Wednesday, October 11, 2006


We've had quite a few vistors over the last few weeks, which has meant a bit less time for everyday stuff, like blogging, but also tends to mean we do more exploring of the Cote d'Azur.

There are a lot of places on the 'need to visit' list and until recently, Menton was one of these.

Menton has been described as the most beautiful town on the cote d'Azur or 'La perle de la France' [France's pearl]. I think we visited on the wrong day to really appreciate Menton as you can see from the heavy clouds covering the mountains.

Menton has a very mild climate and became a popular winter resort for wealthy British people in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The large white building in front of the mountains is the Winter Palace - originally a luxury hotel but now converted into apartments.

Menton is famous for citrus fruits and has a Lemon festival [Fête du Citron] in each year. It's similar to a carnival but all the floats and creations are made of oranges and lemons.

The tower hidden behind the tall houses is Saint Michael's basilica [Basilique Saint Michael ]
This is a view from the other side - looking up from the beach with a view of the houses of Old Town in front of the church
A very narrow alleyway leading to the seafront.

I took a few photos of houses decorated with painted friezes and trompe d'oiel . Some were obviously old and faded but some had been repainted.

This is the Bastion de Saint Antoine - a small fortress intended to defend Menton from sea attacks. Work started in the early 17th century -its quite an attractive building -it looked very much like a child's toy castle.

The bastion is now the Musée Jean Cocteau - you can just see some of Cocteau's pebble mosaics under the arches. Unfortunately, it was raining quite heavily and we were heading back to the station to catch the train when we came across the museum/Bastion.

Apparently Jean Cocteau was working in Menton at age 70 and painted the murals for the 'salle des mariages' [wedding room] in the Menton townhall

I will probably go back to see the Cocteau exhibits at some point.

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Jill said...

Wow! Those pictures are really nice. Since I'm of French and Scottish heritage, I really like looking and learning about these beautiful lands.

Alison Ashwell said...

Thanks =)

Both countries are beautiful, i am quite privileged to be able to experience them both

Atyllah said...

You know, Alison, sometimes coming to your blog is like taking a holiday - real armchair travel - wonderful, I loved it, thank you!

Caribbean Colors said...

Lovely photos!

Lesley said...

Robert Louis Stevenson said that he was never happier than when he lived in Menton.