Villefranche sur Mer

Villefranche sur Mer
it all starts with a beach

Friday, September 12, 2014


Beach Day!!
Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE BEACHES! All beaches!! An old surfer, I am in awe of waves and sunlight, gliding through aqua...the bliss I feel, embraced by Mother Ocean. It's magic! I've been going regularly while staying here along the French (and Italian) coasts...swimming, sunning, photographing, enjoying clouds and waves, people-watching, my thoughts, the silence. Very occasionally I go whole hog, renting a comfy lounge, with umbrella, service, and all the pampering a gal needs from time to time (E15-20 for the day). It's better than therapy...and cheaper (with lunch and wine) than a round of mai-tais at Mauna Lani Beach Club. Here are my favorites:

Les Voiles in Nice

a large swath of beach at Monterosso (Cinque Terre, Italy)

and just the other day - La Croisette Beach Club here in Cannes.

Now that it's September, Euro tourists are going, going, gone, and  for the most part only foreigners...and lots of ruskies are left, which means more room on beaches and streets, in shops and restaurants. And although water is much warmer than four months ago, I imagine that will change too with the days shortening. Yep, summer's over, but the beaches still beckon, warm and lovely.

Here are some of my local beach observations:
People-watching is the best on the planet.
About 40% of the women are topless - young, old, all shapes and sizes - whether alone or with children or in couples...and not a fake boob in sight.
Men are about 70% in speedos. Mostly the young wear shorts (and they're much shorter). Bulges everywhere.
Seniors come earlier in the morning, families and couples later. Shallow and deep water aerobics for seniors @ 9 and 9:30 am.
Beachgoers change from bikinis to thongs (or speedos to shorts)...under a towel, often assisted by friend or family member. And sometimes without towels.
Some lie on a rocks when there's plenty of nice sand. Why?
The raft is full of kids on the weekend. Not for sunning alone on.
On Saturday the shower is left on, not just 10-seconds at a time.
The hawkers are all black, selling hats, beach gear, umbrellas, hair-braiding, Nice-Matin (best paper for practicing French and finding out what's on in the Côte d'Azur).
Languages spoken: French, Italian, Russian, German, Scandinavian, Japanese, British, others.
Several white couples with a black child. A friend tells me adopting African children is popular.
Teenage girls still grease up with cocoa butter like we used to.
Pigeons drop by, hoping for a few crumbs. One flies so close, his wings brush me. A first.
All sorts of ball games are played in the water - keep away, cross-over, football toss, netless volleyball...
Floating on the raft reminds me of Silver Lake...and the memories that come with various sensations.
Everyone in the world has an iPhone except moi!
A Muslim woman comes with her girlfriends, head to toe covered. They're topless.
A woman in her eighties drags her portable oxygen tank & port, parks it, sets up her towel, gets comfy, takes off her bikini top, and lights up a cigarette.
Vive la France!

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