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From Cannes to Menton at the Italian Border, part 13

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 6/4/2015 - www.Littleviews.com ]

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June 4: We Took the French Riviera's Low Road and Returned on the High One

>> What I'd love to be doing is walking through tourist attractions, but instead, Phil and I are driving through them, dodging traffic and motorcycles that split lanes.

Phil loves driving, even challenging driving, whereas I love noodling around, writing, and as I'm trying to fit in, drawing (not much success yet). Given the fact that due to my injured leg, I'm seeing things almost exclusively by car, my observations related to the French Riviera between Cannes and Menton are limited to the photos I have taken from our car's window.

Heading Toward Italy from Cannes The French Riviera's weather is extraordinarily perfect. I imagine that even when it storms, it is perfect. For some reason I cannot see, the air smells strongly like lilies, but there are not an abundance of flowers to be seen in early June. I am sure that there is a massive garden hidden somewhere in the nearby mountains that sends its fragrances to the sea.

My initial feelings about the French Riviera is that it is too crowded for the general public to be counted as a place to come for relaxation. If you visit by yacht, or own a cliff-hanging mansion, however, you might take issue with me. If you plan on visiting, do so for its lore and, if you are a history buff, its history. But if you want to noodle about, assisted by some type of wheeled vehicle (preferably powered), this is not the place to do it.

Phil has been out and about on his scooter, but his rides start and stop at the shoreline because going inland means a stiff up-hill trip. We've seen bikers here struggling inland. No one gets an easy ride unless they follow the sea and take their chances with heavy traffic. The only people who can travel easily under power AND find parking are motorcyclists. Parking cannot be considered an after-thought here and distances do not make the area accessible for people who are walking-impaired.

Because of the lack of parking and its impact on my own impairment, we've limited our explorations to driving and taking photos.

The following is a beautiful picture of small boats, a type of vessel rarely seen in these parts. Sail, motor-yachts, and oceanliners are far more common.

Antibes, Cannes' neighbor, shifts its look from Cannes-style, block-after-block of flat-faced hotels, to more open areas. Trees, for example, help set it off:

And here is a glimpse one of its neighborhoods:

Just past Cap Ferrat, an exclusive cape, is Ville Franche-Sur-Mer, which appears to be more proletarian. Although food trucks are rare (if you don't count little stands along crowded beaches), La Petite Afrique is one to visit if you are in the area. Under all circumstances, its cliff-side location can't be beat.

A few years agoo, we saw a famous chateau in Eze that is situated on top of a mountain. We reached it via the French Riviera's Moyenne Cornich, a road that runs at a mid-point between mountain tops and the sea. This time, we drove by Eze on the shore road, looking up at its village.

For more information on the landscape and views provided by the French Riviera's thoroughfares, read The Three Corniches.

Now then, I have no idea what the following "three dancers" installation in Monte-Carlo is all about, but I found them interesting. You, might, too.

The following two photos are from Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, a small, beautiful, and seemingly uncrowded town. The public beach appeared to be very inviting and easy to access.

At the end of our tour was Menton. Just past it is Italy, which our rental car contract prohibited us from entering. In terms of color, the architecture in Menton somewhat resembles what is seen Nice.

What is especially interesting about Menton (from a passenger's viewpoint) is the turnaround that took us back to Cannes via the Grande Corniche. Talk about a high road as you can see from the overpass in the following picture.

The views offered from the Grande Corniche might just change your idea about what living in mountains and valleys is all about and make you question whether France has had a significant population explosion in its recent history. In this area, its mountains are frosted in dwellings that march straight up the slopes, and its valleys are filled-in by dwellings. Big-city high-rises are also on the bloom. Oh, the humanity!

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Karen Little - Karen@Littleviews.com

Article series by Karen Little for www.Littleviews.com. Photos by Karen and Phil Little. Series began on May 13, 2015. All rights reserved.

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