31 August 2007

Webb Ellis - Inventor of the game of Rugby - 2

This new statue of William Webb-Ellis, now stands outside one of the entrances to the old cemetery of Menton. Please look at this link to see an earlier posting of his actual grave and to read a lot more about the schoolboy who...

with a fine disregard for the rules of football as played at his time first took the ball in his arms and ran with it, thus originating the distinctive feature of the rugby game.'

Below you see number 24 of 25 panels that lead from the exhibition in the centre of town to the cemetery way at the top of the Old Town.

30 August 2007

Rue Longue

This was taken in the lower part of the Old Town, in the rue Longue, this morning. We are almost at the archway which you can see taken from the other side - HERE.

29 August 2007


Turn the corner from the Place aux Herbes, look up, and this is what you see. So much of the Old Town is gaspingly beautiful. At least it is to me. Here, the juxtaposition of the lamp, those colours, the shutters, the climbing plant and the sign - it all works, doesn't it?

28 August 2007

L'Exocet - 2

The season is almost over but in this photograph, taken three weeks ago, it was in full swing. Here you see diners eating at L'Exocet, right on the beach. The 'leg' you see running away is that of a young girl who has been washing her bathers under the beach shower. For a morning view of this same restaurant, please click on THIS LINK.

27 August 2007


Where's this chef going or where has he been? I don't know the answer except he's got something green, and doubtless edible, in his right hand but what's in his left hand? There are restaurants galore in this area so he could be walking towards one or away. He's entering part of the old town. The sea is behind him.

26 August 2007

Time for a chat

Time for a chat? How many of us live in cities and don't even know our neighbours?

25 August 2007

An Italian view of Menton

This is a long shot of Menton taken from about a kilometre inside Italy and on the way to Latte and Ventimiglia. I popped across to Latte where I like to shop. In the centre of the photo you can see the Old Town of Menton and beyond that Cap Martin, jutting out to sea - Roquebrune rises above it. Monaco is just before the second 'cap' you see - Cap d'Ail.

Today is my 200th post - both on Menton DP and on Monte Carlo DP. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me, given me encouragement and left comments.

24 August 2007

A Beach at Dusk

This beach is just in front of the market building. The area in the background was reclaimed from the sea, trees added - et voila! The sand on the beach is imported - most beaches around here have pebbles. If you look carefully to the right of the three trees, you'll see the statue of Ulysse, which you can find in close-up HERE.

23 August 2007

Restaurant Beau Sejour

There are only two restaurants in Gorbio. There's the Bar les Terrasses which is quite casual and serves Corsican food and opposite, on the other side of the square, is the Beau Sejour. More upmarket and a beautiful restaurant. When you go inside you sit in a glassed-in terrace which is opened up in summer. It looks down the valley with wonderful views. Good food too. Don't you love the pot of basil and the pumpkins or courgettes - not sure what? - in the bucket?

22 August 2007

Russian orthodox chapel

One of the delights of a Daily Photo blog is when you hear from people who have enjoyed the photographs, are taken with your town, and then they come and stay. That is what happened with James Arzente, the American artist. He had a trip planned to take photographs of Eze for his work, but chose to stay at Menton and it is who who took this photograph and is therefore Menton DP's second Guest Photographer. James is a well-known American artist who uses photography in his beautiful creations. To read more and see some of his amazing art, please click on the link above.

As you walk around the old cemetery of Menton, you'll find, alongside the tombs of the old Mentonnais families, many of those with British and Russian names on them. The Russian orthodox chapel in this photograph contains the remains of Prince Troubetzkoy (1822-1892). It was built in memory of Alexandrine de Tapliakoff, who died in Menton in 1884. No less than 6 princes of the Russian royal house are buried in Menton.

21 August 2007

The Golden Apple

The Blessing of the Animals is over and the villagers, and of course the priests, are making their way through the archway and up into the medieval village for the sung mass in the Church of St. Barthélemy. During the ceremony, members of the comité des fêtes, accompanied by three musicians, made the traditional offering of la pomme d'or (the golden apple). This tradition started in medieval times when the nobles made an offering to the clergy and it's been continued ever since. After the mass, a procession, in which a statue of St. Barthélemy is carried aloft, goes from street to tiny street, throughout the village.

20 August 2007

A basket of water?

This beautiful Friesian was one of the horses attending yesterday's Blessing of the Animals in the village of Gorbio. He's a horse trained in dressage but had great difficulty yesterday walking on the cobbles - slipping all the time. He (and a friend below) are taking a drink out of fountain, constructed in 1902 for the use of mules and donkeys. It's made in the form of a packsaddle, with the water containers - one on each side - reminding one of large paniers (baskets). You can see the entire fountain HERE.

The photo below shows the entrance to the Medieval village.

