Friday, November 28, 2008

Un mois sur la Cote d' Azur

Bay at night, Rue Obscura, Bay by day, Villefranche main street,
Villefranche-sur-mer from above,
Jean Cocteau Chapel, my class and teacher Intermediate II, antiques market, my school- the Institute De Francais.

Villefranch-sur-mer. Please go someday. It isn't full of casinos or fancy shops. The parking spots aren't filled with luxury cars driven by the fur-clad and fabulous. The bars are slightly dingy, and there are no world famous art works. But its full of life, the stuff the riviera WAS made of before all of those rich and famous people decided to camp out in mansions on the southern coast of France. Oh sure, there are rich people around. Yachts, Feraris and summer homes have also found refuge in the quiet bay fed by the Mediterranian sea, but the only flashing lights you'll see in town come from the green cross of the pharmacy, traffic signals, and igniting lighters in the hands of smokers sitting outside a restaurant.
I found a peaceful place to walk, to eat, to learn french in Villefranch-sur-mer. My school, L' institute de Francais ( was incredible. Yes, I was there for 8hrs a day, 40 hrs a week, and it felt like a job sometimes. But a job that paid as well as any I'd ever held- I earned a new language. I can understand quite a lot of French now, and my speaking is much better. So much better, in fact, that on the last day of school I was given a certificate of honerable mention :)
I don't know how else to put this incredible month in words, so, in true SMB form, I will leave you to the pictures to get a sense of why Villefranch won my heart. In time I will add more shots from other places on the Riviera and also around Avignon that I visited while living down south.