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Preview: Around Valbonne Daily Photo

Around Valbonne Daily Photo

A daily glimpse of life in and around the village of Valbonne in the South of France.

Updated: 2018-03-06T06:31:11.829+01:00


Could This Be Spring?


(image) Winter has seemed endless this year and I know it's still two weeks till Spring becomes official but the sight of flowers in the garden and the sun on my back did raise my spirits.

Upon Reflection..Let's Have Lunch


A sunny day, and those are rarer than hen's teeth round here, and the beginning of lunch time; the tables are laid and the staff are eating their lunch under the arcades.
This bar/restaurant is immensely popular because of its situation but when we first moved here it consisted of two or three tables under the terrace during the summer and a smoky, dingy room inside through the Winter. I reckon that the present arrangement is a change for the better.

Valbonne Cats


If I water her will she grow?
Mopsa, supervising spring planting..



Looking up towards the roofs of the buildings on the main street. Most of the lower floors are given over to businesses or restaurants and the upper floors have been converted into apartments.

Theme Day: Glass


This is a photo I took a while ago when I first started Nice Daily Photo. It's the Salon Royal of the Hotel Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais being prepared for the new year's celebrations. The hotel was built during the Belle Epoque which you can see evidence of in the beautiful glass ceiling while the chandelier was made by Baccarat and is composed of more than 16, 000 crystals. ..It's huge but is dwarfed by the size of the room..

These are other theme day participants:
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

2 CV


I took a mountain of photos of this 2CV get together though not many came out well partly because the cars were seriously on the move, their drivers focused on getting out of the car park and partly because I didn't want to be run over; a definite possibility, believe me.
The theme was Woodstock: 40 years on and many of the drivers were in hippy gear and the cars gussied up accordingly. The atmosphere was great, everyone laughing and happy.

2 CV


A Deux Chevaux traffic jam! This was the sight that met my eyes when I emerged from the underground parking in Grasse this morning. It wasn't a complete surprise as I knew that this was the weekend of the 12th annual 2 CV international get together but I was disappointed to realise I'd arrived too late to walk round the cars before they took off on a tour round the area. This is the possibly one hundred cars trying to leave the car park at the same time..
More about the car and the event tomorrow

A Quiet Moment: The Yucca


A potted Yucca plant basking in the winter sun...

Big Ears


Am I mistaken or is that Mickey Mouse hanging from the roof? Definitely mistaken, it is, of course, the shadow of two satellite dishes which are becoming more and more common as Valbonne embraces modern technology. And not before time. My daughter lives in one of these picturesque apartments and I can only get her on the phone when she's standing in her kitchen...



Strawberries from Spain in all their juicy red perfection...could Spring be on its way?

Fete de St Blaise: The Flowers


The parade does two turns round the village and on the second one the participants get really serious about throwing the flowers into the crowd and there's a kind of an ungainly scramble for blooms. Some people even bring baskets to collect as much as possible and the pavements and roads are covered with mimosa blossom and confetti. It's really very pretty.

Whoops! I've just realised it's Valentine's Day...I should have found something red or heart shaped. It just shows how much romance there is in my soul..

Fete de St Blaise: The Flower Child


Out of all the photos I took at the parade this was my favourite...just something about the child's expression. She's, or maybe he's, definitely not sure if dressing up in hippy gear and throwing flowers at strangers is all it's cracked up to be.

Fete de St Blaise: The People.


By the time I'd got myself organised all the best places were taken and I found myself with the mid afternoon sun right in my eyes. It was impossible to catch a photo of the parade but this guy, a stranger, was standing up on the wall right next to me and he and his small companion were having such a great time throwing confetti, I caught them on camera instead.

Fete de St Blaise: The Floats


The carnival floats are a delight to see as they trundle up the road pulled along by tractors. Each is decorated with bundles of flowers mainly mimosa and carnations arranged according to some theme. I noticed a Moulin Rouge, an Eiffel Tour and a Lion King float. There were hippies and cheerleaders and marching bands.
The parade does two turns round the village while the occupants throw flowers at the crowd...

More tomorrow...

Fete de St Blaise


du raisin et des produits du terroir...which is a mouthful by any one's standards. Basically this is a local festival called after St Blaise, the saint after whom the church is named, and the idea is to celebrate local produce which included grapes, the variety the Servan.

