Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mediterranean Cruise - Day 4: VillaFrance & Nice, France

{These posts are taken from emails that I sent the girls every day during our trip}

It is 6:00pm here in France and 10:00am in Illinois.  You're sitting in school right now and we just came back from France and are going to rest a little bit before dinner at 9:00pm!  

We had a great day in Nice, France - Nice was much better than Toulon, France yesterday!  Our ship docked in the port city of VillaFrance, which has a really, really pretty marina that we could look at from our balcony.  We took a lot of pictures of the view to show you guys!  The ship couldn't get right up to the city, so it anchored in the water and we had to take a tender boat (a ferry boat) from the ship to the shore.  Once we got to shore we walked uphill for about 5 minutes and got on a bus that would take us into the city of Nice (pronouced Neece).  The bus ride cost 1 Euro for each of us, which is about $1.45.

When we got off the bus in Nice, we walked around for a short time to find the bus stop that we needed to get to in order to get back to VillaFrance later in the afternoon - we wanted to know exactly where we needed to be so we could get back in time (daddy is really good at planning our days here).  We found the right bustop at a large marina/port in Nice.  It was a beautiful area.  We walked down one side of the port and around the rocky shoreline and found another section of Nice that was absolutely stunning.  People were laying on the beach and swimming in the mediterranean sea.  We went down to the beach and were surprised to find out that the beach is made of ROCKS - not sand like our beaches, but rocks that are probably larger than the rocks that are in our landscaping at our house.  It was hard to walk on them, but we made it down to the water so we could put our feet in it.  The water made the coolest sound as it came on shore and rolled back out into the sea.  I took a short video for you so you could hear the sound - hopefully it works!  The people on the beach are different than the people on our beaches... here in Europe the men wear really tiny swimsuits, called speedos - they not like the shorts/swim trunks that boys wear here.  Also, european women lay on the beach without tops on their bathing suits so everything is showing that we try to cover in the states.  Its kind of strange to see people like that!

We sat on the beach for a short time and then got up and walked to an old ruined castle that used to be a fortress of protection many, many years ago.  There were a LOT of stairs to get to the top and it was pretty hot, but it was well worth the climb and the sweat because the views at the top were amazing!  We took lots of pictures of that, too!  At the very top of the fortress there was a big park with grassy areas to hang out in and a playground for kids and a big giant thing to climb on - which daddy and I climbed on just because we knew you guys would have loved to climb on it!  

When we got back to the bottom of the fortress we went back over by the port where our bustop was and walked down the other side of the marina to find a place to eat.  We had a nice plate of cheese, some bread and some wine - it was perfect!  After that we waited for our bus and went back into VillaFrance and walked around a little market area and had some dessert and coffee (daddy had an ice cream cone & I had a nutella crepe).  We had such a great day here in Nice and I decided that I would like to live here.  I think you girls would like it, too!  And good news: the people here do not smell as bad as the people in Toulon!  That was good news indeed!

So now daddy is making notes on our day so he can give them to Mr. & Mrs. Kalafut who are coming on this cruise in October.  I'm going to read on the balcony and then we'll have dinner at 9.  Tonight is a casual dinner, which means we don't have to wear a dress or a suit.  We talked to our waiter for a little bit last night: he is from the Phillipines (where Jenny grew up) and he is married and has a 2 year old son.  He works on the cruise ship for 6 months every year.  That is half of a year!  Can you imagine if daddy was gone for 6 months and didn't come home at all?  He talks to his family over the computer, but we would sure miss daddy if he was gone like that!  Another good reason to be thankful for Edward Jones, right?!


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