Friday, July 8, 2011

Excursion to Eze


As we mentioned in our previous post, Cruising to Monte Carlo Monaco, there are several options for exploration using Monte Carlo as your base of operations..  Monte Carlo lies at the heart of the Riviera.

Stunning scenery and charming seaside resorts are to be found in either direction along the Golden Corniche routes.

Join me as we venture off the beaten path to Eze, France, a small community up the coast, northeast of Nice and set between Nice and the city of Monte Carlo. Driving along the winding roads we have glimpses of Monte Carlo and other seaside resorts. It is early morning and the fog hasn't quite burned off, but yet we can see quite a distance. After a while we arrive at our destination.

The fortified settlement of Eze sits proudly on a huge rock at the top of a narrow winding road, with the friendly village sprawled haphazardly beneath the castle and grounds.  It is known as the 'eagle's nest' because of its location 1,400 feet above sea level.

There are many interesting sites in this charming medieval village of Eze that forms a circular pattern around the base of the old castle. We ascend the path through the village’s arched passages, stone alleyways, and ancient fountains.  Eze has many shops, art galleries, hotels and cafes for us to explore. Even in the fog it offers gorgeous panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea. 

Along the way, we visit the charming church of Notre Dame de l’Assomption (Our Lady of the Assumption) built in 1764. Eglise Notre-Dame De L’ Assomption is situated at the heart of the famous eagle’s nest. The church stands out from the village’s medieval architecture because of its classic façade, characterized by the bell-tower. Consecrated in 1772, the church has beautiful Baroque altarpieces.

The Jardin d'Eze, known in the past as the exotic garden, offers a range of attractions to discover plants, history and traditions of Eze...

Arriving at the summit we discover the Jardin d' Eze (Exotic Garden) where all sorts of cactus plants are in bloom. There is a minimal entrance fee, included in our tour price, to enter the gardens. Our guide leaves us to explore at our own pace.

This is a multi-level garden with a winding path that leads to the peak of the hill. The panoramic views become more breathtaking the higher you go, so it was worth the climb to the peak.

When we were about to leave the exotic gardens, it started to rain gently. Just enough rain fell to make the descent from the top of the hill a bit treacherous. The hand rails came in quite handy as we made our way to the foot of the hill.

We joined our guide again at the PARFUMERIE GALIMARD. Here we learned about the art of making perfume. While this isn't a working plant, the various ingredients and machinery are on display.

There is a lab filled with every imaginable ingredient that can be blended into your own special scent. Two girls were in the process of making their own unique blends of perfume in the lab.

It's time to try some samples and make our own purchases before getting back on the motorcoach for the ride back to the pier. The images here are just a few of the ones we took. More can be found on our Facebook Fan Page in Off the Beaten Path - Eze.

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