Sunday, December 10, 2006

Antibes under winter sun

Click on picture to enlarge

Here's a picture I took yesterday. It's that defining view of Antibes, the one you see on the picture postcards, and a favourite subject for generations of artists (eg see the Monet in the margin).

As you can see, there's a clear view of the snow-capped (pre-) Alps in the background. That's down to the mistral, which always brings cool*, clear air from the north. What newcomers to Antibes often don't appreciate is that some of the highest peaks that one sees behind the two Saracen towers are, in fact, inside Italy. For example, the tall peak that you see, halfway between the palm and the first tower, is Argentera (3290 metres); It's some 66 km ( just over 40 miles) from Antibes as the crow flies, and just inside Italy.

If you look at a map, you will see that although the Italian border begins some 30 miles east of Antibes, just beyond Menton, it curves in behind Nice and Antibes, before turning north.

There's plenty of snow, needless to say, at our nearest ski resorts, eg. Valberg, about 90 minutes drive away.

It's rare for those who visit Antibes in July or August to get a view of that stunning mountain backdrop. That's because of the usually persistent heat haze.

* The Antibois consider it "cool" right now, but it's all relative. The outside air temperature on our windowsill was 12°C first thing this morning. It's presently a pleasant 16.5°, at 13.33 local time.


Louise said...

What a lovely picture of Antibes - I was trying to remember if I had ever been there, but I don't think so - I must admit I'm more of an Atlantic than a Med. person. Warmer with you than us - it was -5 when I got up this morning, we struggled to 0 at lunchtime and we are back down to -5 now. But that's not too bad - when it goes down to -15 at night that really does feel cold!

ColinB said...

It was your snowy pictures on "Chocolate and Cuckoos" that prompted me to put up the picture, Louise. As you can imagine, it's really quite exotic here to see palm trees against a backdrop of snowy mountains.

We had a little snow settle the year before last, and a local estate agent has a picture of the famous year when everything in Antibes was carpeted with a foot of the stuff. Our favourite seasons here are: 1. Spring 2. Winter 3.Autumn 4.Summer. We're not alone in awarding that ranking. We know people who keep second homes here which they let out in July and August for fantastic sums of money. Which is clever economics, because they, like us, much prefer to be somewhere else in mid-summer that's not so stifling and humid. Having said that, we escaped to your part of the world last July, where I promptly suffered a bout of heat stroke, up in the hills behind Lausanne !

Louise said...

I can't offer a picture of palm trees here!

For Switzerland it was very hot last July - not as hot here as where you were, but you were much lower. I am 100m higher than the centre of town and it was 3 degrees cooler here at the house. August was terrible - it rained all the time.

When we lived in Toulouse we used to leave the city as soon as school was finished mid-June and returned beginning of September - although even then it was still soooo hot!

angela said...

12 degrees, Colin, positively balmy. It was 9 outside today with a brisk wind here.
I love that view of Antibes. I'm bringing my parents in law down tomorrow as it's mil's favourite place. Hope it stays good for their last few days.
I prefer your definition of the ABCD but feel I deserve more than competent!