Penultimate working week. And Antibes!
After a spot of admin first thing Tuesday I set off on the Bacton circuit, bumping into P with A&O at KG. Humid but the rain held off. Picked some wild garlic at Bacton Stud. Everything is very green, wild flowers line the lanes.
Back home I “planted out” the oak sapling by the dead elm/ash and watered in the greenhouse – and found the first ripe strawberry of the year.
Heavy rain arrived at lunchtime swiftly followed by hail, thunder and lightning. Noisy in the conservatory.
Pink & Sparkles supper in Kerrys Gate in the evening. Lovely. Walked home under clear skies and starlight.
All a bit manic on Wednesday frantically trying to square things away at work – plus some “You’re Leaving” admin thrown in for good measure – and getting ready for the long weekend in Antibes (online checkin, printing boarding passes, tracking down my EHIC card, packing …).
Got everything done by 8.30pm and P and I settled down to broccoli & butterbean mash and Stewart Lee’s Tornado.
Thursday started bright and early with a 04.45 alarm to allow plenty of time for driving, parking and checking train tickets / permitted route – again – at Hereford station.
Before we left, we watched a hare that had come to a standstill at our gate, watching us in return.
05.50 au revoir Abbey Dore … 09.30 bonjour Paddington!
P headed off towards Liverpool Street and I followed to drop off work stuff once I’d rendezvoused with Steffi. We had time for a quick coffee then it was back west on the Elizabeth Line all the way to LHR T5 and our rendezvous with H.
Sped through checkin, DIY bag drop and security – with a good hour to spare until our gate would be revealed, we went to Giraffe for lunch including a Start The Holiday glass of wine / beer.
Good flight to Nice, a long wait to get through passport control, collected bags, caught the tram to T2 where the 82 Zou! service to Antibes was waiting, with a reassuring small queue.
Speedy coach journey to Pôle d’échanges d’Antibes and eventually onto the No 6 to Aloès once we’d located the bus stop (Picard not Pôle).
Baguettes from the wonderful JR Boulangerie Pâtisserie then up the hill and into Carrefour just before it closed to buy essential supplies – aka wine, cheese, butter, pâté, toms and salad. Settled in to the flat and feasted in the lounge.
Friday was a cloudy day and a weird mix of humid and cold once the wind got up.
We walked into Antibes centre ville and explored the old town, picking up some tasty treats at the Marché Provençal and lucking out at La Gravette down near the port where we had a great lunch.
In the afternoon we pottered up the promenade past the Musée Picasso and towards the huge black clouds that hung over the Cap d’Antibes. As we neared the Archaeological Museum the rain drops began to fall….
So it was back to base via the Casino supermarket (disappointing), the JR Boulangerie (two types of baguette!) and the (better than Casino) Carrefour. Time for a pot of tea and a nap.
Dinner featured some of the day’s purchases: bread, cheese, salad and celeri remoulade, with an aperitif of wine accompanied by crisps and tasty mixed chilli olives.
Lots of weird dreams. Big thunderstorm overnight.
Saturday = more walking: Antibes Fort and Port (9 miles, 336 ft elevation gain) in the morning and early afternoon and back into town for cocktails and Thai in the evening.
A sunny day, but we’d been caught out yesterday so we set out with long trousers and warm tops in our bags, and so naturally it was a sweltering hot day. This is more like it!
Breakfast at JR then down into town turning east to Port Vauban and on to the Fort Carré, glad of the breeze coming across the bay from Nice. Lots of flowers. And runners.
We retraced our steps to the port and oggled the yachts in the harbour ….
…. and the superyachts anchored out in the bay.
After a coffee from the Nomad cafe kiosk we continued on to the far end of the quai to pressed our noses between the railings sealing off Quais des Milliardaires – aka Billionaires Quay.
Another successful lunch stop, this time at Falafel sitting outside under a parasol. Refreshed, we continued on along the prom back towards the Archaeological Museum – lots of gorgeous cactus and other flowers in the newly planted desert gardens en route – and beyond to the next bay and a pair of plages, Plage du Ponteil and Plage de la Salis.
More people out and about today; a mix of locals and visitors. Sat on a bench looking out at the super yachts too big to anchor in harbour, we decided we would walk back for tea and cakes from JR…. and the pâtisserie did not disappoint.
Sat out on the terrace, the day was still still scorching hot. Early evening we wandered down into the old town for mojitos in the Place des Martyrs de la Résistance ….
….followed by excellent Thai at Ban Kai Jaa
We went into town again on Sunday morning for more shopping and eating: cheese from the Fromagerie, Socca and saucisson from the Marche Provençal, local beers at BeerShop06, a mezze lunch feast from Falafel.
Back to the flat for tea, then a bit of a snooze. Only 4 ½ miles walking today.
Started to feel a bit overwhelmed with all the meals and drinks. Still, managed glass of wine and some crisps as an aperitif before a dinner of – you guessed it – baguette, cheese, salad and olives.
Not so sunny today which was probably a good thing – I had rosy arms and a rosy face after Saturday’s sun.
Monday was our last full day. Breakfast on the terrasse, then boots on to walk to and around the Cap d’Antibes and back – all in glorious sunshine with a welcome occasional breeze. Almost 13 miles.
Lots of lovely flowers.
Tea on the terrasse, checked in for the flight back and worked out IOUs.
S’s friend C came for the evening. We dined on “bits” in theory to tidy up the leftovers but instead generating some more. Not a problem….
Photos are in my Antibes, May 2023 Flickr album.
Retirement Days Tracker: 2 ½ working days to go. Yes, this (coming) week is my last week.
TV: Barry (season 4), Stewart Lee: Tornado.
Podcasts: History Extra, The Forum.
Photos: Herefordshire week 176 on Flickr.
Phil: w/e 2023-05-14.