31 July 2007


After shopping this morning, I walked along the sea as I wanted to photograph a particular statue for you - one I'll show you another day. It's really windy today which is no bad thing in the current heat of summer. So I thought you'd like to see the danger flag going up on the beach. Not that I noticed the life guard, you understand - just the flag! This is on the beach opposite the main market - the beautiful Old Town rises up above it. The coast line you see in the background is Cap Martin. Beyond it, you come to Monaco.

30 July 2007

John Wayne?

This silver Roy Rogers, or whoever he is, doesn't seem to be getting much interest and his silver dish is empty. Perhaps the ladies on the left have seen it all before?

29 July 2007

Auberge Provençale

Looks like I'm on an 'eating out in Menton, summer holidays' sort of roll. The truth is I don't often get out in summer but since taking photographs for Menton DP and Monte Carlo DP, I've re-arranged things a little so I can get out for a few hours a little more often - leaving dogs at home to await my return.

Many locals complain about summer - they shop very early before the visitors are up - and then you don't see them again. I have to say I'm loving this - every time I go down to Menton and mill about with all the tourists, I feel as if I'm on holiday. And of course I am...

This is the Auberge Provençale - I've never eaten here but have good friends who eat here regularly and say it's very good. So that's one for the future.

See the curved archway just beyond the last umbrella on the right? Well you can see that doorway here.

28 July 2007

Summer Nights

High summer in Menton. It's 11.00 p.m. and the streets are crowded, as are the bars and restaurants. This was taken in a pretty square in the middle of the walking street.

(I changed the camera setting from 800 ISO to 1600 - to allow for a night shot, but it's come out grainy so perhaps that wasn't such a good idea.)

27 July 2007

Seafood at Le Lido

Early evening and this restaurant, Le Lido in La Place aux Herbes is almost full. This used to be simply a bar/tabac and slowly over the years it's evolved into a successful seafood restaurant. See the couple of the foreground? - the man with the hat and the lady in red - well if you'd like to see what is hidden behind them, please click on this link - you won't regret it!

26 July 2007

Portrait of a Lady

It's high summer in Menton. The streets are crowded, the restaurants packed, shops are open till late, there are night markets. This was taken just before 8 p.m. I hope the artist doesn't make this pretty lady look like one of his caricatures. Take a look below - looks good so far.

25 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 8

Here are two photographs, peering thru the windows of the chapel. Unfortunately the light reflected back and half of each photograph showed the country outside - so I had to trim that off. Such a simple little chapel but I hope you like it. Thanks so much to everyone who came on this walk with me. Meanwhile, back to the village and a drink and right, something to eat. I forgot the food! All on me!

There are a few more photographs taken on this walk (the mill, another old gate and so on) - I'll show them in the future but for tomorrow - back to Menton.

24 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 7

We've reached the chapel. It's taken a long time. In reality, of course, this walk is really quite short - about 15 or so minutes - but we stopped and looked and absorbed and chatted, didn't we? If we continued past the chapel, (which we won't) we'd come to the Cime du Baudon, which is where climbers spent happy hours with their crampons climbing that mountain in the background. If you walk below and look up, they appears as tiny dots way above but sometimes you hear the climbers calling to each other. And it looks very dangerous. Before climbing, they have to go to the Mairie in the village to get a licence. And if we walked even further, we'd end up in St. Agnes, which is the highest village in the whole of the Côte d'Azur with a view of the sea. We'll be visiting St. Agnes one day in the future. There are so many hill villages I'd love to show you... Castellar, Roquebrune, La Turbie, Sospel, Castillon, St. Agnes...

So before us stands the chapel and on the left, a cross - we pass it and walk through the arches of the chapel - and we look up. You can see the ancient stonework has much-needed metal supports - hardly surprising as it was built in the XIIth century.

Tomorrow, we'll take a peek inside and then it's time to head back to the village for that cold drink.

23 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 6

At last we can see the little chapel. The track gets a bit bumpy here but don't worry we're not on the edge of the track anymore. Tomorrow I'll show you some details of this XII century chapel.

Each year there is a procession of the Pénitents Blancs of Gorbio to the Chapelle St. Lazare, giving thanks that the village escaped the Great Plague of Middle Ages.

22 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 5

Here's our dragon but somewhat rustier than he used to be, as is the horse. And take a look at the gate posts. On the left you see a skeleton and on the right, why - it's our teacup tit lady! You can see a closer version of her below. The third photograph shows the decorated house.

