A Travellerspoint blog

June 2018

Eze - literally the pinnacle of the French Riviera

The village of Eze (rhymes with Fez or Pez) sits on a high cliff 1400 ft above the sea; it's one of the most gorgeous places I've ever visited

The village of Eze (rhymes with Fez or Pez) sits on a high cliff 1400 ft above the sea; it's one of the most gorgeous places I've ever visited

Our Lady of the Assumption Church; you could catch the bus in Nice for 1.50 euro and enjoy a scenic ride to Eze village

Our Lady of the Assumption Church; you could catch the bus in Nice for 1.50 euro and enjoy a scenic ride to Eze village

The only way to see the medieval village of Eze is on foot; the narrow alleys have seen lots of foot traffic over the years and can be quite slick

The only way to see the medieval village of Eze is on foot; the narrow alleys have seen lots of foot traffic over the years and can be quite slick

There seemed to be endless photo ops in Eze; the town reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk with the town at the top of the ever-spiraling beanstalk

There seemed to be endless photo ops in Eze; the town reminds me of Jack and the Beanstalk with the town at the top of the ever-spiraling beanstalk

Statue is Chloe who is known for saying I know not where I was born, but here is where I live now

Statue is Chloe who is known for saying I know not where I was born, but here is where I live now

How could you not love a place that has such awesome municipal trash receptacles?

How could you not love a place that has such awesome municipal trash receptacles?

The Chapel of Saint Croix, built in 1306, is the oldest building in town; it was built to provide assistance to plague victims

The Chapel of Saint Croix, built in 1306, is the oldest building in town; it was built to provide assistance to plague victims

The town of Eze sur Mer lies at sea level and is connected by train to Nice and Monaco; Cap Ferret is the peninsula in the distance

The town of Eze sur Mer lies at sea level and is connected by train to Nice and Monaco; Cap Ferret is the peninsula in the distance

On the right side you can see the Moyenne Corniche which is the road my bus took; there is also a road at the top of the mountains as well as a seaside route

On the right side you can see the Moyenne Corniche which is the road my bus took; there is also a road at the top of the mountains as well as a seaside route

The Exotic Garden sits at the very top of the town offering incredible 360 degree views of the Riviera

The Exotic Garden sits at the very top of the town offering incredible 360 degree views of the Riviera

I've always loved ceiling frescoes like these at Our Lady of the Assumption Church; Charlie Chaplin and Bono are among many celebrity visitors

I've always loved ceiling frescoes like these at Our Lady of the Assumption Church; Charlie Chaplin and Bono are among many celebrity visitors

When Friedrich Nietzsche lived here in the 1880s he would travel this path every day from the village to the sea and back;

When Friedrich Nietzsche lived here in the 1880s he would travel this path every day from the village to the sea and back;

Hiking down Nietzchke path to Eze sur Mer took about an hour but it was a perfect day and the views were stupendous

Hiking down Nietzchke path to Eze sur Mer took about an hour but it was a perfect day and the views were stupendous

I like the European tradition of putting photos on tombstones; the women sure lived a long time!

I like the European tradition of putting photos on tombstones; the women sure lived a long time!

The perched village of Eze is known for its peace and quiet; there are just a few places to stay and they are very expensive and exclusive

The perched village of Eze is known for its peace and quiet; there are just a few places to stay and they are very expensive and exclusive

Trains travel along the coast but much of the journey east of Nice is within tunnels; the bus takes longer but is much more scenic

Trains travel along the coast but much of the journey east of Nice is within tunnels; the bus takes longer but is much more scenic

I'd love to have a place on that small island!; the water felt terrific after hiking down from Eze village

I'd love to have a place on that small island!; the water felt terrific after hiking down from Eze village

I finished this book on the beach as I recovered from several days of serious walking; no wonder locals are in such great shape

I finished this book on the beach as I recovered from several days of serious walking; no wonder locals are in such great shape

The old buildings all seemed occupied with tasteful shops or residences; in Greece and Italy too often the old villages would be deteriorating but that wasn't the case in Eze

The old buildings all seemed occupied with tasteful shops or residences; in Greece and Italy too often the old villages would be deteriorating but that wasn't the case in Eze

The village of Eze doesn't have train service (it's at sea level) but the bus from Nice is one of the most scenic rides imaginable

The village of Eze doesn't have train service (it's at sea level) but the bus from Nice is one of the most scenic rides imaginable

The rocky beach was a challenge to navigate; I snorkeled but saw very few generic-looking fish; the visibility was pretty good though

The rocky beach was a challenge to navigate; I snorkeled but saw very few generic-looking fish; the visibility was pretty good though

French writer George Sand -The ruins of Eze, planted on a cone-shaped rock, with a picturesque village perched on a sugar loaf, stop the glance inevitably. This is the most beautiful point of view of the road, the most complete, the best composed.

