30 September 2007

Église Notre-Dame-des-Neiges - 2

Churches in most of the Mentonnais hill villages, have a simple exterior, but surprise us when we go inside. Here you see three views of the interior of the 16th century church in Sainte Agnès.

29 September 2007

Église Notre-Dame-des-Neiges

The parish church of Sainte Agnès, near to the entrance to the village, is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows. You can see the entrance on the right of the photo. Do come back tomorrow and I'll take you inside this beautiful little church and show you the wonders therein.

28 September 2007

Donkey Track

This is the old donkey track from Saint Agnès to the centre of Menton. The sign indicates it takes two hours. There are donkey tracks leading from all the hill villages around Menton to the town itself and at one time, this was the only method of getting supplies to and from a village.

Now these donkey tracks are used by hikers and it's one of the most glorious ways to see this part of the Côte d'Azur. I've walked the track from Gorbio to Sainte Agnès with my best buddy, Candy, and I suspect when she next comes to stay, we'll be walking this track. I'd better get in shape because if you walk down - guess what? - you've got to walk back up again for your car!

Note the viewing platform in the middle distance and below you'll see a better view of it. If you click on THIS LINK and scroll down to the second photograph, you'll see just how far we are from the sea and why it takes 2 hours to walk this track.

27 September 2007

Le Saint-Yves

Mid-morning and time for coffee at Le Saint-Yves. On the terrace (see below) the tables are ready for lunch. Good, simple, cheap food (there's a 16 euros menu, for instance) and with a view that's worth a good deal more. Pasta is excellent - friends approve of the braised rabbit. You can also stay at this hotel and at a very reasonable tarif too.

26 September 2007

Sainte Agnès - 4

In his plastic bag: a baguette and a bottle of wine. What more could anyone want? I'd like a nice fresh goat cheese to go with them. What would you choose?

25 September 2007

Sainte Agnès - 3

Entrance to the village with its ubiquitous postcard shop. Come back tomorrow and we'll take a walk through the narrow streets which are glorious at the moment but can become wind tunnels on chilly winter days.

24 September 2007

Sainte Agnès - 2

Not a pretty picture, but the promised Fort which is part of the Maginot Line. The Maginot Fort in Sainte Agnès was built in 1932. Solidly built, the fort sits on the edge of the village overlooking the sea, serving today as a popular tourist attraction. I found THIS LINK on the Internet which describes a visit by a group interested in all the forts of the Maginot line.

Tomorrow we'll have far prettier photos of the village.

23 September 2007

Sainte Agnès - 1

Let me introduce you to the perched village of Ste. Agnès: at more than 800 metres above sea-level, it is the highest village, with a view of the sea, in the whole of Europe. And what a spectacular panoramic view it provides. Below you can see the view from a platform at one end of the village. (The camera faced the sun this morning, but another time I'll take better photos of the view).

Legend has it that an Italian princess named Agnès was trapped in these hills by a sudden violent storm . She prayed to her patron saint and found shelter in one of the four grottoes in the area. Agnès then built a sanctuary in the rocks which quickly attracted local inhabitants and so the village got its name.

Come back tomorrow and I'll show you the fort that is part of the Maginot Line.

22 September 2007

Wash down time

Early morning and time to wash down the decking of the restaurants and clean the streets ready for another hot day. This is one of the beach/restaurants in Garavan.

I know you don't want to hear me grumble about lack of rain this summer and now early autumn, but I wish it would RAIN for my poor dried up garden. I know the visitors don't want this tho, so you didn't hear me say it!

21 September 2007

Through a restaurant darkly...

An enticing view through the restaurant, tables set up ready. Let's eat! And then - let's take a swim. This is one of the beach restaurants in Garavan.

20 September 2007


Many people come to the Côte d'Azur, not to lie on the beaches but to go walking or rambling in the hills and mountains. After all, our départment is called the Alpes-Maritimes. Here you see a sign in the village of Gorbio showing various randonée and giving the length of time any particular hike will take.

19 September 2007

Le patron

This is Franck, the 'boss man' - patron of Le Balico, my favourite Mentonnais restaurant.

