mentioning picasso, hemingway, henry viii, & 137th richest person in the world
Météo-France gave me confidence. The sun sharpening the eastern side of my building gave me confidence. I stepped onto the balcony on the western side and saw the clear sky and the calm Mediterranean Sea which gave me even more confidence.
Today I would walk around Cap d’Antibes.
The journey starts at la Plage de la Garoupe on the Cap. It was here during the 1920’s that some famous and some soon-to-be-famous personalities would frolic and sunbathe. Let me drop a few names: Picasso, Hemingway, Fitzgerald and his better half, Dos Passos, Man Ray, Gerald and Sara Murphy, who led the way to this part of the Côte d’Azure.
The Garoupe beach is not today, of course, what it was during the 1920’s. Now, too much unchecked development. Too many wealthy expats who have bought property and who visit infrequently. Not much of a recommendation for a visit.
Step away from those first impressions and continue to the end of the beach, and from there one begins a very pleasant walk, a loop hike along a pristine coast line that may take a little more than an hour.
The walk can be divided into stages. Initially, the path goes up and down and around the Cap. It has been set aside and managed by the city of Antibes. To the left is the Mediterranean Sea and to the right are trees, brush, flowers, stone, and high walls with cameras, built by the wealthy 1% or most likely 0.5%. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
The former king of England, Edward VIII, lived as the Duke and Duchess of Windsor behind one of these walls at the Château de la Croë, after he abdicated the throne and married Wallis Simpson. (They had to live somewhere.)
Later Aristotle Onassis bought the estate. Today it is owned by the Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, possibly the 137th richest person in the world.
A second stage might begin once you reach a path, or road, that leads away from the beach and eventually approaches the entrance to Eilen Roc, a villa, that is highly recommended by this flâneur for a visit on Wednesdays.
From this point, do not continue on this road or path. Take a few steps, stop at an entrance in the wall to the left and walk through. The way will change to vegetation on both sides. It will be cool and be a welcome change from the sun beating down. (Did you remember to bring water?)
One of highlights of this section is the descent to the water and into a “night club” built out of stone. It has unique areas for sitting and an actual bar. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
To return to the Plage de la Garoupe requires walking a short distance further and exiting the trail at the gate to Eilen Roc. Now one should consult a map or ask a friendly French man or woman how to return to the Garoupe beach where you left the car.
Exactly how I remember the walk. And equally as beautiful in winter. I had no idea there was a night club built out of stone. But then of course, it was a hot summer day and I forgot to bring water so I might not have been truly seeing things. :0 When we got to Juan les Pins the first sight of a Casino supermarket made me happy. The mademoiselle who worked there could sense my happiness. There we bought a huge bottle of eau mineral and chugged. There were no water fountains at all on that walk.
The “night club”–I call it that–is below Eilen Roc. It is quite something to see. There are small area rooms and an actual bar for serving drinks. If you look closely in the photos, you will see the area. I believe it is where Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda partied. Fully dressed Zelda jumped from the rocks into the sea. To reach the “night club” one must have turned left and walked through the opening in the wall and continued on a path along the boundary to the Eilen Roc estate.