Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...



Part 3

Wednesday 10th July 2013
It was another hot and cloudless summer day as we arrived in Villefranche, on the Cote d’Azur.

Signals Bar and funnels

We anchored in the bay and after breakfast some of us went ashore to get a taxi to the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, at Saint Jean Cap Ferrat. The perfumes from the abundant flowers at the entrance, plus the views around the bay, hardly prepared us for the sight of the beautiful Villa and gardens which we entered. The Villa was owned and built in 1907 for Beatrice (born in 1864), daughter of the banker and major art collector Baron Alphonse de Rothschild. The Villa is built around a covered courtyard, with its two floors filled with treasures from around the world. It is no longer inhabited but run by the Institut de France, and audio-guides gave us information about the house and its contents.

Plan of the garden

The Villa Ephrussi

Garden view

Beautiful blue

Another wonderful sight was the fountains in the gardens, some of which were accompanied by music at regular intervals. The view from the Villa towards these gardens and fountains was said to be like the view on the ship ILE DE FRANCE which Beatrice had travelled on and enjoyed. We enjoyed our tour of the gardens and Villa, and I was happy to find a lavender-coloured straw hat in the shop.

Another sight from the Villa gardens was the luxury motor yacht NERO, built in 2007 and one of the world’s largest, which was anchored down in the bay. She looked a little beauty, as well she might – she is available for charter and apparently is now also for sale at more than 60 million Euros.

Nero in the bay

A little beauty

Disney Magic in the bay, from the Villa Ephrussi

Back at the port and after a water-side lunch, some of us were happy to discover violet-flavoured and lavender-coloured ices at an excellent ice-cream shop.

On board later that afternoon we realised it was Pirate Day and many of the child passengers had dressed up and looked so sweet in their little costumes.

Cove Cafe

Original watercolours in one of the lift shafts

The Dale Chihuly original

Pirate Mickey

Helmsman Mickey

Artwork of an imaginery ship

Part of Beat Street

Dinner that evening in Lumiere’s was Pirate-themed and after dinner we all went on deck for the arrival of Pirate Mickey by aerial wire!

Waiting for Mickey

Pirate Mickey arrived

That was fun, as he flew above our heads from one of the funnels and landed on the big stage; the Pools had been covered after dark, and were filled with many passengers dancing to the music. The show ended with a wonderful firework display up in the sky above our ship (which some of us noticed had been turned, to allow for the breeze to keep the fireworks in place overhead, yet blow the slight smoke away). The music and dancing continued, in a very happy atmosphere, which I loved.

Ships seen: Nero with its wonderful styling and funnel, M&M, Disney Magic from the Villa

To be continued...