November 16th, 2007 – by: sissanoel
Menton from the town centre back towards the hills.
On our last day of sightseeing the drivers were still on strike so we got the one and only train as far as Menton, near the Italian border. The little train station is surrounded by mandarin trees, all in full fruit and glorious in their colour against the nearby hills. Today we just wandered around the town, down one street and up another alley, stopping for a coffee and pastry when the urge caught us. We walked as high up as the cathedral and as far down as the Cocteau Museum (open, but not during the time we were nearby - it shuts for a looong lunch). We had our own long lunch at a little restaurant in one of the town squares - the fish soup was delicious.
We had a look at the little antique market in a car park near the beach before hopping back on a bus to go to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to visit the Villa & Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild. This marvellous villa and its surrounding extensive gardens were created by Beatrice de Rothschild and incorporated elements of her travels all over the world. When the Baroness died in 1934 she left the whole property and 5000 works of art to the Academie des Beaux-Arts to be turned into a museum - many of the rooms are just as she left them. You follow a guided map around the bottom floor of the villa and then through the garden - the top floor can only be accessed on special tours, but they only run on weekends. The garden is also splendid and the views over harbours on two sides are absolutely stunning. We were there just as evening was coming in and the sunset was incredible.
Cathedral Square, Menton.
It was quite dark by the time we got home, and unfortunately had a terrible night's sleep due to the incredibly excessive noise coming from the backpacker dorm across the hall from us. Asking them to tone it down didn't help, nor did yelling at them at 2am - they simply had no concept that they were not the only people in the hotel and yelled and screamed the whole night (think it stopped at about 5am). As we got up at about 7am the next morning to head back to the airport, we did not make any effort to keep our noise levels low, and banged our door as we left (Melissa's mum always says you shouldn't lower yourself to the standards of others, but sometimes you just can't resist!). Mind you, the little shits are probably heavy sleepers so it wouldn't have bothered them anyway!!
The old Via Romana, Menton. This used to be the main road to Nice!
On our last day, we left Nice in glorious sunshine and cloudless skies and then hit the English Channel where conditions deteriorated markedly - we landed in drizzle, no sign of blue sky visible and very cold! Oh well, back to Old Blighty!