This is the square all dressed up for the party with mimosa and carnations, which is where I started. It's also the place that is the most crowded when the carnival floats come through so I didn't linger long, just long enough to greet some friends and then I headed out to the main road to find a place to watch the parade..
Tomorrow we'll take a look at some of the floats..



(image) Two views of the same place taken from the same viewing place; this is Gourdon "the Saracen" the epitome of Provencal perched villages and classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. This is where we've just climbed up to and it was worth every step of that uphill walk so now we can stop and admire the panoramic view and browse in some of the shops.

While the present village has obviously been restored, its origins go way back. The rocky spur it perches on was ideal for attack and defence as was recognised by the Romans who built a military enclosure a step away from the village and the spot has been occupied since then.

As in so many of these old towns and villages the place has been taken over by the tourist industry and is full of tourist style boutiques and workshops. This doesn't diminish its charm, of course, and it's possible to visit the old castle, built by the Saracens in the 13 century, occupied by the Tuscans in the 14th and rebuilt in the 17th century if you want a taste of real history. Wandering through the narrow streets full of stone cottages glowing in the sun it's hard to get a sense of how hard life was here in times gone by. For many centuries the track we've just walked up was the only access to the village which gives that quick trip to the supermarket a whole different meaning..

And why the two photos? I took the one above a week ago but I didn't feel it conveyed accurately the height or situation so I popped in an old photo so you could better appreciate its situation.


Nearly There!


A few more metres and we'll be at the top. I've turned and very gingerly, because I really don't have much of a head for heights, have taken a photo of the path behind me and the drop, sorry the view, down into the valley. The path is actually that white stone there slightly to the left of centre. Because of its steepness the path zigzags its way up.
So now filled with a glowing sense of achievement we'll go and have a cup of hot chocolate in the village..

Stairway to Heaven 2


We're about 50 metres up the track here from the signpost and the path is rising gently in front of us...the weather is perfect for a walk; it's sunny but there's a cool breeze.
Tomorrow we'll have a look down from the top..

Stairway to Heaven


(image) If you like hiking and have a good head for heights then this is the trail for you. It's the start of the old mule track that goes from Pont du Loup deep in the valley of the River Loup up to Gourdon, the archetypal perched village 500 metres higher. I have no idea what the gradient is but believe me, it is steep so grab your walking boots, take a deep breath and up we go!

Tomorrow we'll have a look round the first bend..



The upper floor of a shop selling I guess statues of boys playing flutes, it's an original way of displaying the goods though it might give your neighbours a heart attack if you tried it at home.

Theme Day: Paths and Passageways


(image) Father and son were enjoying the waves lapping onto this causeway..

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Sky Watch: Garbejaire


This will be the last Sky Watch in January...unbelievable, isn't it? I'm sure someone must have spun the planet a little faster.
This is Garbejaire, the modern part of Valbonne where an attempt has been made to incorporate Provencal charm into the design of the buildings but it was only when I caught sight of the reflection of the building and that blue sky did I see the possibilities.

Check out the Sky Watch site to see the skies around the world..

La Processionaire du Pin


This is the nest of the chenille processionnaire, the caterpillar that emerges from its cotton wool nests in the pine trees and forms with its fellows a long procession of caterpillars which process nose to tail until they find a suitably sunny spot to transform into moths.
As you can see from the Wikipaedia article these little guys look comic as they inch their way across the ground. However, looks are deceptive as the tiny hairs on their bodies can prove lethal to other animals and I've been told could induce a heart attack in humans. At the least they can provoke an asthma attack or urticaria. Their other undesirable habits include stripping the pines of needles so this is one to leave alone...
We have a nest high up in one of our trees that I can't reach so once the weather warms up I shall be looking for them in our drive way as they come down. I can't risk either the dogs or the cat getting to them first.

It's not still Christmas, is it?


In Valbonne it is..The decorations stay up till the Fete du Raisin et du Terroir at the beginning of February. This is the central decoration hanging from the Place aux Arcades. Unlike most decorations it looks quite impressive by day glinting in the sunlight as well as by night.



It's Monday morning and it's raining and windy now with a severe weather warning in force for this afternoon. I thought I'd share a photo of my dog enjoying his daily walk yesterday. It made me smile...even though I'm the one who cleaned out the car afterwards.