“I have never seen such a surprising thing as Antibes in front of the French Alps when the sun is falling.” – Guy de Maupassant, French Poet
My Parisian friend and I indulged in a whimsical day of wandering around the country lanes of Provence on a chilly March day. At one point during the journey, our paved road turned into a dirt track in the middle of a vineyard. Yes, we looked at our map, though that was useless, and I said, “We’ll know where we’ve been, when we get where we’re going.” C’est la vie, it’s a bit of fun to be lost anywhere in France.
At the end of the day, we checked into a quaint little hotel in Antibes and took to the streets of old town in search of a restaurant. The same devil-may-care approach guided our evening. Though it was off season in early March, several petite café’s were warmly lit and inviting. How shall we choose? We turned to see a couple walking behind us and decided that if they chose the café we just passed, we would do the same.
And oh sweet fate – it was the perfect choice for an entertaining evening. We sat at a cozy little table next to a beautiful stone wall. The other couple was just ahead of us, and to our right was a group of 6 or 7, engaged in lively conversation over dinner. We learned they all were members of the family that owned the café and were very interested to discover an American in their midst. It is as if we instantly were part of their family. When their karaoke entertainment began, they called for the American to sing – Allez, allez Sahn-di!! And so we sang and danced through the night with our new friends.
Cap d’Antibes and Old Antibes radiate charm among the many jewels along the Mediterranean; where maritime pines line streets that descend to the sea, and a charming lighthouse and 5th-century chapel – Nôtre Dame des Amoureux – overlook the cape and the Baie de la Garoupe.
Several beaches serve sun worshippers and visitors who enjoy the scenic bayside along Le Chemin de Tirepoil. That particular trail passes below the Villa Eilenroc at the tip of the peninsula. Designed by the man who created the Opera Garnier in Paris, the grand villa and gardens are now owned by the city and open to the public to offer a captivating visit with beautiful murals, historic displays and sumptuous furnishings.
End your visit with a quiet moment in the rose garden and, perhaps, imagine the view through Greta Garbo’s eyes (she was one of many famous people to rent the villa).
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