Ezeing into 50

(Written by Dave)

Yesterday we visited a nearby mountain town called Eze. Tomorrow Nancy turns 50 (editor’s note – acckkkk!!!). So, we are Ezeing into Fifty (editor’s note – not really all that funny). Having just passed this milestone myself, you can only imagine how helpful I’ve been to Nancy in telling her what to expect (editor’s note – not really all that helpful). These tips are no doubt appreciated, or at least that’s my story (editor’s note – not really appreciated, but after almost 20 years of marriage, not really all that surprising). We don’t have much exciting planned for the big day other than the girls (Nancy and her mum) are getting their nails done before we head out to dinner to celebrate. I’ll probably hang back on that one and just join them for dinner.

Eze was a nice visit. It is only 30 minutes by city bus but feels quite a way from the big city (city bus is 1 euro each way, bargain). They have found evidence that Eze was settled as long ago as 200 BC, so it’s pretty old – much of what exists today is from the 1500s onwards. The town is on the point of a hill some 600 metres above the sea, with great views of the sea and the villages below. We had a frustrated leMans driver for our bus driver so we were ready to get off the bus after speeding up and around the mountainside corners to get up to the old city. We saw quite a few cyclists out riding up the hill – looked like fun, especially on a sunny Sunday morning, though it was quite a bit colder up in the mountains than it was down in the city of Nice.

At the Eze village car park there was a small market where a man was making a massive plate of seafood paella. We didn’t get to try it as by the time we walked up around the old city and back he had sold out. All the same, we couldn’t help but think of master chef Ross in Sydney, harkening back to our last night before we started this adventure when Ross made his own paella masterpiece.

The old village was quite interesting, lots of little laneways (walking only, no cars) with stone buildings. There are a couple of very expensive hotels and restaurants in the old village – we did not partake but you could see there were some tables with incredible views. At the top of the village there is a large garden full of succulents – only 4 euros to enter and you get some great views. I think there is something like 400 varieties of succulents in the garden, so that kept Jan and Nancy busy for quite some time. After wandering for a couple of hours we took the bus back down to the city. Lucky us, we got the same bus driver on the way back down so we got an exciting finish to the tour.

We have managed to finish one of our Cotes du Rhone bottles of red. We found the wine fairly fruity (mostly cherries) – not a big red like an Aussie cab sav or shiraz, which is probably more what we were used to. We found today’s lunch wine (also a Cotes du Rhone red) much the same. It worked well with the local food that was served and was nice. We have one more bottle to test and compare before we perhaps venture out of du Rhone. Updates to follow.

As I think I mentioned in a prior post, our classes are only Tuesday through Friday and we are getting used to these three-day weekends. When the rest of the world goes back to work on Monday, we get the day off school. Of course, we should use this day to study more but haven’t done much yet today. Instead we had coffees sitting in the sun on the beach and a long lunch in a restaurant that our French instructor recommended, after wandering the antique market that is held on Mondays.  It’s nice to do these things on a day other than the weekend, when the crowds are out in full force. The food at the restaurant was traditional Nicoise and very good. And as mentioned above, the wine was a nice compliment.

We have not yet decided on dinner plans for tomorrow’s big night. On my 50th last July, we found ourselves in Kluang, Malaysia and ended up at an Indian buffet. There is an Indian restaurant just down the street from our apartment but I can’t seem to get Nancy very excited about it. I think she is expecting a bit more for her 50th. At least our accommodation is much better than we had for my birthday and I am sure we will have a decent glass of wine (or two) to celebrate.
[Editor’s note – I’ll post an update to let you know how it feels to turn 50 on the French Riviera!]

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9 thoughts on “Ezeing into 50

  1. “Bonjour Mon Amie.. looking very french sitting by the beach, how is it that you visit the beach more in winter……netta said you would think we would have seen a oiled down dave in a pair of budgie smugglers by now….:-0 that paella looked like nice, the rice looked different than the one I would have used..! Un verre de vin pour moi Salut

  2. Happy Birthday Nancy! Enjoy your last few hours in the forties! I’m enjoying my first week being 50. I have been ID’d twice so far. I think Pete bribed the clerks at Costco and World Market! I am thouroughly enjoying your posts and your pictures!

  3. Nancy, have a great day tomorrow…. er, is it today already? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! 50 is fun! I hope you are opening lots of cards today from over here!

  4. Happy Birthday Nancy, Diana is not far behind you. Just remember, every year gets better. Say hi to your Mom for me.


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