Tuesday, December 29, 2009

~ On To Bon France ~

France was a new territory for us.
We traveled by train and through the north of Italy and along the coastline through the border and down the French Riviera, The Cote D'Azur.

Our first stop was Antibes, a beautiful city along the Mediterranean Sea.
We stayed at a small hotel near the city center, overlooking a children's park and carousel.
It seems that in France there are carousels in every park for the children. It is so sweet, and they are so beautifully painted.

There are so many beautiful places in Antibes. The streets wind around this ancient port.There is a Fort overlooking this old port. The marina is now filled with multimillion dollar yachts. The ancient buildings are occupied as homes and shops and restaurants and bars.
There is a Marche' Provencial, which is open daily with flowers, produce and Provencal products, and on Thursday and Sunday afternoons, this same market turns into an antique and craft and arts market. In the evenings it is an out door dining area to the restaurants that line the street around the market.
The market was a colorful splash of spices, herbs,flowers,soaps,meats,vegetables,cheeses,and olives. People hustling and bustling purchasing their foods and Staples and others sampling wares and smelling the fragrant hand made soaps.

Around the corner is the Picasso Museum, housed along the shore in a castle once the home of the royals of the area.
How wonderful to be an a place where the artist lived and worked for four months in 1946.
The art was inspirational and having been there it gives me the desire to read about Picsso' life.
I wandered Antibe's streets and tasted the famous crepes with Nutella and Cafe' au lait sitting
at a table watching the tourists and families of this sweet city interact and go about their daily duties. What a fantastic experience. You cannot get this feeling from the deck of a cruise ship, where one must rush to capture all the sights before it is time to return on board and sail off into the sunset and places fade into each other.

When we arrived we were completely turned around, and could not navigate the map. We had to ask for directions, and we chose a "little old lady" , who was very happy to deliver us exactly to our destination, our little hotel. We ran into her one of the other days we were walking down the street, and said hello and thanked her once again for her kindness and took a picture of her.
I will name her my french Grand-mer in the pictures posted.

I found my way to the flea market but alas, I was only able to shop with my camera and capture
the beautiful items through my lens. I found a darling out door cafe'. A most beautiful spot.
Near the flea market, there was an Organ Grinder, yet, instead of a monkey to collect the money as he passed, he had his pet cat perched atop the organ. I snapped a photo, and he instantly wanted $$$ ,so after dropping a Euro in his cup, I snapped more.
Hope you enjoy Antibes! Au revoir~


erika said...

Love all of the pictures. It looks like a magical place.

Vista Gal said...

I think that I should like to stay here for a while, especially in the summer!