Memories in Antibes
After doing a walking lap of the campsite, we stopped at the camp shop to buy a few supplies for dinner, good old English bangers and mash with Heinz baked beans for dinner tonight, washed down with a bottle of wine.
It felt good to have a decent fridge and cooker, something we haven’t used for along time now…
Up early the following morning we didn’t want to waste this ‘down’ time, we or should i say i, wanted to wash our bike gear while we had the chance with some decent weather (not all bikers are dirty!)
While i went to the laundrette Clive gave the bike a good wash and did all the usual checks etc…
Next was a short ride into the old town of Antibes…
Antibes was founded by the Greeks over 2000 years ago with the name Antipolis, Shortly afterwards it was incorporated into the expanding Roman empire when it was known as Antiboul. With the fall of the Roman empire Antibes was a target of pirates and raiders until the growing power of Genoa (Italy) removed most of these threats.
We found a park for the bike, and only needed to remove our helmets and lock them up… it felt so good not wearing all the bike gear and back into our summer shorts…
First up we walked around Port Vauban which is near the old town and is renowned throughout the sailing world as a place where super yachts for the super rich gather. It is Europe’s largest harbour and is home to more than 100 berths, over the 23-metre in length, with some berths accommodating 165 m yachts!
The sky was blue and cloudless, the air was warm and felt so good, and the yachts were stunning, wow the wealthily sure know how to live, defiantly no fishing boats moored up here!
As the yachts very gently bobbed up and down on the clear aqua waters, their crew hosed, polished, brushed anything and everything till it sparkled, these yachts are unbelievable, although it doesn’t compare to Monaco when we were there years ago, i had never seen anything as spectacular, but all the same it is amazing.
Walking back towards the old town,we walked through a familiar stone arch way, that lead to a small beached area surrounded by the harbour stone walls, we brought our kids to this beach in 1989, the great thing about these old towns are that nothing much changes, it was like we had been transported back in time, minus the kids…
The sand was warm on my feet, but putting my feet into the clear water was a shock, it was freezing, there’s no way i’m going for a swim, even if there were lots of children and adults being very brave, but i’m not one of them and nor was Clive!
To get to the old town we had to walk past our bike, even though there were a few people looking at our number plate and looking confused as to where the bike was from, we kept on walking, not feeling the need to put them out of their confusion!
The old archway into the old town is big, just how we remembered, the narrow streets, were full of gift shops, bars and outdoor restaurants, the whole place has such a relaxed feeling and it shows, people lazily sitting, drinking, laughing and chatting without a care in the world, we followed the path into the back streets which took us down some narrow pathways, these streets were residential we gingerly walked on the cobbled stones, knowing full well they have hidden dangers…lol…
The lanes full of stone and multicoloured homes with small windows, some with shutters and some with low doors that only kids could get through, the shinny brass door handles, sparkled as the sun hit them, plants in hanging baskets were full of stunning coloured flowers, so many streets to explore.
Back into the busy town area we end up near a large covered area-Marché Provençal (covered market) at the Cours Massena, unfortunately for us the market stalls were all but packed up, i remember this market area from our last trip here.
I’m not sure where the time had gone, but it was way past lunch time, finding a quaint little cafe we order a spot of lunch and enjoy our relaxing surroundings for a while in the sun. With a bit of sadness we knew we were near the end of our trip, as we could hear so many English voices, a few months ago, we could only be understood by speaking a bit of Russian!
Later in the afternoon we stopped at the supermarket to stock up on supplies, this part of Antibes has been having a lot of road works done so we went the wrong way a few times, getting a bit frustrated with the lack of road signs, it was a bit like being back in India lol.. but as always Clive could sniff out the right way..
We head back to the caravan park, and take full advantage of having a ‘real’ kitchen by cooking a roast dinner with a cheap but nice bottle of wine, the perfect end to a perfect day.
The following day was just as beautiful as the day before, we rode back towards the old town, parked up and walked up an old lane towards the sea, we walked along the old sea wall that protects the town and found some where to sit, the air was warm and felt so good, closing my eyes for a few moments to enjoy the sounds of the sea…eyes now open we enjoyed the view of the surrounding areas, as the clear blue waters calmly hit the wall below us.
After walking around for what seemed miles we turn back and head towards the Musée Picasso where we saw what looked like giant maltersers in the courtyard…yum..if only..
After a spot of lunch we got back on the bike and rode along the coast road, passing busy beaches and beautiful private homes, we come to a small cliff area that looks over Antibes, as we park the bike we notice that someone has put up their tent illegally in a park area behind some bushes, what a multi million dollar view they would have.
We clamber down the small cliff and sit amongst the rock pools, enjoying yet again the sun.
On our way back to the caravan park we pass the 16th-century Fort Carré which is a massive, star-shaped fortress on a promontory overlooking the Port Vauban. The fort is built on the site of the Chapelle St. Laurent, which sat on the ruins of the Temple of Mercury. You can’t visit the fort, unless you are going with a tour group, but there’s a nice walk around it, i remember walking around it years ago.
The following day was spent going through our luggage and repacking it, trying to make space where there wasn’t any!.. Time was also spent doing some more maintenance on the bike, i think Clive just likes playing with his tools!
In the afternoon we decided to go to the local beach near the caravan park, crossing the road to the underpass hadn’t changed at all, i don’t think even the underpass had been painted since our last visit!
The pebble beach was uncomfortable to walk on and was also deserted except for a few locals trying their luck at fishing, it was how we remembered it, not a particularly attractive looking beach… we managed to walk a fair distance on the awkward shape stones, taking time out to act like kids by throwing stones in the sea.
The evenings dinner was washed down with more local wine, it almost felt normal to have fully functioning kitchen to work in after being on the road for so long…
Another pleasant day had, we know we couldn’t stay here, we need to move on, after discussing over dinner that we should head for E’spania to chase the fading European summer and hopefully keeping the sun with us for a while longer.
So spain it is, its always sunny in Spain, isn’t it?
So the following morning all loaded up we head off on the coastal roads towards Spain, noticing on the forecast all the rain crossing northern Europe, we will keep south thank you very much…