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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Village of Tourtour and “old town Nice”

The Village of Tourtour and “old town Nice”
Village of Ampus

My goal today was to visit Tourtour: one of the listed “Most Beautiful Villages of France” located about 70km from Vence. Happily Nola had said that she had long wanted to visit the same village too! So we all set out Tuesday morning early with the GPS programmed and “angel” guiding our way. 

The day trip took us first into Cagnes sur Mer where we got on the French toll Expressway, A8.  About an hour later we arrived, found the local parking lot and walked into town.  I can see why it is listed as a most beautiful village.  It looks like it belongs in the 1800’s with little changes in its appearance from that time.  Nola and MA decided to have a light breakfast which gave me the time I wanted to wander around and photograph the doors, door knockers, streets, etc.  I walked back to the café there in the square and joined them. 

There are a lot of bicyclists in France and all through Europe for that matter.  Next to our table there in Tourtour was a group of about 10 cyclists, all ages too I might add, some of the men looked older than me even!  Of course they’re all in great, great shape form pedaling up and down those mountain roads.  I’ve noticed that more men are on bikes than women and they all dress like they’re riding in the Tour de France with Lycra shirt, shorts, bicycle shoes, and a helmet.  They go from village to village stopping to rest and fill their water bottles from the local fountains.

We continued on, driving to the villages of Ampus, Entrecasteaux, and Contignac but just looked, didn’t stop.  We were headed back to visit “old town Nice” when I happened to spot a sign pointing to the Abbey Thoronet, a Cisitercian abbey that I had wanted to visit and photograph.  So we make a quick right turn and took the detour there and I’m so glad we did. 
Thoronet Abbey

It is a magnificent piece of Renaissance architecture which reflects the philosophy of the Cistercian monks who lived there.  Their world was one of extreme solitude.  The chapel and abbey have no decorations or ornaments to distract their attention to Christ.  The only place they could converse was the “parlor” and only to discuss work assignments for the next day. MA and Nola had a long conversation about this kind of worship versus the Great Commission of Jesus to go out into the world and teach everyone what He had taught them. I think the upshot is there are many ways of worship and service!
Back to the Abbey! The stone walls caused their chants to have a long echo so they had to sing slowly and in perfect harmony.  It is no longer used by the monks but is now a museum and tourist attraction.  When it was time to say goodbye to the Abbey we cranked up the GPS and resumed our return to Nice (pronounced Niece).

Nice is the third largest city in France, it sits right on the Mediterranean, and has the traffic congestion to match. Luckily and with Nola’s guidance, we finally found a place to park.  The streets of the “old town” are pedestrian only and they were packed wall to wall with tourists, shoppers, and folks drinking coffees, or having lunch, or eating ice cream.  Just take a look at the photo I took. 

It being 3:00pm, we decided to have lunch and then walk around some more.  The place was still crowded and I’m glad either Nola or MA, it didn’t matter, suggested it was time to get back to Vence! I was ready.  Tomorrow it’s off to the village of Grasse, a sightseeing little train ride through the city and did I mention lunch!!
See ya!!

1 comment:

  1. Wayne,

    Great photos and information. Nice is way crowded but a beautiful place. Looking forward to the next addition of "Traveling Wayne's World." keep them coming.

    HAVE A GOD BLESSED DAY - dave b.


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