30 April 2007

Muguet for the first of May

A lovely tradition in France takes place each year on the 1st May, when a sprig or small pot of Lily of the Valley is offered to friends and family - for luck.

I lived for a year in Pyrénées when I first came to France, and there the bus drivers give every female passenger a sprig on the 1st May. I don't believe this happens on the Côte d'Azur but someone might correct me. I hope they do. A lovely idea.

So, a sprig of muguet for YOU for tomorrow - and may it bring you luck for the rest of the year.

(This post is one day early because tomorrow is DP Theme Day.)

29 April 2007

Journée nationale de la déportation

Today sees ceremonies all over France as it's the National Day of the Deportation. I'm not sure of the symbolism here with the American flags but presume it's because it was the Americans who liberated the camps in 1945. Hope someone more knowledgeable than me will comment if I've got it wrong. (Please read Abraham Lincoln's explanation in the first comment - thank you Abraham). I presume this little boy is the older man's grandchild - even great grandchild. And note the girl in the background - she is holding her guinea-pig - cochon d'Inde in French.

28 April 2007

A tree in the sea

We are above the Old Town, looking down over a mixture of old and new roofs towards the sea. The oval piece of land you see in the distance - planted with a few trees - is land that has been reclaimed from the sea.

27 April 2007

Give me light!

Narrow and dark - how some of the streets in the old town can be. The beautiful church, which you saw in this post, is glimpsed at the end.

26 April 2007

A gateway in Gorbio

It doesn't look as if this gate gets much use. I passed it yesterday on my way to a friend's house in the village - it looks pretty much overgrown on each side.

25 April 2007


We've moved from Menton Old Town today to Gorbio village (my village) - which is about 7 or so kilometres from Menton. Here we are just inside the archway that is the entrance to the vieux village. On the right are metal panels displaying each candidate from last Sunday's election for President. You might notice a space between the first two panels and the rest - that's to allow the homeowner to enter his house! That's how it is in a medieval village.

24 April 2007

Basilique Saint-Michel

Here you see the facade of the Eglise Saint-Michel. A fine example of the talent of 17th-C. Ligurian architects, this Basilica surveys the Old Town, which itself forms a baroque neighbourhood. Inside, trompe-l'oeil paintings signed by Cerrutti-Maori adorn the central vault, and a purplish Genoese damask, brought out on special occasions, emphasizes the building's baroque style.

Each August we have the music festival in Menton which is held most evenings in the paved area outside this lovely church. Concerts range from classic to jazz and always with wondrously talented musicians. Last year Daniel Baremboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, played one night. This orchestra of young Israeli and Palestinian musicians was created, I believe, through the friendship of Israeli conductor and pianist, Baremboim and the late Palestinian-born writer, Edward Said.

23 April 2007


This is the old olive oil shop which is just before the archway that leads into the Old Town.

22 April 2007

Do we care a fig for Earth Day?

Thank you to Isabella and her lovely bunny rabbit at Naples DP for the reminder that it's Earth Day today. It's also the day the French choose their new President. Even though I'm a tax-paying French resident I'm not allowed to vote in National elections - only the local election for Mayor and of course for the European parliament. I hope the French choose well today. If you haven't visited Eric's Paris DP blog, please do so and click on both 'a Funny Mix' and 'Winner.' I fell off my chair laughing at Winner. It's brilliant.

So, an olive or a fig to honour Earth Day? Both conjure up the Mediterranean for me but I chose this fig simply because it is so old, probably over 100 years. It's a great tree that's withstood polution and everything thrown at it and it gives me beautiful figs in August/September. I took the photograph this morning - it's not in full leaf yet and still has only a few tiny fruits showing promise for the harvest. It's such a privilege to have this wondrous tree in my garden. You can read what the dogs think of it here.

Thank you so much to Isabella, Alice and Abraham for help in changing the width of my blog and the size of the photos. Hope you like the new look.

21 April 2007

Green door

This little house is in a narrow street of the Old Town - fairly high up where it gets light and sun.

20 April 2007


Echium candicans (Pride of Madeira) is a common plant in the south of France. The bees and butterflies just love it.

