Postcards from the Eze…
The Eze we are staying in is an ancient fortress locale that was destroyed as such by King Louis the XV. The rubble upon which this hotel and village stand could not have been recreated more perfectly by the artists at Disneyland/Disneyworld.
To stay here is a step back in time. La Chevre D’Or is a “five star” hotel, in every way I can imagine to “grade” a hotel; the room is charming, the personnel is superb, amenities, locale, views, restaurants and bar are exquisite.
On a scale of 1 to 10 of hotels I have been privileged to stay with, this is a 9.5, and definitely a “destination” for any of life’s special moments. Julie and I are celebrating 34 years of marriage and 50 years of friendship. The Hotel La Chevre D’Or is a perfect place to celebrate.
Our trip from Torino yesterday was filled with tunnels and bridges. I could not have imagined a more rewarding drive. If you are a fan of video games that involve dare-devil-driving, you would LOVE this drive! As stated in previous posts, the left lane has a 90kph sign, the middle lane has a 60kph sign, and the right lane has a 40kph sign. Based on the traffic blasting past me, I assumed the kph signs were “minimum” kilometers per hour indicators. I was advised by Hugues Genot today that they were indeed “maximum” kph signs. After a day, busy avoiding traffic on the speedway and navigating through the side roads and villages, we were ready for a good rest. We arrived at La Chevre D’ Or in Eze (pronounced Ezz), France.
I booked the two Michelin star restaurant for our arrival night. Probably a good call. We sat down for a nice meal and ended up spending four hours eating seven courses and a spectacular wine accompaniment. My dear friend, Sandy Williams, would have been in cuisine heaven. Dinner was rewarding in every way, visual, tasteful, every sense we have. But Midnight thirty is Midnight thirty.
So, we slept in, after a few days of working hard to be good tourists. We have decided to give ourselves a “break” every few days or so, so that we will work hard at 10 hour days, as the location will allow, to see all that we can. But after a few days, we need to eat well, drink well and sleep well. Well, the La Chevre D’Or at Eze gave us the perfect opportunity to sleep in, as they serve breakfast until 11:00am.
At a few minutes to 10 we sauntered in for a leisurely breakfast and were greeted by our Birthday Boy: Hugues Genot! Hugues came to Eze from Cannes to join us for breakfast. It was a delight to see him!
The grey, dreary weekend was greeted by a bright sunny Monday morning! We had a delightful breakfast of omelets and coffee on the veranda. Oh my, what a view!
Hugues had business to attend to, so Julie and I explored the village of Eze, which again, if you have been to Hogwarts at Universal in Orlando, you will understand the mystery of this special place, except, there is no “back lot.” This place is what it is. The garden atop the ruins of the fortress are impressive and well worth the hours to explore the landscaping and the views on the horizon. On a clear day (I have been led to believe) you can see Corsica from here as well as the mountains surrounding Cannes to the west.
After breakfast we recalled our Fiat 500L from the valet and went for a drive to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
It is much like Viscaya in Miami, (and about the same age! Built 1900-1912) with spectacular Jardins and on a peninsula surrounded by vistas that remind one of Carmel! After indulging ourselves with a delightful tour of the Jardin and the dancing water fountains, we set out for Monte Carlo.
I have always been infatuated with Grace Kelly, especially after “Rear Window” with co-star Jimmy Stewart, so the home of Princess Grace of Monaco, was a fun visit for me. We parked underground and walked around the harbor, half the size of Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, but with millions of dollars more expensive watercraft.
One expects to see superstars strolling the strands and sidewalks as we walk through the city. We ended at the Monte Carlo Casino, an often filmed place in James Bond and other stories of excess. We enjoyed an afternoon “tea” of coffee, wine and sparkling water at the Hotel de Paris. It is such a delight to visit places so well known, yet so foreign. It is a delight to be in an a truly international place like Monaco and be appreciated for attempting to speak “the language” and be greeted with your own native language and a “bravo!” for the attempt.
The Grand Prix is soon to pass and Monte Carlo is the most famous place in the world for this event.
Workers are feverishly hammering and assembling the grand stands for the event, and one can feel the excitement in the air. It is said in Houston and Dallas Texas that the new state bird it the crane: the same can be said of Monte Carlo! The money pouring in to this city building huge new hotels and business towers reminds Hugues and me both, of Hong Kong.
Hugues called a car from our Hotel La Chevre D’Or at the end of the day, and Julie and I enjoyed a sunset on the terrace of the hotel, and then delighted in a casual dinner in the bar of chicken supreme, Caesar salad and a flight of marvelous wines.
We look forward to a drive into the edges of Provence!