We Australians don’t visit France’s Côte d’Azur for its beaches. We don’t like paying to sit on a deckchair or renting a towel. We hate the idea of private beaches for hotel guests only.
On the other hand, we don’t know any Australian resort towns with covered markets, massed petunia baskets hanging above cobbled alleyways and a Picasso Museum. Antibes sounded ok, and it was within sniffing distance of our accommodation in the perfume town of Grasse. However, we quickly abandoned our stroll around Juan-les-Pins on the west edge of the Antibes. The coastline has been privatised, with the plebs directed inland to a road jammed with traffic and lined with expensive clothing shops.
So we took a drive around the cape, miraculously finding a free (in both senses of the word) parking space near a sign pointing to ‘Vieille Ville’. Any old town is worth a try.
It was getting close to lunchtime when we found ourselves at the covered markets.
…but when it opened it was well worth the price of admission (€3 with seniors’ discount). On the top floor is a wonderful collection of Monsieur Picasso’s quirky, playful series of drawings and paintings La Joie de Vivre, featuring goats, satyrs, fauns and nymphs. (No photography s’il vous plaît – but here’s one I downloaded earlier…)
Strolling along the harbour and beaches is allowed in Antibes. The beaches are not very impressive to we spoiled Aussies, but we did like the sculpture Le Nomade, staring out to sea from the Bastion. Zoom in on the picture and you see he’s made up of letters.
He’d certainly be worthy of a place in Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea.