Monday, February 19, 2024

VilleFrance-Sur-Mer Naval Flower Battle

 A later start for the day today, didn't even wake up before 8AM. Get up, fill up water bottles, kettle, get washed as water is supposed to be off starting at 8:30AM until 6PM today.

Head out at about 9:30AM, water is still on so dishes are washed and won't come home to that. Today we are heading to VilleFranche-Sur-Mer for the Combat Naval Fleuri. We weren't sure what exactly was happening, but at a tourist info place in Cap Ferrat earlier in the week they told us about this and we might enjoy it.

VilleFranche-Sur-Mer is a small coastal town on the Mediterranean that I'm sure looks forward to this every year. This started in 1902 and is supposed to be the only place in the world that has such a festival. We start off waiting for a morning parade that starts at 11AM, like most things we have discovered since we have been here everything is a bit late. We actually thought it was buskers in the park, but it is a parade. One group of young dancers to teeny bopper songs coming from a speaker followed by some girls in Segway decorated with flowers. Next up is a group of women in carnival dress, like Rio carnival dress, followed by 5 drummers for music to dance to. Quite a contrast. My favourite may have been the group of daycare kids there to watch the parade that got up and danced with the Rio dress women, very cute.

From here we had about 2 hours until the main show. We walked down to the waterfront, so many people already claiming spots, but no way were we standing for 2 hours to save a spot. You needed to go through security to get to the waterfront, I imagine we will be doing the same here in Nice when we go to Carnival. We found a nice spot around the back of a building that had a wall and ate our packed lunch there. We are learning that these small towns may have very little to offer and hard to find, so we were happy with our packed lunch. After lunch we lucked out on affordable ice cream, Andre is a happy man, he was going through withdrawal.

Walked along the main road on the shore, at the end there is a large security line, so decide we would just wait it out instead of going out and exploring more. Found some stairs to sit on while Andre went exploring a little more. 45 minutes until the parade so we move to find a spot, actually Andre moved before me, I asked him to act big so I could stand there too. We were in a good spot for the boats, not such a great spot for the parade, but turns out the parade was just the 2 things we had already seen earlier in the park as well as a marching band, so we are happy. Another 30 minutes and the boat action starts.

So we stood for a little over an hour and were third row in for a viewing spot, but it was a pretty good spot. The lady in front of me obviously knew what she was doing, she had a folding chair and a book, slightly jealous. There are 25 boats involved, they are all anchored up at the wharf and one by one they are introduced and go by for pictures. Then they turn around, come by again and throw all their flowers that they have decorated their boats with into the crowd. Lots of fun, if you call out you get their attention and they try to reach you. Many flowers end up in the water. It is mimosa season here, so most of the decorations are with mimosa flowers and a few carnations as well. Quite a tradition, fun to see.

Once we had enough we decided time to escape before the masses to return to Nice. 2 options, bus or train. Since we knew exactly where the bus pick up was decided to go there as it was quite a walk up hill to get there and figured not too many people would do it. Boy were we wrong. There had to be 75 people waiting for the bus, we decided to head to the train, but then another thought, lets go to the bus stop before this one, we will have a chance there. Google tells it is about 1KM away, a bit uphill, but nothing terrible. Luck out and as soon as we get to the bus stop it arrives, and lots of standing room but no seats left. I am standing by the bus driver when he turns the corner and audibly gasps, there have to be at least 100 people there now waiting. We are packed in, and it is getting hot on board. Luckily the air conditioning sets in, first time we have had this since we have been here. We are on a different bus line than this morning, but the bus said Nice on top so we got on figuring it would take us somewhere we knew. The bus pulls up at the port and we decide to get off here and walk home, it is only about 2KM from here along the shore and it is another beautiful day, plus it is cooling off outside so it feels good after that hot bus.

Stop for a few things to add to pasta at home tonight for supper, plus we were out of wine which just does not do here. Get home and the sign saying water will be off today is down, happy to see that as a shower is definitely in order.

Supper is done, a load of laundry is done, showers done, and just a quite night at home. Only 13,000 steps today, but I'm counting standing for so long as exercise too.

On the way to VilleFrance-sur-mer.

Need to stop so you can check for traffic.

Wendy, Joey and Jill.

At the park where they has a tiny parade.
Old fishing boat with Mimosas

Castle on top of the hill

The Marina, smaller boats than in Nice, Port Lympia

A castle that we did not go visit, maybe with Joey

War memorial

1 small group of dancers

Followed by possibly their moms in segways

Followed by 6 or 7 carnival dancers

and to finish drummers

Found ice cream, not gelato. it was 1 euro cheaper than the Gelato, so we went for it

Happy man, Ice cream, fishing stuff and boats and water

The boats that participated

The restaurants we packed

Not sure I would call my bar/restaurant dry

The parade was the same as we saw in the park except for a brass band

The water is super clear here. You could see the fishes

Warming up cheering to get flowers thrown at you

Lots of people

The start

one of the members from the band getting ready to play in the square, we did not stay

Love the high heels

On the way to the bus, the hike to the castle, will go if Joey wants to burn calories.

My dad's name

Another 150 foot yacht worth mega $$$

Will save this one for Joey as well

Wendy's flowers 

1 comment:

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