The splash in the back

On a lovely warm Sunday afternoon in October last year I discovered the path that follows the coastline along the Cap d’Antibes peninsula on the French Riviera. 

I can’t remember why, but I turned around after a while. Maybe I was hungry, maybe I had forgotten to bring a water bottle, maybe I had something to do later in the afternoon.

On a lovely warm Friday afternoon in November, just a few days ago, I thought that I would take this lovely walk again. I was well prepared and had no intention to turn back this time but to do the full circuit.

Since there was hardly any wind at all I was surprised to see that the sea was a bit agitated. To my great delight the waves formed very photogenic spray when they hit the rocks along the beginning of the path.

As I continued walking the waves became a bit more violent and the splashes, spray and froth were fascinating to look at. I had a great time with my camera!

Time passed (I’m always very slow when walking with my camera) and the sea was getting rougher. I hadn’t had so much fun for a long time!

And ooops! A water hedge appeared next to me!

The path ahead was actually covered in water, I saw on closer inspection, an inspection which was abruptly interrupted:

Ok, I thought, after such a big wave there won’t be another one like that for a while, so there will be enough time to pass this wet part of the path. 

I was hit in the back by an enormous wave and thrown onto the rocks. Luckily I only hurt my leg a little. But of course I was totally soaked, my trainers were filled with water, my hair was dripping. The only thing to do was to get back to the car as fast as possible and go home. People I met were staring at me, probably thinking I had tried to have a swim with my clothes on.

So I didn’t make the full circuit this time either.

But what about the camera around my neck? Strangely enough it seemed ok at first sight, with only a few drops on it, so I felt quite relieved. But it isn’t ok. Salt water must have gotten into it after all. I’m heading to Uganda in two weeks time, it must be fixed by then.


The man with the basil

It was hot and sunny when I arrived in Antibes (typical summer weather in fact, nothing to be surprised about or even mention really), so I thought that an insalata caprese would be the ideal dinner. This is the well-known salad you have all had with tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and basil.

I got good mozzarella from a supermarket but wanted to go to the local fruit & veggies lady, who is Italian by the way, for the tomatoes and the basil. Usually one can find excellent basil plants in her shop.

Not so this time. While the tomatoes were stunningly red, smelt lovely and felt just right to the touch, the two or three basil plants that were left looked more than sad. They wouldn’t make any insalata caprese.

I tried another fruit & veggies nearby, but the basil there was even worse, just some dried stems that were offered to me for free. I politely declined though. I wasn’t that desperate. Those few dry leaves definitely wouldn’t make any insalata caprese.

Should I have to change dinner plans? No!! I decided to try a third fruit & veggies, a very small shop. “Can you come back tomorrow?”, the man asked. He hadn’t brought the plants in from his garden yet, but tomorrow they would be ready for sale. I explained my dinner problem. “I will help you out”, he said and left the shop. He returned with a huge bunch of the most beautiful fragrant basil which he had just cut in his garden. He asked 90 cents for it.

The little shop now has a new faithful customer.

The umbrella that thought it was a projectile

The little boy, I would say 6 years old, had just got a marvellous gift: a huge inflatable ring, brightly coloured, to bring to the beach! His parents asked to have it inflated in the shop (it was a do-it-yourself shop downtown Antibes), a procedure which took 8 minutes (yes, I timed it). The boy then couldn’t get his ring out, he was too small, the door was too narrow and the ring was too big. Eventually his parents stepped in.

Not only children have inflatable devices on the beach: people of mature age can be seen floating around on huge flamingoes. Not me though. I went to the beach with a brand new parasol, anti-uv and all. It was just that it wouldn’t stick in the ground on the pebble beach. It was also a little windy, so twice it took off at great speed towards the neighbours, scaring them greatly but causing no harm. I have now, a couple of days later, learned to harness this wild item. Or maybe is it just that the wind has calmed down?

After exhausting hours on the beach, chasing the parasol, I thought I deserved a really nice dinner, so I went to the Café Milano, to be taken care of by Luana and Davide. There are always other Swedes in this tiny restaurant when I’m there. If this is because there are lots of Swedes in Antibes, or because Swedes are particularly fond of Café Milano or because of pure coincidence, well, that I don’t know. But I don’t really believe in coincidence.