Thursday, June 10, 2010

Disney Cruise - Day Ten: Villefranche

Our last port of call was Villefranche, along the coast of France. This was another stop I didn't really have the biggest expectations for. But, as with Corsica, it ended up being one of my unexpected favorites.

I woke early again to probably my favorite sunrise. Don't worry. I didn't wake up early every day. It was vacation, after all! But when I did, it was no hardship to do so with sights like these out the window.

Like in La Spezia, the harbor wasn't deep enough for us to properly dock, so we had to tender a little ways out in the water and take smaller boats to shore. Watching the coast of France grow closer on our tender boat was beautiful.

But turning around while still on the tender boat, I got my favorite picture of the Disney Magic. Isn't she beautiful? I wish I lived on that boat! If you look closely, you can see the smaller, tender boats loading people up. This picture seriously makes me happy.

Our shore excursion took us to the principality of Monaco. I didn't really know what to expect from Monaco, so I was blown away by how beautiful this tiny little country is. If I had to pick one word for Monaco, I'd lean towards "posh."

The first part of our tour took us through the old, downtown area of Monaco. One of our first stops was the church where Princess Grace Kelly got married. (I feel a Mika song coming on!)

This is where the princess is buried.

We walked further downtown and stopped for a while near the palace where the royal family of Monaco lives. We had a little bit of free time at this point, so we sought out souvenirs and (of course) ice cream. I think we ate ice cream at almost every stop on the trip!

We also passed a Lamborghini along the way - you know, as you do, when walking through Monaco!

After our walking tour in the old town, we took a street train tour of the newer downtown Monaco. The tour took us along the Monaco Grand Prix racing track, which was cool. Would have been nice to have the Lamborghini now!

We passed by the Monte Carlo casino on our tour. We didn't stop in, though! We weren't dressed nicely enough to be let in anyway.

We finished out train tour and then walked towards the marina to stop at a cafe for coffee or beer. As we were walking, we noticed a huge, thick cloud of fog rolling in over the coast.

It was surreal. It wasn't like being in a fog, it was like watching the fog just ahead of you. We never seemed to actually be in the fog, but it seemed to be seeping into the landscape everywhere else we looked.
On the ride back to the ship, the roads were taking us along a higher elevation, and the clouds were lying thick along the mountains, just below us, like a heavy quilt. It was like we were in a plane, flying over Monaco, instead of on a bus driving through it. Our tour guide was amazed. She said she'd never seen fog like this in Monaco.

We pulled around the curve of a mountain and there was a break in the fog just over the harbor where our ship was tendered. It was such a cool sight to see. Thick, white clouds hanging heavy all over the coast and the sea, except for one small patch of clear blue right where the Magic was waiting for us.

It felt like we were returning home. Except that we knew it was the last port of call for our cruise. One more day at sea, and then we'd be getting off in Barcelona. I honestly felt a bit like I was mourning the end of our cruise. It had been so much fun, and we had seen so many amazing places. The daily grind of life seemed a million miles away.
But regardless of how we felt, the trip was coming to a close. We were so lucky to be able to take such an incredible trip. The pictures and words will never properly capture just how incredible it was. Even now, two weeks out from the trip, I feel homesick for the Disney Magic.
I've got one more travel blog up my sleeve. Just a collection of random on board pictures and general thoughts about the cruise overall that I hope will cap the whole series off nicely. But for tonight, I'm going to go lay down and try to dream that I'm back on board and looking out my verandah at sun rising over the coast of France. Bonne nuit!

No comments:

Post a Comment