I started taking this walk about 8 years with my dog Milou (you can read about Milou here). We used to walk way past the chapel, down to the stream, cut back along the base of the mountain and come back down past the derelict mill. (Fear not, we are only going as far as the chapel on this trip). When I first saw this house, the dragon and the horse and the decorated gateposts looked fairly new. Now they've deteriorated but they still delight me - nothing is what you'd expect to see so near to a medieval village. Don't you love the unexpected?

Tomorrow, onward to the chapel with perhaps a glance back at the old village as we go.

21 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 4

I promised you a knight in shining armour - and a horse. Here they are on a gate just past the mausoleum you saw yesterday. I'd love to know who lives in this house, wouldn't you?

Tomorrow, we'll meet a dragon and I'll introduce you to the tea-cup tit lady. After that, we really must get on - the chapel awaits and there's much to show you.

20 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 3

Just to the left of our walk, there's a tiny track that runs steeply uphill. On one corner is an old mill, currently undergoing restoration - and opposite is this rusty gate. Peer through and what you see is in the photograph below. It looks like a very small mausoleum, don't you think? There is no sign, nothing to indicate who is buried here, if indeed anyone is. I'd think it too small for a chapel and if it's a mausoleum, why isn't it in the cemetery which is at the other end of the village? The third photograph shows this tiny building from a different angle. What do you think it is?

You'd perhaps like to see the old mill? We will, we will. But tomorrow you'll see a knight in shining armour - on a horse, bien sûr.

19 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 2

We continue walking and once we get past a few houses on the right of the chemin, (they sit below the track, of course) - we look to our right and see this view. If we look slightly further to our right, we see the beautiful medieval village rising on its hill. I'll post that view another day. The motorway is so far below us that there is no sound - at least not today. Occasionally, depending on the weather, you might hear the slightest buzz - but normally, in the village, you simply don't hear it.

Watch your step! Someone is working on a house below the track and there is no barrier where we are standing. We don't want anyone falling into the garden below.

Note: I found a photograph today of the actual beginning of this walk and have posted it (second photo) on yesterday's posting - click here.

Tomorrow I'll show what lies behind an almost hidden rusty gate.

18 July 2007

A Walk to Chapel Saint Lazare - 1

Today I'm inviting you to walk with me in the village of Gorbio. No, we are not walking to the top of the old village (that's for the future when we've built up some stamina).

Today we'll walk along Chemin du Doyen Pierre Rochard to the tiny XII century Chapel Saint Lazare. You'll not need proper walking shoes, but ladies - no heels - and for those that don't do hills, worry not, this walk is pretty much flat all the way although the track gets just a little rougher later - but it's easy. We've left the main square and the Mediterranean is to our right, way below. We are 7 kilometres from the sea at an altitude of 370 metres.

The walk would normally take about 15 or 20 minutes, ambling along at our pace, putting the world to rights - as one does on gentle walks - but of course it's going to take us quite a few days. I hope you'll come back tomorrow and the days to follow - I promise you surprises, stupendous views, a knight in shining armour (really) and of course a dragon. And if you are really good I'll show you the tea-cup tit lady.

The photograph above shows the true beginning of the walk - straight ahead, don't turn left. You'll need walking boots for the left turn!

17 July 2007

Webb Ellis - Inventor of the game of Rugby

This is the grave of the Reverend William Webb Ellis, known as the inventor of the sport of Rugby. William Webb Ellis, as a schoolboy and....

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.'

Wlliam Webb Ellis eventually became Rector of St. Clement Danes Church in London and died in Menton in 1872. He lies in the beautiful old cemetery above the Old Town.

A plaque on his grave says 'To William Webb Ellis who gave rugby to his school and then to the world.'

It should be mentioned that this is apocryphal as there is little in the way of evidence to substantiate this view, it is however, the popular view. So much so in fact that the international committee named the Rugby world cup the "William Webb Ellis Trophy".

This year France plays host to the Rugby World Cup, and in honour of this, the town of Menton yesterday unveiled a statue to the Rev. William Webb Ellis (I'll be taking a photograph for you). In addition there is a series of 25 written and illustrated panels, dedicated to the sport of Rugby - these start at Menton railway station and finish at the cemetery.

The Mayor of Menton in his speech last night, said of his grave - 'He made a good choice for his eternal rest' - and so he did with the view of the Old Town and the Mediterranean.

16 July 2007

A Swim at Dusk

Bastille Day, July 14 - a last minute swim before getting ready for the evening. The water on the beach isn't from the sea but from the showers that are out of shot and slightly further up the beach.