French writer George Sand -The ruins of Eze, planted on a cone-shaped rock, with a picturesque village perched on a sugar loaf, stop the glance inevitably. This is the most beautiful point of view of the road, the most complete, the best composed.

The village is quite small but it still seemed easy to get lost as the lanes go higgledy-piggledy and then dead end or lead to a business; busloads of tourists crammed many of the passageways

The village is quite small but it still seemed easy to get lost as the lanes go higgledy-piggledy and then dead end or lead to a business; busloads of tourists crammed many of the passageways

Walt Disney spent a significant amount of time in Eze; I was thinking the town was a little Disneyfied but maybe it's the other way around

Walt Disney spent a significant amount of time in Eze; I was thinking the town was a little Disneyfied but maybe it's the other way around

The narrow pebble beach was adequate since I wanted to test the waters; upon first getting in the water was a little bracing but then I quickly acclimated

The narrow pebble beach was adequate since I wanted to test the waters; upon first getting in the water was a little bracing but then I quickly acclimated

Posted by RNRiggins 03:56 Comments (0)

Colorful Bastia is charming Corsican port

Charming Bastia welcomed me with perfect weather; the citadel offers the best panoramic views of the old port

Charming Bastia welcomed me with perfect weather; the citadel offers the best panoramic views of the old port

Place Saint Nicholas is a magnificent public space and measures 280 meters by 80 meters

Place Saint Nicholas is a magnificent public space and measures 280 meters by 80 meters

Bastia is the second most populous city on the island of Corsica but has only 43,000 people

Bastia is the second most populous city on the island of Corsica but has only 43,000 people

Ideal weather made for a pleasant ferry ride from Nice to Bastia; the pedestrian price was only around $50

Ideal weather made for a pleasant ferry ride from Nice to Bastia; the pedestrian price was only around $50

I enjoyed this book on the ferry from Nice to Bastia; there wasn't much else to do on the ferry

I enjoyed this book on the ferry from Nice to Bastia; there wasn't much else to do on the ferry

Bastia is the principal port of the island; it is located on the northeast corner of the island

Bastia is the principal port of the island; it is located on the northeast corner of the island

Oratory of the Confraternity of Saint Roch; built in 1604, this church was reserved for the adolescents of the lower town

Oratory of the Confraternity of Saint Roch; built in 1604, this church was reserved for the adolescents of the lower town

For centuries Bastia was just a tiny port; wine was loaded onto ships here in the Middle Ages and taken to Pisa

For centuries Bastia was just a tiny port; wine was loaded onto ships here in the Middle Ages and taken to Pisa

Monument to Napoleon I; made of Carrara marble, Napoleon is represented here by Jupiter

Monument to Napoleon I; made of Carrara marble, Napoleon is represented here by Jupiter

The Bastia airport is an hour south of the town but a convenient bus goes directly there for 9 euros

The Bastia airport is an hour south of the town but a convenient bus goes directly there for 9 euros

The Church of Saint John, built in the mid 1600s, is the largest church on Corsica; it seems odd that buildings were allowed just across a narrow road from the front of the church

The Church of Saint John, built in the mid 1600s, is the largest church on Corsica; it seems odd that buildings were allowed just across a narrow road from the front of the church

Governor's Palace; from the 15th to the 18th centuries, this palace was home to the Genoese governors

Governor's Palace; from the 15th to the 18th centuries, this palace was home to the Genoese governors

Gorgeous ceiling fresco at Church of Saint John the Baptist; Bastia was named after the Italian word for port, bastiglia

Gorgeous ceiling fresco at Church of Saint John the Baptist; Bastia was named after the Italian word for port, bastiglia

It's easy to see Bastia in an hour; the town is photogenic but there aren't any sights that require a lengthy visit

It's easy to see Bastia in an hour; the town is photogenic but there aren't any sights that require a lengthy visit

The Oratory of the Holy Cross; founded in 1542, this church boasts Christ of Miracles which is the protector of fishermen

The Oratory of the Holy Cross; founded in 1542, this church boasts Christ of Miracles which is the protector of fishermen

The Church of Saint Mary is a former cathedral built in 1495 but heavily remodeled in the 17th century

The Church of Saint Mary is a former cathedral built in 1495 but heavily remodeled in the 17th century

The Church of Saint Mary; the Bastia churches were all built around the same time giving them the same look and feel

The Church of Saint Mary; the Bastia churches were all built around the same time giving them the same look and feel

Bastia is wedged on a strip of land about a mile wide between the sea on the east and some very steep mountains to the west

Bastia is wedged on a strip of land about a mile wide between the sea on the east and some very steep mountains to the west

