A Southern (France) BirthdayJuly 14, 2010
Côte d'Azur, France
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At long last there's time to continue our saga of weeks in the south of France.
July 14, France's national holiday as well as Kirk's birthday, is sparkling in the sun as we wake up in Cap d'Antibes. Where shall we go on this lovely day? We're in a part of the south where we've never spent time before...and Biot is our first choice for a day of discovery.
What a charmer! Set high on a hill with views all the way to the coast, Biot is renowned for its glass production.
Shops filled with beautiful objects, the glass infused with tiny bubbles, line the main street, arrowing downhill beside a pretty square.
Residents show off the artisan glass too, using intriguingly shaped globes for their frontdoor lights or hanging colorful shapes in their windows.
Pigeons guard the cobbled lane beside a rainbow row of homes as we continue exploring the village, walking through an arcaded square as we make our way to the church.
Down a crooked alley, through a tiny square, and there it is....with an unusual feature, stairs leading DOWN, rather than up, at the entry.
Although we had planned to continue on to another village for lunch, that arcaded square we passed, with a restaurant under the arches, is so delightful that we consider eating right in Biot. We peruse the menu, and then the "14" over the door decides it for Kirk - this is the place for today.
We choose a table under the palms, and Restaurant des Arcades provides a worthy birthday lunch: Kirk's favorite, magret de canard, and rabbit with olives and mushrooms in a white wine sauce for Anne. Yes, we're definitely in France!
We're invited inside to view the art - the hotel/ restaurant is also a gallery.
Even the bathroom walls and ceiling boast artsy scribbles.
Haut-de-Cagnes, a former artist's enclave, is next on the discovery agenda. We went to the races in Cagnes - sur-Mer, the new part of town, earlier this year while at Rendezvous France.
The charming older sister sits high on a hill (haut= upper or high), topped with an impressive fortress.
An ancient church anchors one corner of the hilltop, a pretty old school brightens up a lane
and copies of canvases now in museums are placed throughout the town so we can compare today's views
with those of generations ago.
Enough exploring for the day, it's time to relax by the pool
before dinner and celebratory fireworks.
Tonight we've got the best seat in the house, as we lounge on a beachside pier
watching bursts of color over the water.