Monday, April 05, 2010

Worst sense of direction ever

Photos to follow, but must be quick cos starting tomorrow I'm teaching an 'intensive' English holiday course for the next four days, and I'm kiiiiinda not prepared. I mean, I'm planning just to pretty much rehash 'getting to know you' type activities from my first days teaching, but I have three hours to fill and that's kinda daunting, so should really have some back-up stuff.

Anyway, having, as you know, made it to Italy, it's time to go the other way. Last week I did walk all the way along the Prom to the airport and back, but that was insufficiently exciting for a blog post so yeah. Today I took the train to Juan-les-Pins, which sounds like a really fun name to say ('pins' in French sounding kinda like 'pan' in a nasally French accent) until you realise that they don't actually pronounce 'Juan' like in Spanish, it sounds more like Jean, so less fun.

As it happens, that was merely the first disappointment of the day. The aim was to walk around the Cap d'Antibes from Juan-les-Pins to Antibes. Interesting things the interwebs had told me I could see on the way: Roman Abramovitch's villa, a lighthouse, a church (whether it was an especially exciting church, I know not), a 'stations of the cross' pilgrims' walk. Number of these things I saw (or at least not consciously, in the case of Abramovitch): none.

And this despite the fact that I liked the walk *so* much, I did half of it twice. Which is to say that I somehow got confused and, after walking for 1 3/4 hours, ended up back in Juan-les-Pins. D'oh! Now, this does sound incredibly thick, so I will explain that I was walking up the centre of the peninsula, as advised by the internet, and came to an unmarked intersection, so decided to follow the way that the bus went to Antibes (sensible, no?). Then when I came to the next intersection, it had a sign saying 'Antibes par le bord de mer' e.g. Antibes by the sea-side route. So I thought, oh cool, so far there really has not been much to look at up the centre of the peninsula, and no views to speak of, so I'll follow this down to the sea and continue on. To the best of my recollection, the sign didn't also say 'Juan-les-Pins this way' but you never know. Anyway, in pretty short order, I did indeed end up in Juan-les-Pins...

I made the best of it by getting a gelato, going to a horrible public toilet awash in a sea of urine (sorry, but it was gross) (PS thankfully, it was in that order as well), and sitting on the beach at Juan-les-Pins for a bit. Then I decided to do the walk again. This time I discarded the advice of the stupid interwebs and took the coastal path - really pretty!

The best part was getting to Antibes, which has a real live sandy beach that I sat on for a bit, and a gorgeous view of snow-capped mountains. Beach, palm trees, snowy peaks - what a combination! Absolutely magnificent. After a bit, I walked into town, missed the first bus back to Nice because I needed change for the bus (the first cash machine I tried would only give money in multiples of 50 euro - that's when you fricking know people in these parts are too bloody rich).

Route map: The bit I did twice (start/re-start of the walk) is in purple, phase two is in red and phase three is in blue. Around 3 hours altogether.

Might go back to Antibes before I leave these parts, have been wanting to go to the Picasso museum there, and the (still not too crowded) beach is a real treat compared with the rocky/gritty ones around here.

Okay, must stop procrastinating! Ciao!


  1. Moi, Je [porte euros in 500 notes as you know. I don't trifle with mere 50's.

  2. By the way do we presume that you left the toilet even more awash that previously?


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