19 August 2007

La Bénédiction des Animaux

Today is the Fête patronale de la St. Barthélémy in Gorbio. It will be a long day of festivities which started this morning with the blessing of the animals, followed by an important Mass in the Church. The blessing took place in the Place de la République in the village in front of the elm tree planted in the 1700s. There were three or four beautiful horses present and many dogs. Chatting to a lady from the village (she was there with her labrador, Jules, and her Golden retriever, Jim) she told me that in the old days the blessing used to be given outside the church and people would bring their donkeys and other farm animals. You will find photos of some of the dogs in attendance today, including reading the story of Bébé, the grey dog in the foreground, on my Riviera Dogs blog.

18 August 2007


This sculpture of Ulysse is by Anna Chromy, the Czech artist, known for her 'sculptures in movement.' It stands on a promontory near to the Bastion.

17 August 2007

Looking down on the living - 2

Let's get out of the heat of Menton today and up to Gorbio village. We are in the cemetery - the village of Gorbio is below us and to our left (the dead always look down on the living!) - way, way below is the autoroute and beyond, the sea - although you really can't see the Mediterranean today because of the haze. THIS LINK is also looking down on the autoroute but from a different angle.

16 August 2007

Night market

During the months of July and August there is a night market located between the old market building at the base of the Old Town and the sea. More stalls can be found in front of the market building itself. Lights are hung between the palm trees and here you'll find jewellry, paintings, pottery, belts and bags, gifts to take home and much more. The stall holders begin to set up around 8 p.m. and stay open till late. All part of summer time in Menton.

15 August 2007

McDonald's in Menton

Yes, we have a McDonald's in Menton - right next to the beautiful Moorish market building which you can see in this photograph, taken at dusk. I suppose this McDonald's is not as 'obvious' as some, with its small logo and installed in a rather nice building.

Can there be a city in the world without a McDonald's? Do you have one in your city?

14 August 2007

Dinner time

Early evening and this street vendor is getting ready to eat his meal. He's set up by the beach, opposite the Old Town, where he hopes to sell his sunglasses, bags, hats, ornaments from north Africa. The strip of land you see in the distance is Cap Martin.

13 August 2007

Love before food!

This scene made me laugh out loud! The two guys are waiters at a bar/restaurant located at the foot of the Old Town and each are carrying two plates of food. The restaurant is out of shot and to the left as you look at this photo. The tables are down steps to the right. The archway leading into the Old Town is up the slope. See HERE to get an idea of where we are.

Alors! They meet a girl they know and of course this involves much kissing, regardless of the food and whether it gets cold. This is one of the many, many reasons I just love France!

12 August 2007

A gift for Aunt Mary?

Visiting Menton and want to take a gift home with you? No problem. In the pedestrian street you'll find soaps, candles in the form of fruit, Herbes de Provence, lavender - in bunches or wrapped in fabric sachets ready to hang in your wardrobe, tablescloths in a provençal pattern, olive oil containers, weird looking dolls made to cover a toilet roll (!) and much much more.

11 August 2007

Boats at dusk

Boats in the harbour below the Old Town.
Italy in the distance.
Wish you were here...

10 August 2007

The Cool-down

This ice-cream parlour is in the middle of the walking street of Menton. Good ice-cream too! What's your favourite parfum (flavour)?

09 August 2007

Pétanque or Boules? - 3

It's 8.30 in the evening and today we are in the Boules Club of Menton, which is directly opposite the market building (behind me) - the sea is beyond the palm trees. We are watching a lesson in throwing the boule. Are these two father and son? What do you think?

08 August 2007

Pétanque or Boules? - 2

As promised, here's a photo of a man just after throwing the boule. It looks like some strange dance, doesn't it?

In the photo below, you see players discussing which boule is nearest to the small boule - look closely and you'll see a tiny orange ball, which, by the way, is called the 'pig.' The idea of the game is to get as close to the pig as possible. It sounds simple but there's great skill to it and a lot of money can be made in top level competition.

Many thanks to Fabrizio from Torino DP who kindly wrote this explanation as to the difference between pétanque and boules, in yesterday's comments:

"It was only in 1907 that pétanque as we know it was born. Its name comes from the provençal "pèd tanco", which means "feet together'. It is played on a shorter terrain and players throw their boule from a rough circle scratched in the dirt, taking no run-up at all." Fabrizio gave the following link too - click HERE. I had also found a good website on the subject, so anyone wanting even more information, try this link - HERE.

Do come back tomorrow and you'll see a photograph of a father teaching his son how to throw.

07 August 2007

Pétanque or Boules? - 1

Forget the sterotype of an old man with a beret playing boules. Boules players come in all shapes and sizes - men and women, young and old. There was a pétanque contest in Gorbio on Fête day last Sunday - here's one of the competitors.

Perhaps one of our French contributors can tell me the difference between boules and pétanque. This contest was advertised as pétanque.