15 July 2007

Ma Ville est Tango

Each summer for four wondrous days, Argentinian Tango comes to Menton! There are concerts, displays, lessons and dancing in the streets. Each night between 6 and 8 p.m. at the Place du Cap aficionados can enjoy this sensuous dance. You can read more at the official website here. Here's how a few dancers spent a part of yesterday - Bastille Day.

14 July 2007

Raza and the Tour Lascaris

Last night the village of Gorbio was choc-a-bloc with people for the inauguration of the restored Tour Lascaris, originally built betwewen the XII and XIV centuries. Part of the ancient Chateau, it has undergone extensive renovation having been pretty much derelict for years. This is something totally fabulous for the village as it now has a dedicated space to display art and superb it is too.

In the photograph you see, sitting, the well-known Indian artist Raza, who has lived in Gorbio for thirty years. You can read more about him, one of India's most famous artists, at this link. Sadly, Raza's wife, herself a brilliant artist, died a few year's ago and many emotional tributes were paid to her last night. Last night, we heard that Raza, now 85, has generously donated many of his paintings and also some of his beautiful collection of Indian sculpture to the commune of Gorbio. These are displayed in this first exhibition to be held in the Tour Lascaris. To the right in the photograph, and about to grab the microphone, is our mayor, Monsieur Michel Isnard, himself an artist and art teacher, and to the left is the mayor of Roqubrune-cap-Martin, Monsieur Patrick Cesari. Dignitaries were there representing Prince Albert of Monaco and the Indian ambassador to France was there too.

Below you see Raza ascending the staircase to the first floor of the exhibition. There is also an entrance below. Later, from my friend's house above the village I looked across to the Tour and saw the balcony - see the third photo - full of celebrating villagers.

The beautiful cross, by the way, was a gift made by two artisans of the village who work in wrought iron.

13 July 2007


Look at the hillside and you can see a section of the A8 autoroute that runs along the French Riviera and into Italy. Some is hidden in the many tunnels that go through the Alpes. An amazing feat of engineering or a blot on the landscape? This photograph was taken from the Port de Garavan which almost adjoins the Italian border.

12 July 2007

A Painted House

The light was just right this morning to photograph this painted house. I've tried getting the detail in the past and it's never worked, so let's have a day away from the beach and see what the centre of Menton has to offer. You can see more of the house below and you can see what is standing in front of it - at this link.

11 July 2007

Volley ball anyone?

Fancy a game of volley ball on this beach below the Old Town? It's dusk, it's getting a little cooler, why not?

10 July 2007

Jumping for Joy

This is my first effort at a night photograph and there's much to learn! Maybe it's not even possible with my little camera - a Canon Ixus 850 IS. (If anyone knows, please tell me)

You can see one of the steeples of the old town in the top right-hand corner. This bouncing bed (I really don't know what they are called) is on the edge of one of the beaches below the Old Town. I like that the three girls were all in the air at the same time and obviously having such fun. Their respective parents were outside the caged area, calling out words of encouragement.

09 July 2007

Dogs at Dusk

This lady is exercising her dogs on the beach. She's in front of the private beaches, but the entire area along the water is open to all. I'm not at all sure she has the right to exercise her dogs here - there are three special beaches which allow dogs and I don't believe this isn't one of them. However it's dusk and this is France and rules are made to be broken! She wears a wide strong belt contraption around her waist and the three Huskies drag her along, as you can see in the photo below. Her fourth dog runs free. This was one joyous lady with four very happy dogs.

08 July 2007

Cheek by jowl

Still on the discussion of public versus private beaches, here you see, in the foreground, a small part of a crowded public beach. In the background, you can see the coloured sunshades of the various private beaches, one of which you saw yesterday - and another the day before. You can see another view of this public beach here.

07 July 2007

Private and public beaches

Here's a photograph of another private beach. Following on from yesterday's post on the subject, and the resulting comments on the correctness of there being such a thing as a private beach - with which I totally agree, I have added the following paragraph to yesterday's post but here it is to save you looking back.

To clarify the term 'private beach' - there are nearly a dozen private beaches in Menton, where you rent sun beds, have bar service and can eat lunch in the restaurant. In spite of the many private beach areas, there are many free beaches (such as the Plage des Sablettes). However, the entire beach front along the water - private or public - is open to public access.

