Monday, 8 September 2008

Arriving in Villefranche

Thursday 28 August 2008. We wake up, anchored off Villefranche, France. Luckily we are still on the ship...

Tours are heading off to Nice and Monaco and Monte Carlo, but we have a leisurely breakfast. Mum after her experience in Santa Margherita, is looking forward to another day using a tender boat to get to shore.

By the time we are ready for the tender boat there is quite a queue for it.

Quite a queue too to get into the harbour. The tender curves its way from the ship close to the Villefrance shore but has to stand away from the harbour mouth whilst traffic in and out eases. It affords us a look at the town's fortress.

The waterfront is extremely pretty with brightly painted multi-coloured buildings lining the promenade roadway. Having stepped off the tender boat we passed through a customs or security building and into the town.

The town is set against a hill. This is what streets leading off the seafront look like! Steep steps.

Behind the front row of buildings is a dark covered passage, lit with modern electric bulbs in ancient lanterns. With its barred doorways and windows looking from buildings into the passage, it looks just as though it is a set from Pirates of the Caribbean.

We are nowhere near the Caribbean Sea of course, but the coastal towns of the Mediterranean were no more safe, as there were plenty of pirates operating in this region, from Africa and (one imagines) many sheltered well-hidden refuges where the locals could be persuaded through fear to keep quiet about the pirates' whereabouts.

Oh no... There's a market and Fran and Mum have spotted it... Well I think I may leave them to it and I'll climb the hill for a closer look at the fortress!

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