31 July 2007
30 July 2007
29 July 2007
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
(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
26 July 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
17 July 2007
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
15 July 2007
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
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
12 July 2007
11 July 2007
10 July 2007
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
08 July 2007
07 July 2007
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
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
04 July 2007
03 July 2007
02 July 2007
01 July 2007
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