Thursday, November 20, 2003

Antibes notes from a broad

In the fall of 2003 I was invited to spend a few days in the South of France with a childhood friend who was then living in Paris. After first visiting in Paris, my friend and I flew down to the Cote d'Azur and stayed in one of her friend's empty houses in Antibes. Pretty brutal connections I have, eh? It was a once in a lifetime trip (the friend now lives elsewhere) and I can't say that it wasn't delightful.

Day Tripping on the Train
While my friend baked herself on the beach, I (who suffers from easily excitable and horrifically unattractive heat rash) spent the majority of my afternoons shuttling from one town to the next on the train. I love it that Europe is so jam-packed with adorable destinations, one after the other, so many of which are easily and affordably accessible for the day by rail. I stopped in Cannes or Nice and didn't make it out of the train station. Seemed seedy and dirty and I couldn't muster the enthusiasm to venture into the city itself and find the cool, clean bits. So back on the train, I headed first to Villefranche and then futher on to Monte Carlo. Monte Carlo was beyond clean. You could eat off the streets there and not worry your pretty little head about ingesting so much as a single germ. Less sterile but no less delightful was Villefranche. Based on a single picture I'd seen before I left for France, I knew I wanted to try and get there if I could. Villefranche is now my favorite village of the Cote d'Azur, after cute and compact Cassis. A pastel pedestrian paradise, I'd love to go back and spend a few nights one day.

Juan Les Pins
On the Cap d'Antibes you have the city of Antibes where you'll find the old town or Vieux Antibes and around the cap you've got the modern Juan les Pins. We were staying in Juan les Pins. Nice beaches but no cute old town. Juan les Pins is dreamy (great beaches, bars, clubs, etc.), don't get me wrong. But Vieux Antibes has all the charming old character that you'd expect from this region of the French Riviera. If I had it to do over again I think I'd prefer to crash in Antibes proper. I have a soft spot for waking up in the center of picturesque European fishing towns or medieval villages. The charm is tangible.

That's all I recall. The rest of the time, which is to say the majority of the time, I was lit on pina coladas.

Questions? Ask away! Please use the comments feature to ask questions rather than contacting Marisa directly. That way everyone can learn a thing or two, too.


  1. Great post. Entertaining and informative. The only part I didn't like was the 65 year old man thing. We 65 year olds think better of ourselves--probably erroneously.

  2. LOL, Clifford. I'm sure you're nothing like the 65 year old man I encountered in Dubrovnik. And, P.S., you posted your Dubrovnik comment on my Antibes entry. Wouldn't have anything to do with your being 65 now, would it?



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