An apology that I've not been commenting much of late. Got friends for the Monte Carlo Tennis Open and 10 dogs en pension because it's school holiday time in this part of France (and all the dogs are in the house!) so here's a shot of a corner of my garden taken this morning. I'll catch up with comments next week. Forgive - and thanks so much for comments on my blogs.

19 April 2007

Hillside behind the Old Town

This was taken from the cemetery above the Old Town, this time looking at the hillside, rather than towards the sea. Thought you might like a change.

18 April 2007

Bay of Garavan

Looking from above the Old Town across to Italy - here you see the bay of Garavan which adjoins the Italian border.

17 April 2007

Give us a kiss, luv!

So far as I can see this old door in the Old Town, has a bunch of withered mistletoe hanging from a nail. Mistletoe is considered lucky in France and the French hang it everywhere. Kissing under the mistletoe is a New Year's Eve custom, rather than at Christmas. I hope this bunch brought the owners of this house good luck and perhaps someone got a kiss too. Give us a kiss, luv!

16 April 2007

Resting place

Wandering around the cemetery above the Vieille Ville of Menton, you can't help but notice how many British and Russian graves are to be found. Of course it was the Brits and the Russians who made Menton fashionable and famous at the turn of the century - indeed Queen Victoria used to spend time here each winter - never in summer, m'dear. Here you see a seagull watching over the grave - and perhaps messing it up, let's face it - of one Charles Richard Congreve who died in 1885.

15 April 2007


You can see where this tap is situated by looking at the second photo here. I love that someone has gone to the trouble of training a plant and presumably watering it from time to time.

14 April 2007

Electrician needed!

No wonder Menton Council is offering financial help to house owners in the Vieille Ville to enable them to restore their houses. This house looks as if it could do with an electrician for starters. Somehow tho I love it as it is.

13 April 2007


As you can see parts of the cemetery above the Old Town are in disrepair.

12 April 2007

Shutters in the Old Town

These blue volets (shutters) caught my eye. In fact this blue is more often seen further along the coast in St. Tropez. Typical Menton colour is a pale turquoise or eau de nil. In the photo below you can see where I found this window.

11 April 2007


We're in the cemetery itself now, way above the Old Town of Menton. I found so many wonders here and spent quite a while taking photographs, so you may get more over the next few days unless any of you find graves depressing. This headstone commemorates Pierre, who lost his life in the Great War.

10 April 2007

A Tomb with a View

We're back above the Vieille Ville today, looking down from one tiny corner of what is a very large and beautiful cemetery. Cemeteries in France are always above the towns and villages affording the dear departed an amazing view.

09 April 2007

Another street in the Old Town

The archway you see is typical of many villages along the coast and into Italy.

08 April 2007

La Chocolaterie de Puyricard

I didn't manage to photograph a choccie shop for you in Monte Carlo but I did in Menton! So here's an Easter egg and a couple of bunnies.

The Puyricard chocolate shop is for drooling, buying, admiring and of course, eating. Puyricard make such good chocolate and I'm not even going to try describing it - here's their website.

Puyricard have shops in Menton, Nice and Toulon and have recently opened one at Cannes. Their Easter egg is a special edition. I tried photographing it from across the street - see the last of these three photographs - but as you can see all that happened is that I got the reflection of the buildings on the other side of the road! No matter, have a wonderful Easter everyone and don't get sick eating too much chocolate. As if!

07 April 2007

View from above

We looking down on a small part of the Vieille Ville today - all of the photos from the last few days were taken somewhere in the higgledy-piggledy streets below.

06 April 2007

View from the Old Town

This was taken on a dull day a week ago. I should be there today when it's glorious - a perfect Easter Day. In the distance - well not far, let's face it - you see Italy which is where I normally go to buy my wine and lots of my food too. Cheaper and better! Happy Easter everyone!

05 April 2007

Houses in the Old Town

Continuing the Vieille Ville photos - eventually we get to the top and the cemetery! Couldn't resist showing you these colours today.

04 April 2007

Old Town

This area, still in the Vieille Ville, is far more 'open' to the sky than many of the other narrow streets. You see many paths and steps formed in just this way.

03 April 2007

Passageway in the Old Town

I was waiting at the bottom of these steps for a couple of dozen tourists to walk down before I could walk up. They were clinging to the handrail and not happy they had to let go to pass me. It was becoming rather Monty Pythonesque, as they clutched my clothes and gave me dirty looks. In the end, I moved to the right so they could continue their downwards path with more confidence. Walk the Vieille Ville at your peril... ha-ha ...

