St. Paul De Vence is an amazingly beautiful walled town on the top of a hillside, not far from Nice. It’s narrow stone walkways and twists and turns are lovely to walk through, and it’s really a haven for art lovers (sculptures and galleries everywhere).
I first travelled there several years ago, and couldn’t wait to share it with David, because I was sure he would love it as much as I did. He really got into taking some wonderful photos, but by this time in our honeymoon, we were a little tired from all the travel.
Travel tip – sometimes a good deal isn’t worth the hassle. We were thrilled to grab a 4 Euro pass for weekend bus travel around Nice, and used it to get to Monaco the day before without much problem. But, we were off to St. Paul De Vence on a Sunday, so the buses were coming every hour, or hour and a half – and it really added to the crowding of the bus.
As we waited for the bus, and more and more travellers joined us, we wondered how everyone would get on. We were also really annoyed by the helicopter Aussie parents around us.. constantly calling for/after their children, “James, Jordan… Jordan, James!!” Over and over. And over. So much so, that we are still imitating them.
We were lucky to get a seat on the bus, because we sussed out the situation and positioned ourselves well. But so many others weren’t as lucky and it was standing room only for the one hour ride through the hillside towns nearby to St. Paul De Vence. By the time we got there (and suffered through more “Jordan, James” and crying kid moments), I think David was really done with being around people. I was too, to be honest. And, it affected our enjoyment of this lovely town.
We started our visit around the outskirts, and really enjoyed this more alone time by following the wall around the town and taking photos of the gorgeous view, the sculptures nearby and the old cemetery (with the gravel of the artist Marc Chagall).
We decided to buy a couple of sandwiches and enjoy the view along the wall. It was really lovely, and hot!
When we started to make our way into the town, and the winding little walkways, it felt even hotter and on the muggy side. We joined more people on our walk, and every little store was also muggy and full of people. It had an effect on our day, and I could tell David just wasn’t as into it as I thought he would be.
We decided to head home, and we joined yet another large group of people waiting for the bus. In an effort to avoid having to stand, we thought we would take the bus going the other way (only two stops before turning around and heading back to St. Paul De Vence and then Nice). BIG mistake on a Sunday! The buses were being decommissioned in Vence, so we had to wait an hour before the next one was scheduled to go back towards Nice. And, it was Sunday. EVERYTHING was closed in Vence.
We got home tired and a bit cranky. Lesson learned here. Sometimes, a more direct and comfortable transit route is better than the cheap way!