The Oratory of Holy Cross; each church has a religious brotherhood that is active in charitable giving and organizing religious celebrations

The Oratory of Holy Cross; each church has a religious brotherhood that is active in charitable giving and organizing religious celebrations

In recent years, Bastia has experienced urban sprawl as the city extends to the south; to get a rental car with automatic transmission I had to rent from Hertz at the airport

In recent years, Bastia has experienced urban sprawl as the city extends to the south; to get a rental car with automatic transmission I had to rent from Hertz at the airport

The citadel is the number one attraction in town according to TripAdvisor; it was built by the Genoese in the 15th and 16th centuries

The citadel is the number one attraction in town according to TripAdvisor; it was built by the Genoese in the 15th and 16th centuries

The Louis XVI Gate, built in the late 18th century, was the only entrance to the walled city until 1936

The Louis XVI Gate, built in the late 18th century, was the only entrance to the walled city until 1936

Bastia could be on the Italian Riviera except it has no decent beach; the beaches are all well away from the town center

Bastia could be on the Italian Riviera except it has no decent beach; the beaches are all well away from the town center

Why can't marketers leave well enough alone?; I don't think I'll try this new line extension

Why can't marketers leave well enough alone?; I don't think I'll try this new line extension

More than 11000 Corsicans were killed in World War I; the island is 31 miles west of the Italian island of Elba

More than 11000 Corsicans were killed in World War I; the island is 31 miles west of the Italian island of Elba

I saw many HUGE jellyfish in the water as the ferry docked in Bastia; not a good sign

I saw many HUGE jellyfish in the water as the ferry docked in Bastia; not a good sign

Place du Marche; this square is the heart of the ancient port area (Bastia now has three different ports)

Place du Marche; this square is the heart of the ancient port area (Bastia now has three different ports)

Oratory of the Immaculate Conception; conforming to Genoese tradition, the walls are hung with silk damask and the pillasters are covered with Genoese velvet

Oratory of the Immaculate Conception; conforming to Genoese tradition, the walls are hung with silk damask and the pillasters are covered with Genoese velvet

Bastia is a very clean city with lots of Italian spoken; most locals speak both French and Italian

Bastia is a very clean city with lots of Italian spoken; most locals speak both French and Italian

Lunch is often the main meal; many businesses are closed from noon to 3pm to allow for a proper meal

Lunch is often the main meal; many businesses are closed from noon to 3pm to allow for a proper meal

The Genoese created a major stronghold with the citadel; after decades of neglect, a major restoration project started in the 1980s

The Genoese created a major stronghold with the citadel; after decades of neglect, a major restoration project started in the 1980s

Bastia is the busiest French port on the Mediterranean; at one point I saw 5 huge ferries docked here at the same time

Bastia is the busiest French port on the Mediterranean; at one point I saw 5 huge ferries docked here at the same time

Posted by RNRiggins 10:53 Comments (0)

Menton - undiscovered beauty on the French Riviera

Menton is the last town on the French border before Italy; it is nicknamed the Pearl of France

Menton is the last town on the French border before Italy; it is nicknamed the Pearl of France

Unlike many towns, Menton seems to be thriving with young people and fewer homes and businesses for rent

Unlike many towns, Menton seems to be thriving with young people and fewer homes and businesses for rent

Saint Michel Basilica; the city has been ruled by France, Monaco and Italy and combines the best of each

Saint Michel Basilica; the city has been ruled by France, Monaco and Italy and combines the best of each

The most famous sight in Menton is the Jean Cocteau Museum dedicated to the famous French writer and artist

The most famous sight in Menton is the Jean Cocteau Museum dedicated to the famous French writer and artist

Menton was acquired in 1346 by Charles Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, and ruled by the Princes of Monaco until the French Revolution

Menton was acquired in 1346 by Charles Grimaldi, Lord of Monaco, and ruled by the Princes of Monaco until the French Revolution

Grimaldi Man was found in Menton in 1901; they were two skeletons of the Upper Paleolithic period and were dated to 26,000 to 22,000 years ago

Grimaldi Man was found in Menton in 1901; they were two skeletons of the Upper Paleolithic period and were dated to 26,000 to 22,000 years ago

I was surprised to see a statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in this small French town

I was surprised to see a statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in this small French town

Saint Michel Basilica, 1659, sits at the top of a set of massive stairs providing tremendous views from the plaza in front of the church

Saint Michel Basilica, 1659, sits at the top of a set of massive stairs providing tremendous views from the plaza in front of the church

Menton is often 10 degrees warmer than neighboring parts of France and is said to have 316 days of sunshine per year

Menton is often 10 degrees warmer than neighboring parts of France and is said to have 316 days of sunshine per year