Note: since posting this, sadly Franck has sold Le Balico and it's now under new management.

18 September 2007

Scouts' honour

Lunctime for a group of scouts on the steps of the Eglise St. Michel in the Old Town.

17 September 2007

Memories in the making - 2

Following on from yesterday's post, here's the little girl with her siblings. Below the eldest brother ensures the precious catch gets into the bucket.

16 September 2007

Memories in the making

Fishing below the Old Town. A few minutes after I took this photograph, the little girl caught a fish. I think a lot of us have happy memories of fishing as a child. Do you?

(Thank you so much to everyone who has kindly posted comments whilst I've been away in England. I hope to catch up with your blogs today and tomorrow.)

15 September 2007

17th Journées Méditerranéennes du Jardin - 3

Fun with a watering can in one of the fountains that were for sale at the recent plant fair in Menton.

14 September 2007

17th Journées Méditerranéennes du Jardin - 2

Seller and buyer amidst a sea of colour at the recent plant fair in Menton.

13 September 2007

Border town

This is the border between France and Italy, taken from the Italian side. The flat grey-roofed building is Italian - and just beyond, you can just see the top of a white-roofed building - the French one. These days cars generally go through without being stopped but much depends on your number plate and also if it's a Friday or not. On Fridays - market day in Ventimiglia - the police often stop cars to confiscate any 'copy handbags' or 'copy' anything else, come to that. Sometimes a holidaymaker will buy a pair of sunglasses from a street trader or a stall in Ventimiglia, not even realising they are perhaps a Gucci copy - and then, at the border, will find they have to pay a massive fine as well as having their new purchase taken away.

In the distance you see the port of Garavan and Menton Old Town.

12 September 2007


We're across the border in Latte today, (Buongiorno Fabrizio!) Latte is the nearest village in Italy to Menton and just a bit before the main border town of Ventimiglia. I'd been shopping in the supermarket across the street and wandered across to take a photograph of this newspaper kiosk.

11 September 2007

Woman in pink

Noisette at Restaurant Le Lido. A noisette is a small strong espresso with just a touch of milk. Sometimes the milk is served separately, as here - but more often it comes with just a little froth on top of the espresso. I adore the confidence of this woman and the stylish exhuberance of her clothes and hat.

10 September 2007

Beach tree

One of the public beaches below the Old Town. Trees included.

(Am away for a few days but will still be posting each day. Really sorry tho I won't be able to Comment. Will catch up on your wonderful blogs on my return).

09 September 2007

17th Journées Méditerranéennes du Jardin

Each year, two days are dedicated in September to a wonderful garden fair on the Esplanade Francis Palmero, below the Old Town. This photo shows one tiny part of it and I'll show more detailed joys of the plants and people in future postings. The place was packed, impossible to find a parking place -it's a hot day and the visitors are out in force.

Throughout the two days of the fair, there are guided visits to all the famous gardens of Menton. There are facilities for children to make flower hats, learn pottery or how to grow a vegetable. There's are displays of wondrous old cars by the Automobile Club of Menton (I'll show some of these too at a later date) but most of all there are plants and trees to buy - orchids, roses, palms, cycads, tillisandia, bulbs, trees, shrubs. There's a slight breeze and with it comes the wonderful aroma of rosemary, thyme and tuberose. Can you smell it?

08 September 2007

Jean-Paul Lascaris

Castellar is a beautiful medieval perched village 6 kilometres north of Menton. I'll show you more photographs of this lovely village in future postings but wanted to post today as it's the 350th anniversary of the death of Jean-Paul Lascaris. You can see part of the baroque-style Lascaris palace , formerly the residence of the Counts of Lascaris, which dates back to the early 17th century. Jean-Paul Lascaris was born in Castellar in 1560 and died at the age of 97. He is particularly known for his contribution to the military history of Malta. This weekend Castellar has many celebrations in his honour.

07 September 2007

Just plain pretty

So many pretty narrow streets in the Old Town.

06 September 2007


Magic! It seems to be everywhere at the moment. Here's a stall in the night market doing a roaring trade. Eat in a restaurant and you'll have magicians around your table doing tricks and enthralling you. When I went to a dog show in the Vosges earlier this year, the cabaret was a magician. Is 'magic' popular in your city? or is this a French phenomenon? Maybe everyone wants to be Harry Potter?

