Côte d’Azur- Le Cinquième Jour-Day 5

We began the fifth day of our trip with another great breakfast at the buffet in our hotel. It was Easter Sunday and it was quite obvious that it was a holiday weekend because there were so many people at the buffet, including many families with their sick children. Once again after showering and getting dressed we headed out for our day.

After the disaster with the bus passing us by that prevented us from visiting St. Paul De Vence on day 4 of our trip I don’t think my husband and I ever fully trusted the buses again on our trip. I know that event was in the back of my mind on day five because we would be relying on the buses (on a holiday no less) to take us a little bit outside of Nice.

Our destination that day was to an area a little east of Nice called Cap Ferrat, and more specifically the Ephrussi de Rothchild Villa and Gardens. Thankfully we didn’t have any problems catching our bus at at the stop near out hotel.

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We had to change buses once and thankfully there were no problems with that either. Once we were on the bus to Cap Ferrat we enjoyed the beautiful views of the ocean.

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There was one problem with trying to figure out the exact route of the bus we took. We later figured out it went in a figure eight but at the time we were terribly confused. I’m still not quite sure if we missed our stop or got off the bus too early but either way we got off the bus because we were afraid we were about to get lost and/or stuck on a bus headed back to Nice. We had to backtrack a little bit after we got off the buss. My phone still wasn’t getting reliable data but thankfully my husband’s was so we were able to figure out where we were and where we needed to go.

Once we found the walking route to the Ephrussi de Rothchild Villa and Gardens we were a little surprised with just how off the beaten path it was.

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It took us behind several houses and on the way to the  Ephrussi de Rothchild Villa and Gardens it felt like we were in some French horror movie where a psycho killer might jump out of nowhere and come after us.

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Eventually we found our way to the Villa and Gardens. Even before we paid for our tickets were were amazed by the absolutely stunning views. As nice as Nice is it was Cap Ferrat that had the views that one imagines when they think of the French Rivera.

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The weather report called for rain that day so once we paid to enter the Ephrussi de Rothchild Villa and Gardens we made the decision to check out the gardens first since the rain hand’t arrived yet. That way if the rain came later in the day we would be inside the Villa instead of being stuck outside in the rain.

I absolutely loved the gardens. It was actually a collection of several different types of gardens in one. There were the Spanish Gardens.

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The Flortine Gardens.

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The Stone Gardens.

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The Japanese Gardens.

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The Exotic Gardens.

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The Rose Gardens, which unfortunately weren’t in bloom (it was March after all).

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And a beautiful series of fountains also known as the French Gardens. Walking around all of these gardens were very relaxing and the epitome of everything I love about being in Europe.

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One thing that made our visit to  Ephrussi de Rothchild Villa and Gardens extra nice was that every twenty minutes they would have a water show where they would play classical music.

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It was truly special.

Inside the Villa we got a free audio guide to take us through the beautiful house. What I enjoyed about the audio guide wasn’t just the explanation of the many beautiful things, although that was fascinating. What I enjoyed  most was learning the life story about the woman who had the house built. Her name was Beatrice Ephrussi de Rothchild. I’m not quite sure why but as the audio guide told me about how she liked to gamble or how she embraced new technology like the telephone I absolutely fell in love with her.

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I was utterly enthralled with the stories of her travels and her love of animals. I adored how she had special chairs built for her dogs.

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I loved her collection of porcelain animal figurines.

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But my absolutely favorite thing was the delightfully absurd story of how she threw an extravagant party that celebrated the wedding of her dog. I guess that’s what happens when you have a lot of money and no children.

The only thing I didn’t like when we were in the Villa, or as we would come to call it Beatrice’s, was that when we were on the second floor the wind picked up and we were both very cold. Fortunately, there was a solution for us when we were done touring the Villa. The dining room has been turned into a tea room.

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We both enjoyed a pot of hot tea. I had a pot of Darjeeling tea.

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My husband had a pot of herbal tea.

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And we each enjoyed a desert as a snack.

After a stop by the gift shop we began to walk back to catch our bus. The walk behind the houses didn’t seem as creepy this time since we knew where we were going. However, we still were nervous about rain arriving as we made our way back to the bus stop.

Once we we found our bus stop there was more confusion. Was this the right bus stop? We weren’t 100% sure. My husband’s phone said a bus should be along any moment. We thought we were having a repeat of the day before when the bus went right by us. But our caution in not wanting to make a mistake paid off. We were patient and waited. As it turned out the bus that had passed us had been on the complex figure eight route and it picked us up on the way back. Thank goodness!

We got back into Nice right as the rain and strong winds arrived. We waited in our hotel room for the storm to pass. Eventually we were too hungry to wait anymore so we grabbed our umbrellas and headed out to dinner.

One thing I had wanted to try on our trip to Paris in 2012 but didn’t get the chance to was frog’s legs. This time I was determined to check out this signature french dish. I found a restaurant that had it. For dinner I had escargot (out of the shell unfortunately) and frog’s legs.

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When I first heard that French people eat frog legs in middle school I thought it was really gross. But the taste wasn’t gross at all…it did, in fact, taste like chicken. My husband had a risotto dish that was out of this world.

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We like the restaurant so much that we would be back two more times. The restaurant was named Rina and we are still talking about it two weeks after our trip…It was that good!

After dinner we went by a nearby gay bar so I could have a drink. The bar wasn’t anything special but it did satisfy my desire to say I had been to a gay bar in Nice.

Back at our hotel I was thankful that the rain hadn’t ruined our time at  the Ephrussi de Rothchild Villa and Gardens. Although neither one of us mentioned it I noted in my head that we had reached the halfway point of our trip but instead of being sad about it I was excited that the next day we would be going to another country.

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