The cost of hiring a sunbed for the day is around 10 euros - some a little more - and less for half a day, of course. Many consider this well worth it for the comfort and space and convenience of the bar/restaurant/toilets. The public beaches are always very crowded in summer. I'll post a photograph of a public beach tomorrow.

06 July 2007

Plage l'Helios

Some of the beaches in Menton are private - you can hire a sunbed for the day, have drinks brought to you, you can eat in the restaurant - there are showers available. And best of all, you have a view of the beautiful facade of the Old Town from the beach.

To clarify the term 'private beach' - there are nearly a dozen private beaches in Menton, where you rent sun beds and have bar service and can eat lunch in the restaurant. In spite of the many private beach areas, there are many free beaches (such as the Plage des Sablettes). However, the entire beach front along the water - private or public - is open to public access.

05 July 2007

Fancy a coffee?

We're back in Sospel today - the mountain village 20 kilometres from Menton. Here's the Bar Central. Fancy a café? A biere?

04 July 2007

Port de Garavan

There are two harbours in Menton. The port of Garavan is nearest to the Italian border and is where this photograph was taken. Don't you love to walk about a port and look at the boats and the boating people?

03 July 2007

A stroll at dusk

It may be that this photograph isn't very sharp. I took it at dusk and have much to learn on this camera. Menton used to be known (and perhaps still is) as a town of the troisème age (in another words: a retirement place). If you look at the strollers in this photo, you'll probably agree. However, whilst people do retire to Menton, it's still very much a vibrant town with much to do for every age group who lives here. Families comes to Menton on holiday. Young people looking for more nightlife go to Monaco or Cannes or Juan-les-Pins.

02 July 2007

Beer Shop!

You don't expect to see a 'Beer Shop' in the Old Town on Menton - especially one that opens at 5 in the morning. This house is not far from the one with the hat on the gate! Perhaps there's a connection. You can see more of the front of the house below - notice the gargoyle above the door. I wonder who lives here?

01 July 2007

Daily Photo Theme Day: The Colour Red

In choosing 'something red' from Menton, I was spoiled for choice: restaurants with red tablecloths, baker's shops with a red oleander outside, red clothes hanging out to dry from an ancient window - and all prettier than this photograph - but somehow the word tabac takes me back to my first trip to France from England, where I lived at the time. I was 18 and went to Paris and then took le train bleu to Cannes. That's when I fell in love with France and why I came to live here 16 years ago and why I have absolutely no intention of leaving - ever.

Do please visit other Daily Photo bloggers who have seen red in their city. A total of 100 are participating in today's Theme Day. You can also take a look at the Daily Photo portal.

Shanghai, China - Mumbai, India - New York City (NY), USA - Manila, Philippines - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Hamburg, Germany - Stayton (OR), USA - Los Angeles (CA), USA - Hyde, UK - Oslo, Norway - Brookville (OH), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Stavanger, Norway - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Joplin (MO), USA - Singapore, Singapore - Selma (AL), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Chandler (AZ), USA - Stockholm, Sweden - Seattle (WA), USA - Boston (MA), USA - Arradon, France - Evry, France - Baton Rouge (LA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Boston (MA), USA - Grenoble, France - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Greenville (SC), USA - Hilo (HI), USA - Nelson, New Zealand - La Antigua, Guatemala - Brisbane (QLD), Australia - Singapore, Singapore - Tel Aviv, Israel - Hong Kong, China - Sequim (WA), USA - Paderborn, Germany - Saarbrücken, Germany - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Tenerife, Spain - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Sydney, Australia - Naples (FL), USA - Cologne (NRW), Germany - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Saint Louis (MO), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Mainz, Germany - Toruń, Poland - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - North Bay (ON), Canada - Jakarta, Indonesia - Montréal (QC), Canada - Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Minneapolis (MN), USA - Baziège, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Prague, Czech Republic - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - New York (NY), USA - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Sharon (CT), USA - Newcastle (NSW), Australia - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Nottingham, UK - Villigen, Switzerland - Chicago (IL), USA - Torquay, UK - Brussels, Belgium - San Diego (CA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Cape Town, South Africa - Paris, France - Seoul, Korea - Manila, Philippines - Milano, Italy - Austin (TX), USA - Chennai, India - Madrid, Spain - Seoul, South Korea - Wailea (HI), USA - Toronto (ON), Canada - Ajaccio, France - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Silver Spring (MD), USA - Zurich, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Budapest, Hungary - Moscow, Russia - Auckland, New Zealand - Torino, Italy

Related Posts with Thumbnails