05 September 2007

The bay of Menton

The bay of Menton seen from a track below the village of Gorbio. This track is a nature trail created by the commune, following work on a road for the fire trucks. The trail leads right around the mountain from below Gorbio to the tennis courts of Roquebrune. I walked with friends - and dogs - this morning to show them MILOU'S BENCH.

04 September 2007

Summer Nights - 2

A balmy summer evening - Place aux Herbes under the plane trees. Restaurants either side - Le Lido on the left, Le Balico on the right. Beautiful old buildings, musicians to entertain, good food and wine. Where are you? Menton!

Note: Since posting this, sadly Le Balico has been sold and is now under new management.

03 September 2007


A pretty corner in the Old Town.

01 September 2007


This photo had been one of my 'possibles' for yesterday's Theme Day. As I chose another photo, here it is a day late: a plea for people to clean up after their dogs.

Daily Photo Theme Day: Street Signs/Street Lights

Photo taken outside the Château, which stands at the top of the medieval hill village of Gorbio, near to Menton.

There are over 100 City Daily Photo bloggers participating in today's theme of Street Lights or Street Signs. Do take time to enjoy them:

Seattle (WA), USA - Ocean Township (NJ), USA - Cottage Grove (MN), USA - Cleveland (OH), USA - Menton, France - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Singapore, Singapore - Boston (MA), USA - Mexico (DF), Mexico - Kajang (Selangor), Malaysia - Mainz, Germany - Evry, France - Port Angeles (WA), USA - Sequim (WA), USA - Maple Ridge (BC), Canada - Nottingham, UK - Toulouse, France - Wassenaar (ZH), Netherlands - Manila, Philippines - Mumbai, India - Montpellier, France - Bellefonte (PA), USA - Stayton (OR), USA - Moscow, Russia - Paris, France - Saint Paul (MN), USA - Austin (TX), USA - Lyon, France - Stockholm, Sweden - Hyde, UK - Hong Kong, China - Joplin (MO), USA - Seoul, South Korea - Chandler (AZ), USA - St. Louis (MO), USA - Arlington (VA), USA - Anderson (SC), USA - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Villigen, Switzerland - Sydney, Australia - Ampang (Selangor), Malaysia - Montego Bay, Jamaica - Norwich (Norfolk), UK - San Diego (CA), USA - Bandung (West Java), Indonesia - Albuquerque (NM), USA - Melbourne, Australia - Nelson, New Zealand - Quincy (MA), USA - Kyoto, Japan - Tokyo, Japan - Bend (OR), USA - Wellington, New Zealand - New Orleans (LA), USA - Cypress (TX), USA - Nashville (TN), USA - Bucaramanga (Santander), Colombia - Detroit (MI), USA - Saigon, Vietnam - Selma (AL), USA - Phoenix (AZ), USA - Miami (FL), USA - Arradon, France - Sheki, Azerbaijan - New York City (NY), USA - Inverness (IL), usa - North Bay (ON), Canada - Melbourne, Australia - Port Vila, Vanuatu - Tenerife, Spain - Auckland, New Zealand - Forks (WA), USA - Rotterdam, Netherlands - Chateaubriant, France - Madison (WI), USA - Wailea (HI), USA - Orlando (FL), USA - Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation - Ajaccio, France - Baltimore (MD), USA - Crepy-en-Valois, France - Rabaul, Papua New Guinea - Budapest, Hungary - Lyon, France - Saarbrücken, Germany - Adelaide (SA), Australia - Le Guilvinec, France - River Falls (WI), USA - Stavanger, Norway - Naples (FL), USA - London, UK - La Antigua, Guatemala - Philadelphia (PA), USA - Montréal (QC), Canada - Paris, France - San Diego (CA), USA - Trujillo, Peru - Haninge, Sweden - Prague, Czech Republic - Oslo, Norway - Grenoble, France - Shanghai, China - Toronto (ON), Canada - Durban, South Africa - Zurich, Switzerland

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