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Nice and Falicon, France
Friday, July 4th

After a cup of coffee at La Belle Époque, we caught the local bus to Nice. In the past, we had found the trains to be frequent, reliable and inexpensive; but construction on the line near the Italian border had caused a cutback, and schedules were now chaotic and very uncertain. The bus, on the other hand, was comfortable, cheap and air-conditioned; and ran on a regular schedule all day.


Ave Maria Falicon Ave Maria

Des malheurs
Que le blasphème
La profanation des fêtes
Et l'oublui de nos devoirs
Attirent sur nous

In Nice, we caught another bus to Falicon, a small hill town north of Nice. Falicon had been featured in a French language course I was taking, and we thought it would be fun to explore it. Of course, the characters in the class video were fictitious, but the town itself looked much the same as on film.

Falicon is typical of the small towns nestled high in the rocky hills above the sea. Narrow, winding streets lead up to wonderful panoramic views; but with only about 1,000 inhabitants, not much happens, at least at mid-day on a Friday. We didn't see many people during our 2-1/2 hour stay, but some brochures I saw in the mayor's office indicated that Falicon does offer a lot of summer activities for its residents. We had a pleasant lunch at Au Thé de la Reine, named in honor of Queen Victoria, who often vacationed on the Riviera and took tea in this very restaurant.


We returned to Nice and strolled around Place Rosetti where many dignitaries were gathering at the Cathedrale Sainte-Reporte for a memorial service for the former president of the local council. Warm as it was, they were dressed in their Sunday best to honor this individual. It was a good day to wander through Old Nice (Le Vieux Nice) and along the Quai des États-Unis where the beaches were crowded with sun worshipers.

Back in Villefranche, we dined at Le Calypso, once our favorite local pizzeria, now a more formal restaurant specializing in seafood. A fine meal.


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