What perfect bougainvillea!; the microclimate here allows citrus production, with the city noted for its Lemon Festival in February

What perfect bougainvillea!; the microclimate here allows citrus production, with the city noted for its Lemon Festival in February

A huge development project is underway to create a sandy beach and promenade to further beautify Menton

A huge development project is underway to create a sandy beach and promenade to further beautify Menton

There were so many colorful squares in Menton; the town is only 30 minutes by train from Nice

There were so many colorful squares in Menton; the town is only 30 minutes by train from Nice

Menton has become a foodie destination thanks to several Michelin starred restaurants

Menton has become a foodie destination thanks to several Michelin starred restaurants

The Chapel of Saint Jacques of Menton was built in 1688; the fishing industry was devastated in the 1980s and 1990s by overfishing and hypoxia in the bay

The Chapel of Saint Jacques of Menton was built in 1688; the fishing industry was devastated in the 1980s and 1990s by overfishing and hypoxia in the bay

The terrain increases the number of properties with magnificent views; Menton has two train stations on either end of town

The terrain increases the number of properties with magnificent views; Menton has two train stations on either end of town

I discovered a huge grove of olive trees and a skittish flock of sheep; Menton was the only sizable settlement captured by Italy during its invasion of France in June 1940

I discovered a huge grove of olive trees and a skittish flock of sheep; Menton was the only sizable settlement captured by Italy during its invasion of France in June 1940

An English doctor published a book in 1861 touting the great climate of Menton which made the town a popular destination for people suffering from tuberculosis

An English doctor published a book in 1861 touting the great climate of Menton which made the town a popular destination for people suffering from tuberculosis

When the railroad reached Menton in 1869, tourists could reach the town from Paris in only 24 hours

When the railroad reached Menton in 1869, tourists could reach the town from Paris in only 24 hours

Every time I turned a corner I found another photogenic scene; the pastel colors and flowers just made the town so inviting

Every time I turned a corner I found another photogenic scene; the pastel colors and flowers just made the town so inviting

Saint Michel Basilica sanctuary; the organ and pulpit both date from 1652

Saint Michel Basilica sanctuary; the organ and pulpit both date from 1652

The Chapel of the White Penitents was built in 1687 and lies on the same plaza with the basilica

The Chapel of the White Penitents was built in 1687 and lies on the same plaza with the basilica

It was great to discover such a beautiful town that hasn't become a popular tourist destination yet and remains unspoiled

It was great to discover such a beautiful town that hasn't become a popular tourist destination yet and remains unspoiled

One of the most famous sights in Menton is a 19th century botanical garden but it was closed on the day I visited

One of the most famous sights in Menton is a 19th century botanical garden but it was closed on the day I visited

The local market was housed in this gorgeous building; William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet, died in Menton

The local market was housed in this gorgeous building; William Butler Yeats, the Irish poet, died in Menton

Orient Palace; Menton sister cities include Montreux, Switzerland and Laguna Beach

Orient Palace; Menton sister cities include Montreux, Switzerland and Laguna Beach

Dogs are everywhere in France and are quite pampered; I saw clothing stores for dogs and, of course, they were in grocery stores and restaurants too

Dogs are everywhere in France and are quite pampered; I saw clothing stores for dogs and, of course, they were in grocery stores and restaurants too

Like most of the French Riviera, the beach in Menton has no sand, but rather pebbles; a small sacrifice for the incredible views

Like most of the French Riviera, the beach in Menton has no sand, but rather pebbles; a small sacrifice for the incredible views

In 1848, Menton seceded from Monaco due at least in part to a tax imposed on lemon exports

In 1848, Menton seceded from Monaco due at least in part to a tax imposed on lemon exports

The frescoes on the ceiling of Saint Michel's Basilica were stunning; every surface of the church was painted

The frescoes on the ceiling of Saint Michel's Basilica were stunning; every surface of the church was painted

The Church of the Black Penitents; I struggled sightseeing here since I didn't have a guide book

The Church of the Black Penitents; I struggled sightseeing here since I didn't have a guide book

Unfortunately the sun was in the wrong place to show how perfectly sited Saint Michel's Basilica is

Unfortunately the sun was in the wrong place to show how perfectly sited Saint Michel's Basilica is

A view from Menton looking east towards Italy; many Italians cross the border every day to work in France

A view from Menton looking east towards Italy; many Italians cross the border every day to work in France

Menton combines the best of Italy and France in this town often called the prettiest in France

Menton combines the best of Italy and France in this town often called the prettiest in France

On a future visit, I'd love to take a boat along the coast here to get a different perspective; so many areas are tough to reach by bus or train

On a future visit, I'd love to take a boat along the coast here to get a different perspective; so many areas are tough to reach by bus or train

Posted by RNRiggins 12:14 Comments (0)

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