01 September, 2010

Big Towns, Big Names and Big Numbers

Summer in the French Riviera has just big towns, Monte Carlo, Nice, Antibes, Canne, Frejus, St Tropez (the last four are in fact in the Cote D'Azur) associated with the big names of the film stars and celebrities. We saw the towns but not the big names. The town each have a certain charm about them and each have some unique feature which makes it worthwhile to visit them but when all is said and done they look very similar and the retail section repeats itself time after time. We tend to stay out of the marinas with Malua and anchor in a bay nearby and take the RIB into the marina or to a beach on a bus route to the centre. The museum of Henri Matisse in Nice was very good indeed because it showed his work during his stay in this particular villa Cimiez with is muse. The Antibes museum of Pablo Picasso also covered the period of his live while he lived in the area also with a muse Francoise Gilot. I liked the painting of The Goat and the large collection of plates with faces painted on them.

Iain visited Canne to see the film festival site and the hand prints but we justed stayed away and took a long walk on the Ille Saint Marguerite. It is a beautiful island which has been retained as a nature park. The water around the island are shallow and afford good anchorages so the Sunday night we arrived it was filled to capacity however as they left to return to their home marinas we moved closer in shore and a better location. The next day we walked the perimeter of the island and stopped off at the Fort Royal. It housed "the man in the iron mask" I must say its bare courtyards and cold cells must have made it a very unpleasant place. Today it has a maritime museum which has a relics of a Roman galleon very well preserved and presented. It well worth a visit.

Tomorrow we visit Port de Fejus but like the other famous names John is not in town to meet us so we will have to cruise down to St Tropez to see if we can catch the last of the big names before everything shuts at the end of summer for September is upon us and the chilly winds of the north have started to blow and the last bus leaves at 6:30 pm. Winter has arrived.

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