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Posts from the ‘Antibes’ Category

kitesurfing on the bays of antibes

April arrives and the wind blows. It is the weekend. It is Easter. The Med Sea is nearby. And the lunch hour(s) in France can be two hours long. It is a perfect confluence of events for kitesurfing.

Antibes has three beaches, and two of them are wide and open and one in the middle is the most popular for kitesurfing. I believe there is a kitesurfing school and club in Antibes.

I have yet to see a woman kitesurfing in Antibes.

On a good day, the word has spread and dozens will be on the water at the same time. How they manage to avoid one another and not tangle their lines and chutes is unclear.

Crowds gather along the beach. Cameras are ready. Kids play in the sand and make sand castles. Some are there for the holiday weekend and want to catch as much sun as they can.

However, the stars of the day are the kitesurfers.

Because the surfers prefer the bays, croissant-shaped, and not the open water, spectators can watch from various points. They like to glide toward the shore, dramatically turn or launch into the air before circling around again and leaving. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

in antibes and enjoying an hour during a morning walk

Antibes est pour toi en France un de tes points de chute. –Françoise Nicolai

Graham Greene, who moved to Antibes in 1966, wrote a dozen books there . . . –BBC Culture

I landed in Antibes ten years ago and, as a French friend suggested, j’y réside [à Antibes] une bonne partie de l’année. During that time, I have often wandered the many streets of Vieil Antibes.

I think of Antibes as having three parts to the medieval village, le vieil village. The division is not official.

Above the Marché Provençal (the local market), between it and the Mediterranean Sea, is one quartier and possibly my favorite. It is small and can be explored in a short time.

The Mediterranean Sea is to the east of the medieval quartier of Antibes. The wall to the right is for the Picasso Museum.

The two other quartiers are flat, but the one above the Marché Provençal rests on a small knoll. One must walk up from the Marché and into it. Continuing through it, one descends slightly to the ramparts and the Promenade Amiral de Grasse and then one meets the Mediterranean Sea. But wait, there’s more!

can you spot the lunch served at a 1 star michelin restaurant?

I live 6 months in Oregon and 6 months in France. When I am in Portland, I eat lunch occasionally in restaurants; I prefer to cook. On the other hand, in France I will eat lunch in a restaurant every day.

In Portland, a city celebrated for its food and where James beard was born after all, lunches consist of fast-food, such as pizzas, hamburgers, tacos, and so forth, plus food carts, and some good ethnic restaurants that might have started as food carts.

In my neighborhood in NW Porttland, called the Alphabet District, I have several favorites: Bhuna (Kashmir), Rice & Fish (Japanese), Fish Sauce (Vietnamese), Kim Jong Smokehouse (Korean), and Matador (Mexican). They are acclaimed, and I am lucky to live within easy walking distance to them.

Portland does have some restaurants where one can sit down and order two and three courses for lunch. Little Bird Bistro (French) comes to mind, and Bistro Agnes (French), Nostrana (Italian), and Piazza Italia (Italian). Notice they are European in style. There are other restaurants, but the two and three course meal is unusual for lunch.

Portland really excels during the dinner hours. The most acclaimed restaurants serve only dinner; they are never open for lunch.

That offers a segue to the French desire to sit down and eat a proper two or three course meal for lunch. It is one of the classic differences between the two cultures. On another occasion I have defined those meals. In short the French do eat fast food, and they like a main dish and a dessert.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!

jetties stick out, don’t they

JETTY “a landing stage or small pier at which boats can dock or be moored; a breakwater constructed to protect or defend a harbor, stretch of coast, or riverbank.”

JETÉE « Construction formant une chaussée qui s’avance dans l’eau, destinée à protéger un port, à limiter un chenal. »

Walk from Antibes to Juan-les-Pins in the early morning or late afternoon and stroll along the board walk—la promenade—toward Golfe-Juan. Look to the Mediterranean Sea, one cannot help it, of course, and admire the many jetties that jut from the shore line.

« Ce qui m’a déterminé à publier ce livre, c’est que souvent, étant à Rome, j’ai désiré qu’il existât. Chaque article est le résultat d’une promenade, il fut écrit sur les lieux ou le soir en rentrant. » —Stendhal, Promenades dans Rome, Avertissement.

I suggest the early morning or late afternoon hours, because the sun is more pleasant then, and when the shadows contour the jetties.

« On a fait (…) des jetées de pierre, qui s’avancent fort loin dans la mer (…) » —Racine, Explication des médailles, iii.

One can, of course, stay in a hotel in Juan-les-Pins and not walk there from Antibes over the small hill. I would not recommended it though for several reasons. (I will leave it at that for the moment.)

« Je serais bien l’enfant abandonné sur la jetée partie à la haute mer, le petit valet, suivant l’allée dont le front touche le ciel. » —Arthur Rimbaud, Enfance

The bay of Golfe-Juan is broad; the shore line sweeps from Cap d’Antibes in an arc toward the town, Golfe-Juan, and there a hill stops abruptly the sweep as a road rises and heads for Cannes.

« Les deux jetées de Dunkerque qui prolongent le quai du port s’avancent loin dans la mer. Les gens de la noce occupaient toute la largeur de la jetée du nord, et ils atteignirent bientôt une petite maisonnette située à son extrémité, où veillait le maître du port. » —Jules Verne, Un hivernage dans les glaces, p. 221.

Along the beach from Cap d’Antibes to Golf-Juan are many jetties, unimpeded, free for exploration. I offer six.

(Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)