L’île Saint Honorat

September 12, 2008

Fifteen hundred years ago a monastery was founded on St Honorat, the smaller of the two Lérin islands lying in the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast near Cannes. The island has had a very rich and varied history since then, but now it is a calm refuge for 24 Cistercian monks who earn some of the money the monastery needs through their agricultural products, mainly wine. When we bought some at the big wine fair in Cagnes-sur-Mer last November, we also joined Le club des amis du vignoble de St Honorat.  When we received a letter from the club inviting us to a members’ day on the island September 6, 2008, we thought it would be a good opportunity.
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Barcelonnette (Ubaye Valley)

September 15, 2007

Drive:  (approx. 6 hours driving round trip from Nice) ( Circuit #5 in the green Michelin Alpes du Sud)

(September 12, 13 2007)  We had heard about the town of Barcelonnette in the context of its history with Mexico.  At the beginning of the 19th century, two brothers left the family textile mill and headed to Louisiana and then to Mexico, where they opened a fabric store.

The emigres prospered and more French came from the Ubaye region until they had more than 100 fabric stores in Mexico.WWI saw many of the emigres return to fight for France, and most returned to their native soil by the 1950’s and built sumptuous villas in Barcelonnette and Jausiers. Read the rest of this entry »

On June 22, 2007, six of us left Beuil (1,442 m) in Bruno’s van and drove over the winding Col de la Couillole (1,678 m) to the tiny old perched village of Roubion. We went through its very narrow streets and through a hole in the rock behind it which led to a one lane unpaved hillside road through woods. Read the rest of this entry »

L’Escapade – Beuil

June 27, 2007

On June 21, 2007, Linda and I spent the night at L’Escapade, one of the two inns in Beuil, a very old perched village an hour drive north of Nice. Beuil, at 1,500 meters, now lives on skiing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer. Niçois have weekend houses in and around the town. Read the rest of this entry »

(February 2, 2007) Our ultimate destination was Cervo (see restaurant posting for Ristorante San Giorgio), but the journey was planned to be circuitous taking advantage of what we hoped would be fields of mimosa in bloom. Because it was a Friday, we chose to exit after Ventimiglia, at Bordighera, and then take the road to Seborga, that 10th century village in Italy that has both a mayor and a “prince.” Read the rest of this entry »

(September 27, 2006)   Lunch was our main reason for this outing, but we wanted to stop at Cactus Mania in Ventimiglia en route.  What an eye-opener.  Their supply of succulents and cacti is overwhelming.  One large greenhouse is full of nothing but little guys (1€60), many of which are very unusual. Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s only 25 kilometers from Nice but when you get to Coaraze, at an alitutde of 640 meters, you could be in another world. coarazeiorig.jpgSince getting there is half the fun for us, we took the scenic route, stopping in Falicon to walk around this charming old town, and then up the D19 through Teourrette-Levens. We then turned west on the D815 toward Contes, and this may have been the most beautiful leg of the journey.  Read the rest of this entry »