April 22, 2010 Lloyd had to help the taxi driver navigate the narrow zigzag streets from Villefranche up to Eze Village. Fortunately, the taxi had electronic fold-in mirrors to instantly shave off a foot of width. A harrowing five minutes later we stood at the base of Eze's medieval stone steps.
Of the drive, George Sand said, in 1868, " ... it is a most breathtaking road landscape, the most accomplished, a state of the art achievement." Breathtaking indeed.
Perched over the Mediterranean, Eze spirals up from modern streets to castle ruins.
Hitchcock featured the landscape in "To Catch a Thief".
We weaved through the maze of alleys and found photo opps at every turn.
Cobblestone walkways, tiny courtyards, old glorious (to me) doors, ...
... carved gutters, creeping vines, contemporary sculptures, intricate lamps, wee windows, mysterious holes in stone walls, pay toilettes and souvenir shops crammed into cubby holes.
Ground floors used to be cellars for wine and olive oil or stables for goats, sheep and mules. Houses were built of limestone.
We climbed all the way to the top to the castle ruins and ...
... Jardin Exotique (exotic garden).
Despite the cool grey haze we had a wonderful panorma of Villefranche and Eze's terracotta tile roofs.
Descending, we took a side path to the cemetery which is stuffed full of family crypts worn by weather but modernized by new nameplates, plastic flowers, photographs and the deceased memorialized as recent as '07.
After so many steps we felt we earned our brunch at Creperie Le Cactus pour le petite dejeuner: une Crepe Gourmand et cafe expresso.
The crepe arrived smothered in nutella, sliced bananas and whipped cream. Decadent.
Back at the base of the village we were greeted by sunshine and the perfume of luxury soaps and bins of spice.
After Eze we caught the public bus for 1 euro to Nice. The bus, with its windowed sides, gave us a great view of the beautiful seaside and got us to Nice in about ten minutes.