WE’RE SURPRISED HOW MUCH WE LIKE THIS PLACE

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Luxury yachts and a crowded beach. All the things we’re supposed to hate in a resort town.

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.

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In my ignorance I’ve tended to confuse “Antibes” with “Antilles”. Apparently they’re different places. This one is Antibes.

It was getting close to lunchtime when we found ourselves at the covered markets.

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No problem finding the makings of le pique-nique in Antibes’ markets.

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Seller of herbes de Provence.

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No shortage of cafés either.

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The streets were very quiet around the Musée Picasso, possibly because the musée itself was closed for lunch…

…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…)

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Picasso, Le Joie de Vivre. Image from: pablopicasso.org

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.

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Le Nomade, by Jaume Plensa.

He’d certainly be worthy of a place in Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea.

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under France

3 responses to “WE’RE SURPRISED HOW MUCH WE LIKE THIS PLACE

  1. South of France is not generally on my radar but you have made this place sound worth a visit Richard!

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