06 August 2007


Dusk. Says it all really - OR - you could write a novel about this scene, couldn't you? Who are they? What's their relationship? Where do they come from? What are their lives? Are they happy, sad? ... and on and on and on...

05 August 2007


Today it's the Fête Populaire in Gorbio village. And what do children who live in a medieval village do for fun? Why they play peek-a-boo through a gap in the village fountain.

There's a lot going on in the village today - first a free glass of kir for everyone, later petanque, chansons, a demonstration of French boxing, soupe au pistou, political debate - and tonight a rock concert.

04 August 2007


A metre or so to the left of this row of restaurant tables is the alligator you saw yesterday. L'Exocet is one of many restaurants by the beach. The main restaurants, of course, are the other side of the road, so waiters take chances running across the road with the food. However, the waiters and waitresses who work at this particular restaurant are lucky with the convenient zebra crossing. Others, further along are not so lucky.

I took this photo around 9 in the morning - the waiter and waitress are preparing for the day. The wind had some up so at this moment, there's a bit of a rush to fix down the tablecloths.

If you'd like to see what this area (but a little further along) looks like in February - click HERE.

03 August 2007

An alligator in Menton?

An alligator in Menton? Silly! We don't have alligators in Menton. Can't you see this is a crocodile...she said confidently, not at all sure if this is an alligator or a crocodile...

So for Isabella, an allicroc or perhaps a crocogator, but enough to remind us of her beautiful Naples Daily Photo blog, where you'll find lots of real alligators. Go check it out today for the fishing and the pelicans - click HERE. Hmmmm...not seen any of those around here? Perhaps I'll take a look in the Vieille Ville - you never know what you'll find up there.

This sand sculpture was built next to the Christ figure. Remember him - see HERE? And he's still here, 7 weeks later! No rain for over a couple of months, so he's not washed away although perhaps someone keeps rebuilding him. And if you'd enjoy seeing really amazing sand sculptures go to Port Angeles Daily Photo HERE.

02 August 2007

An alternative view

This is a view of Menton I've not shown before. You've seen the beautiful facade of the Old Town with its jumble of houses HERE. This photograph is taken from the other side - the steeples will give you your bearings. The long double-roofed building in the foreground is the Moorish style market - again, you can see details of that HERE.

In front of the market building - amongst all those palm trees is where the Menton Boules Club have their premises. There is much consternation at the moment because this area is where the Mairie plan to build a Museum to Jean Cocteau following a generous bequest by (I believe) an American collector. The Boules club is waiting to hear of an alternative site for their club.

Come back tomorrow when you'll see a gift I have for Isabella from Naples Daily Photo. Don't forget!

01 August 2007

Daily Photo Theme Day: A Typical Breakfast

First buy your croissant! This lady runs my favourite bakery in Menton. Not only is the bread great but she never stops smiling. Below you'll find a photograph of breakfast possibles - personally I love the brioches sucrés. (You can buy cheaper elsewhere but not as good!) I've never been sure that the French really do eat croissants every day, so do visit Eric in Paris where you'll get confirmation of this and can also click on a link to read all about croissants.

Today is Daily Photo Theme Day. 99 Daily Photo bloggers from cities all around the world will be presenting their Typical Breakfasts today. Do click on their blogs and enjoy their offerings:

Saint Paul (MN), USA - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - New York City (NY), USA - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hyde, UK - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Mainz, Germany - Stockholm, Sweden - Paderborn, Germany - Singapore, Singapore - Haninge, Sweden - Nottingham, UK - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Manila, Philippines - Boston (MA), USA - Seoul, Korea - Singapore, Singapore - Joplin (MO), USA - Chandler (AZ), USA - Paris, France - Sequim (WA), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Boston (MA), USA - Chennai, India - Madison (WI), USA - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Toulouse, France - Seattle (WA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - La Antigua, Guatemala - Selma (AL), USA - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - San Diego (CA), USA - Lubbock (TX), USA - Jakarta, Indonesia - Sheki, Azerbaijan - Sydney, Australia - Mumbai, India - Seoul, South Korea - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Saarbrücken, Germany - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - New Orleans (LA), USA - Budapest, Hungary - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Austin (TX), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Villigen, Switzerland - Montréal (QC), Canada - Stayton (OR), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Moscow, Russia - Springfield (MO), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - Arlington (VA), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Anderson (SC), USA - Oslo, Norway - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Manila, Philippines - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Stavanger, Norway - Bastia, France - Hong Kong, China - Wailea (HI), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Chicago (IL), USA - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Sydney, Australia - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Kansas City (MO), USA - Grenoble, France - Paris, France - Evry, France - Saigon, Vietnam - Prague, Czech Republic - Cape Town, South Africa - Brookville (OH), USA - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Sharon (CT), USA - Shanghai, China - Zurich, Switzerland - North Bay (ON), Canada - Lyon, France - Naples (FL), USA

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