Antiibes

Antibes in Two Days: Moonlight and Absinthe

As long as I can remember I’ve dreamt about Antibes. When thoughts of the tiny dot-of-a-place on the French Rivera came to my mind, I’d imagine myself lounging on the deck of a massive yacht. Sipping champagne. Dining in the moonlight.

Sigh…

Little did I imagine that I’d live within a morning’s drive of Antibes. Yes. Dreams do come true…

Although no yacht was waiting for me (sigh…) the sights and sounds of Antibes were truly memorable. I don’t know when I’ve taken so many photos in such a short time — just two days. Everywhere I turned there was an amazing door or window to photograph. A partially hidden alley. A striking piece of artwork in a courtyard. It was truly a feast of colors, shapes, images and sounds.

Views of the coastline were breathtaking. 

Antibes

Antibes

 

Antibes

Portholes through stone walls had their own glimpse of the sea.

 

Yachts were everywhere

Yachts in Antibes

Yachts in Antibes

 

Sidewalk cafes were just inviting as I imagined they’d be. 

Cafe in Antibes

Cafe in Antibes

 

Cafe in Antibes

 

 

The marketplace and stores around town were filled with fresh products, souvenirs and tourists.

Walking around the Old Town of Antibes (Le Vieil Antibes) three of four times during the two days of my visit, I saw much that I’d imagined. What I wasn’t expecting was that every narrow street seemed to be more picturesque than the last.

 

Also, I never imagined such spectacular public artwork. Everywhere. 

There was a gigantic sculpture of “words” by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa — Nomade.  (Click on link to learn more.)

Nomade overlooking the coast of Antibes

“Nomade” overlooking the coast of Antibes

 

And the works of  Nicolas Lavarenne . His graceful statues were artfully placed through the streets and ramparts of Old Town Antibes. 

 

Nicolas Lavarenne

 

 Nicolas Lavarenne

 

Only on exhibit for the summer, the striking and athletic figures seemed suspended in air as they leapt from walls and ancient structures. 

 

 Nicolas Lavarenne

 

 Nicolas Lavarenne

 

Nicolas Lavarenne

 

As if that wasn’t enough, there was outdoor art in the courtyard of the Picasso Museum. Even from the street level, you could see the statues towering above the town — as if they were guarding the priceless pieces of art within the building. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside.

 

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Picasso Museum Antibes

Picasso Museum Antibes

 

A walk on the wild side

While seeking out artists and shopping are my passions while traveling, you know there’s going to be a bit of the “absurd” thrown in somewhere.  In Antibes a visit to the Absinthe Museum was a “must.”

 

Absinthe Museum in Antibes

Absinthe Museum in Antibes

 

IMG_5004The storefront of the Absinthe Museum was a gift shop, the side street entrance led down into a cave of “inequity” — filled with absinthe and drinking paraphernalia from throughout the ages. 

Hats for the occasion were provided as well as the telling of the history and absinthe-drinking technique. Who knew? Sugar cubes and water? A spoon made just for preparing the perfect drink?

To be honest, we visited the museum during the broad daylight and had only one drink each. In case you’re wondering, the alcohol content and taste of the variety we were drinking were similar to pastis. However, I was told about more potent types. All in all, it was great fun and a memorable way to spend an hour or so on a warm summer day. Especially if you want to recall thoughts of Van Gogh and all who fell under the magical spell of the “green fairy.”

Night-time entertainment

Antibes has a lot going on after dark in the Old Town but the nearby town of Juan-Les-Pins is “party central.”

The afternoon of the second day of our visit to Antibes, my friends, Paul and Rich, and I boarded the “petite train” that ran from in front of our hotel in Antibes to Juan-Les-Pins. Between the two towns the train passed through Cap d’Antibes where we had a glimpse of some of the famous mansions and coastline. We arrived in Juan-Les-Pins in less than half and hour — in time for shopping and a walk on the busy boardwalk.
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Map of Old Town Antibes and Juan Les Pins

Map of Old Town Antibes and Juan-Les-Pins

 

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Juan Les Pins

 

Juan-Les-Pins at night

Juan-Les-Pins at night

 

It was there, in Juan-Les-Pins, that my dream came true. 

Remember “dining under the moonlight? 

 

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Moonlight and lemoncello

 

I hope you enjoyed the visit to Antibes!

Patricia Sands in Antibes

Patricia Sands in Antibes

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BIG thanks to Patricia Sands who helped plan the trip and visited with us in Antibes — her favorite place and hangout. 

Patricia’s novels on Provence are a “must read” if you love traveling and dreaming about France.

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More favorite places:

Boutique hotel in Antibes – Hotel Le Relais du Postillon 

Lunch in Antibes – Le Don Juan 

Light dinner in Juan Les Pins (on the pier or on the beach) – La Voille Blanche

Good website for more information on Antibes 

The Doors and Windows of Antibes

 

dream come true

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19 replies »

  1. Fabulous photos! I think the statues are stunning. Great shot of you savouring the lemoncello. I get the impression that you are making the most of every second of your French experience. June

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    • Thank you! I couldn’t stop taking photos. You are so right about enjoying life here, June. It is a fabulous time to be in France. Friends are all around having a great time enjoying life in the south of France. Beautiful weather. Amazing places. Happy people. What more can you ask?

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  2. I love reading of your adventures and looking at your photographs. I’m from Louisiana and couldn’t help noticing the shop, La Louisiane, in one of your beautiful photos. Makes me wonder if the owner(s) might be from our lovely state, especially with our French heritage!

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    • There is so much around here that reminds me of Louisiana, or perhaps, the opposite. One area in Antibes, especially, I remarked how much it looked like New Orleans. There is definitely a relationship and perhaps some crossing the pond! I’ll look for more to post with you in mind. Thank you!

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  3. Ah, these photos of Antibes…a city with so much appeal! The Lavarenne sculptures seem to capture movement in metal! I’ll be Googling to see where these pieces may travel next…thanks for keeping two Francophiles intrigued with your post and photos!

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    • It was such good luck for me to travel to Antibes while the sculptures were residing there. I’d be interested in knowing where they’re off to next. It would be worth a visit! Thanks for your nice comment and I’m so glad you are enjoying the adventure with me.

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  4. I spent a summer in Antibes (I know, can you believe it?) in college and would love to go back! Oh what a summer..but basically all we did was see just how tan we could get. Not any more, right? Beautiful images: thank you!

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    • I never got any farther than Nice on my college “$5 a Day” trip to Europe. You were smart! Those were the days, but these days I think I definitely notice more than the guys on the beach… thanks for the note, Libby

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