* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Monday, April 25, 2016

A beach picnic

Beach picnic 01Yesterday we had a church function held down on the beach, which was followed by a picnic.  It was a really pretty day, so I thought I'd share a little Mediterranean beauty for those who can't just pop by whenever you feel like it.

The weather was actually threatening to storm, so there was a bit of wind and periodic overcast.  I'm assuming these helped to contribute to the wave activity and the super pretty color of the water.

Apparently, all beaches are not created equal.  The beach I grew up with doesn't have very much in common with the beach my kids grew up on, although they both have a sand base.  Some beaches in the Caribbean have what is called black sand, which is actually volcanic ash based.  The area of the Med where I currently live has a pebble base.  Horrible on the feet, especially with the pull of the tides.

So here's a general idea of what the local beach looks like, in both directions.  Normally there isn't this much wave activity, but certain storms have been violent enough to cause amazing damage. 

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Towards the east, facing Monaco and Italy
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Towards the west, facing Cannes and St. Tropez

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The real French Riviera, or officially La Côte d'Azur

I'm not sure what they are there for, but there are a number of huge piles of boulders. 

Perhaps they are for erosion control, but they also contribute to the human playground experience. 

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The pebble beach, supposedly formed of clay and sand

I particularly liked this reddish one in the foreground, while the azure blue water totally complements the natural beauty. 

You can see why this has been called the azure coast since the late 1800's.

The light-colored boulders provide a nice contrast to the much smaller and darker pebbles.

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Arriving by both sea and air

If you ever arrive on the Côte d'Azur (the term French Riviera is a total Anglicism), this area is next to your entry point. 

So these beautiful big metal birds are a constant part of the scenery as they come and go, as well as the ferry boat coming from Corsica. 

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Preparing for landing

One can only imagine the excitement of those coming in and the disappointment of those going out.  It's hard to believe that anybody could ever have the reverse philosophy.  After all, this area is one of the playgrounds of the Rich & Famous, and they certainly know where to play!

In our case, going out means seeking adventure, and coming in means coming home!  It used to be a common exercise for Doc Leo, in another life, and I've seen the coast from an incredible vantage point when I was seated on the correct side.

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A Mediterranean beachfront

While I was primarily occupied with enjoying the beauty of the water, I thought you might enjoy what the other side of the beach looks like. 

The main road runs along the top of the wall of rocks, with all the mostly apartment buildings on the other side of the road.  Thus, we always have an unobstructed view of the water when driving.

We weren't a very big group this time, but everybody still really enjoyed just being out and relaxing on the beach.  Although the adults found the water still a bit on the chilly side, most of the kids were much more eager to indulge in an ice bath than their parents anticipated.  They all mostly went home with a bunch of wet clothing!

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Such a shabby location . . .
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. . . for a group picnic!

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My world!

As we live up in the hills, we can't just walk out our front door and stroll along the beach like many others can.  So it's always a treat when we have an occasion to stop and enjoy what we otherwise take for granted. 

We really should make more of an effort to take personal advantage of our opportunities, as it's really not that difficult!  And we have this wonderful big boardwalk to walk along as a change of pace from our mountain trails. 

I will leave you with an image that totally represented our whole afternoon.


  1. Lovely. No we don't make the most of our opportunities, either. We have beautiful coast within a short distance (Northumberland coast on North Sea) and don't go often enough. You won't catch me paddling in it though - brrrr.

  2. Lovely. No we don't make the most of our opportunities, either. We have beautiful coast within a short distance (Northumberland coast on North Sea) and don't go often enough. You won't catch me paddling in it though - brrrr.

  3. Just beautiful. When we visited Languedoc, I was disappointed int the pebbly beaches. But they grew n me. The Med, like the Gulf of California is placid until there is a storm. We are always excited by the waves.
    I have been telling my DH that we need a Sunday morning at the beach before it gets too hot to enjoy it.
    Lovely photos.

  4. Beautiful! It reminds me of our visit with you, although we went to a different beach that day. We would love to have warm weather for more than 1 day at a time! Last Friday I took the 2 g-kids to a small beach so Isabella could pick up some beach stones for a pre-school project. Green Harbor is rocky like your beach.

  5. Lovely views, but that "beach" does look a bit ouchie to the feet! We have sand here in the Pacific NW, but of course it's chilly a lot of the year.

  6. What fabulous pictures, dear Alpine Queen. You are such an amazing photographer. We have been to fabulous beaches in Jamaica and all over the Caribbean and various Greek Islands but I think your pictures are always so good. Looks like a nice time!

  7. Gorgeous photos! I didn't want to take my nephews off my computer wallpaper, but I used one of these for my phone wallpaper. Now I can say, "Ah, pretty!" every time I turn my phone on. :)


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