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the coracting walls and streets of coaraze

Coaraze, France has two titles–beau village and village perché. The former required some work on the part of its citizens to gain that recognition, and the latter was thrust on it.

It is a small village, sitting on a mountain, un piton gréseux, overlooking the valley of Paillon de Contes, and inland from Nice and the Mediterranean Sea.

Since it has two official, desirable designations, a visit by a flâneur would be appealing, a must. So, how does one get there?

Again, as with my other visits to the villages built during the Middle Ages, I take the trains and the buses. (I have no car.) Part of the adventure and fun is the journey.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway


To go to Coaraze by bus one starts in Nice at the Vauban bus terminal, la Gare Routière Nice (Vauban), at Parcazur Vauban Square, Thierry Di Masso. At the terminal one finds the bus stop for the following three routes, #300, #301, #302, and #303. Pay the bus driver for the ticket. (Do not go into the terminal and expect to pay.) The #300 bus will take you to Contes. That village is the end of the line for #300. Wait until a navette #303 arrives (maybe 15 minutes), and it will take you to Coaraze from Contes. Returning to Nice involves the same program but in reverse.

Buildings are one, of a piece, direct light seldom reaches the streets, and small arched tunnels connect one street to another. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

What is it like to step outside the home to a court yard in a medieval village? The plazas and places in Coaraze are small communal spaces, hardly the size of a courtyard in modern terms. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

Streets wind, turning corners, stepping up and down, and seemingly going no where. All is quiet and calm. Tranquille. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

À minuit, tout était tranquille depuis longtemps sur les (rues de Coaraze); on eût distingué le pas d’un chat. –Stendhal (une  paraphrase)

Of course, doors and windows, a favorite subject. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jack D. #

    More terrific photos, MG.

  2. Jim #

    Delightful photos Michael. I have shown them to Denise, who has traveled to France, but she loved the little villages far more than the big cities. Your photo of the catch and release was terrific!!! Hike on my friend!


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