The long way back from church

Having just visited the UK for six days to connect with family, it was all too apparent that there at least winter hadn’t packed its bags and gone home. (Actually, as we write this it hasn’t left here: flying in on Wednesday afternoon there was snow clearly down to about 1400 metres in hills above us.) On that basis we thought that some of you might like some more sunny pictures.

When we leave church on Sunday lunchtime we have a choice. We can drive along the coast for a while, head inland, and get back home to Taradeau on the autoroute in about 40 minutes. However, if we want to do something slightly different we can take the scenic way back. It takes about twice as long but it’s worth it.

esterel

Cannes is on the extreme east and Taradeau on the extreme west of the map

The wind and weather haven't been kind to this plaque erected by the Touring club of France

The wind and weather haven’t been kind to this plaque erected by the Touring club of France

The long way back goes around the coast and around the extraordinary jagged massif of the Esterel as far as Frejus, from where we head back to the autoroute and to Taradeau. Just as there are Plus Beaux Villages de France this must  qualify as one of the Routes les plus spectaculaires de France, although we don’t think it needs publicity (that it was being promoted in the 1930s is attested by various stone plaques). It is certainly demanding for drivers. On almost all its length it is framed on the one side by a precipice of volcanic rocks the colour of Donald Trump’s complexion which plunge into the bluest of seas, and on the other by sheer and crumbling cliffs that rise up into mountains that seem to defy the laws of gravity.

DSCN0472

Not only is it a winding and narrow road but in summer it’s appallingly busy. One Sunday last year leaving church rather late we drove the whole length without finding any possible space to park a car. It also appears to be one of those places that motorcyclists go to prove something and it’s quite ordinary to meet a line of ten Harley-Davidson’s weaving their way around traffic at 60 miles an hour. All one can say is that if you are in need of some replacement internal organ, hanging around Frejus General Hospital on a Sunday afternoon is probably one of the best places around to pick up a freshly donated body part.

The winding road with in the centre, the railway line going under the road

The winding road with, in the centre, the railway line going under the road

Anyway these are some photos taken the other week. If you don’t fancy the drive, the railway line from Marseille to Nice follows the coast road and if you can get a window seat on the top level of one of the lovely twin-deck TGV trains on a summer’s day, it will be a rail journey to remember.

And finally, how many houses can you squeeze onto a cliff edge?

And finally, how many houses can you squeeze onto a cliff edge?

 

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