To our health in the South of France and the French Riviera
August 20-29, 1999:
The Europeans go to the beach for their health and relaxation.
With our van soaking up the sun's rays in ninety degree weather, cool water seemed like a good idea to us. We settled at Carnon, a spot that seemed little known to foreign tourists, but well exploited by the French.
Of course the Europeans are very laid back when it comes to their sandy relaxation.
We noticed an older woman entertaining some passing lads.
In the convenience stores they sell wine by the gallon.
And what's good on the beach is good at the checkout counter.
For our own health, we stopped in Nice for Henry to have the cyst removed from his eyelid.
Even with modern Novocain, this procedure was a bit like medieval torture.
Henry is blind in his left eye, so for a day Kathleen had to lead him around like the blind man he'd become.
Back to how the Europeans keep healthy -- you've heard of the European diet, rich in breads, olive oil and red wine?
It's life style as well.
Very intent on their game of Bocci Ball, (this is the Italian word for it) they relax through competition.
For our mental exercise, we kept visiting the sights.
All these places (Nice, Cannes and Monaco in ascending order), are playgrounds for those with money. They're jammed. The Rich are trying to find that right shop or restaurant, and The Poorer (like us) are buying what they can afford. (Ice cream!)
As we licked our ice cream, we watched the Great Valentino for a half hour. He kept trying to put a crate together. Illegally parked in front of a four star hotel right on the main boulevard, he never once looked up and no one bothered him.
In Monaco, the Casino at Monte Carlo is a no go for people in a big green van.
They have more police per square foot here than anywhere else on earth.
No visit would be complete without seeing the more ancient sites.
In Avignon, we visited the Palais des Papas, where nine Popes lived during the fourteenth century when it was unsafe to stay in Rome.
In Avignon, the streets are full of artists and musicians.
This futuristic street spray painter is taking care with his health by wearing a filter mask.
Hey, wait a minute. What about second hand fumes!
In Nimes, they have one of the best preserved Roman amphitheaters anywhere.
Here they still use this ancient structure to seat 20,000 people for local Rock Concerts and Bullfights.
They also still have Roman temples.
This one they believe was dedicated to the sons of Augustus.
In the Medieval streets of Eze, we were reminded of Carcassonne, but in a smaller, more upscale way.
Here we find evidence that they've always had wealth in this part of the world.
And the wealthy always need to patronize their artists.
We found an art opening reception for Mr. Perrouin in the quiet streets of Eze.
We told Mr. Perrouin we liked the way he'd painted surreal scenes on old cloth mannequins.
He smiled and said, "Yes, ... original, ... brilliant, .... Me - genius."
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