02 April 2007


Following on from yesterday's public mail box theme - some post is delivered by the facteur in a van, some on a bike and here, in the higher part of the old town, there's only one way - on foot.

01 April 2007

Theme Day: a Public Mail Box

The truth is I got obsessed with Menton mail boxes (thankyou Daily Photo - like I've nothing better to do with my life) and then, being a typical Libra, couldn't decide which one I wanted to post, so here are three of them. This one is a tiny box, covered in cobwebs with strange bits of wire hanging below. It's on the outside of an old house on Route de Gorbio, a windy road that leads from Menton to the village of Gorbio.

This one is in the centre of Menton which a poubelle below it. Goodness know why? I suppose if you drop the letter it falls into the bin, which of course it couldn't 'cos you couldn't open the bin properly anyway.

This one is outside the main mail sorting office in Menton. Somehow the hard yellow of the mail box on a soft pink wall doesn't please my eye, but I can't keep posting idyllic photos of Menton. You need to see the truth sometimes...

Which do you prefer?

65 Daily Photo sites are participating in the 1st April theme, "A Public Mail Box", please use the links to below to visit them. Due to time zone differences and other factors, the theme photo may not be displayed until later if you are viewing early in the day.

1 (London (UK) ) -2 (Grenoble (France) ) -3 (Rotterdam (Netherlands) ) -4 (Greenville SC (USA) ) -5 (Hyde (UK) ) -6 (Villigen (Switzerland) ) -7 (Albuquerque NM (USA) ) -8 (Mazatlan (Mexico) ) -9 (Montréal (Canada) ) -10 (Stayton OR (USA) ) -11 (Shanghai (China) -Jing ) -12 (Arradon (France) ) -13 (Sequim WA (USA) ) -14 (Newcastle upon Tyne (England) ) -15 (Seattle WA (USA) -Kim ) -16 (Bastia (Corse) ) -17 (Minneapolis MN (USA) ) -18 (Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) ) -19 (Joplin MO (USA) ) -20 (Sharon, CT (USA) ) -21 (Cottage Grove MN [USA] ) -22 (Houston, TX (USA) -Candice & Megan ) -23 (Singapore - by Keropokman. ) -24 (Guelph, ON (Canada) ) -25 (Menton (France) ) -26 (Monte Carlo, Monaco ) -27 (Naples, FL (USA) ) -28 (Kyoto (Japan) ) -29 (Tokyo (Japan) ) -30 (Aliso Viejo, CA (USA) ) -31 (Cape Town (South Africa) ) -32 (Jakarta (Indonesia) ) -33 (Kitakami (Japan) ) -34 (Tel Aviv (Israel) ) -35 (Vantaa(Finland)) -36 (Guadalajara (Mexico) ) -37 (Auckland (New Zealand) ) -38 (Nelson (New Zealand) ) -39 (Tuzla (B&H) ) -40 (Brussels (Belgium) ) -41 (Anderson, SC (USA) ) -42 (Lubbock, TX (USA) ) -43 (John, Melbourne, (Australia) ) -44 (Stavanger (Norway)) -45 (Tenerife (Spain) ) -46 (Stockholm (Sweden) ) -47 (Boston, MA (USA) ) -48 (Not Strictly Seattle, Susan ) -49 (New York City, (USA), Ming the Merciless ) -50 (Paris [Eric], (France) ) 51 (Ampang (Selangor) ) -52 (Sydney (Nathalie) Australia ) -53 (Ailea , HI (USA) ) -54 (Manila (Philippines) ) -55 (Sydney (Sally) Australia ) -56 (Cork (Ireland)) -57 (Saarbrücken (Germany) ) -58 (Saint Paul MN (USA) by Carol ) -59 (San Diego, CA (USA) ) -60 (Mexico [POLY], (Mexico) ) -61 (Budapest (Hungary) ) -62 (Singapore (Singapore by Zannnie) ) -63 (Madrid [Dsole] (Spain) ) -64 (Nottingham (England) ) -65 (Bandung (Indonesia))

Related Posts with Thumbnails