a few meals and Juliet couldn't resist having a bit of it, even though it wasn't in her diet plan.
We sat out on the house steps in the twighlight and, since Juliet was of a mind to talk, we discussed some of my past prior to her coming into the world and recollected some of our memories from here younger years and even considered a little philosophy while I supped on a couple of glasses of a rather nice red.