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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Four Perched Villages of the Cote d’Azur


Four Perched Villages of the Cote d’Azur

MA and I began our day early leaving Vence around 8am heading to four perched villages in the mountains above the French Mediterranean coast.  The first village, Coaraze, was duly entered into the GPS and “Angel” whose voice we hear from the Garmin began giving directions.  We drove south to the A8 and then east and turned north. 

Coaraze sits on a high rocky mountain top surrounded by forest and olive trees.  The houses in the village date back to the middle ages.  It has narrow cobble stone streets and vaulted passageways.  The drive up was a twisting, narrow, sometimes treacherous road.  But it did make for some nice photos.

We then continued on to our next village known as Luçeram, another medieval village perched on a mountain top.  We managed to find a parking spot and decided it was time for coffee.  Walking into town I noticed some French gentleman seated on benches in front of a pizza place, clearly enjoying their Sunday morning visit.  I really wanted a photo of these guys but did not want them to see me doing it.  So we got a table at a little café across from them and I put my camera on the table and pointed it at them and let the auto focus do its magic. 

MA and I had café crèmes and the waiter guessed that she was practicing her French and very politely helped her with some pronunciation.  I’ve noticed the locals in this part of France are very hospitable and friendly, especially if you try to speak their language.  As we were enjoying the local activity in the village, two cyclists pulled up to the town fountain right in front of us to fill their water bottles.  I don’t see how they can make it biking up some of these mountains given that I had to put our rented Opel Diesel in 2nd and 3rd gear just to get where we were!


Our next stop was the village of Peillon.  I counted 12 hairpin U-turns on the narrow mountain road as we wound our way up there.  This little village is a picturesque as can be.  All of the houses adjoin each other and the entire village is made up from a steep stone wall.  This is a pedestrian only village, meaning you park and walk up to its cobble stone streets.

On our trip back to Vence we detoured for a Photo Op at Eze and then headed toward the Mediterranean via the high roads above Nice.  Our intention was to eat there but we could not find a place to park so we told “Angel” to “beam us back to Vence”. 

We arrived safe and sound and had lunch, somewhat pleased with ourselves and “Angel” for getting us everywhere and happy for all those French lessons with Pascale Sharpe at L’Alliance Francaise in Houston. Suffice to say, without Nola along, all that studying came in very handy!
See ya!


  1. You guys had a GREAT Sunday morning! Photos are amazing, Wayne, and your storytelling gets better and better. :) The villages are breathtaking, aren't they? This is such a very special place, the So. of France. I am so lucky to live here. The last shot of the 2 of you is adorable. See you tomorrow. Lots of love! Nola

  2. Wayne,

    Great village shots and very interesting information provided. It's amazing how the cities were built and without the benefit of modern tools and machinery. Can't blame you for not advertising your photo skills with the guys having their morning chat session. I will not likely use my Garmin in Europe but what a great capability.

    Looking forward to the next update.

    HAVE A GOD BLESSED DAY - dave b.


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