Visit to Cinque Terre

The week before we were to head to Cinque Terre from Nice, the weather forecast said it would be raining the whole time we’d be there. And the day before we left it did, indeed, rain. But then the skies opened up, the weather Gods looked fondly upon us, and we ended up with clear blue skies during our whole trip, until we returned and the clouds started rolling back in. Lucky again.

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Journey to Barcelonette

In mid’ June we decided to drive north to the small town of Barcelonette, situated high in the French Alps, about a three-hour drive from Nice. Our decision was based primarily on the strong relationship this town, or region, has had with Mexico since the early 19th century. Many people from here immigrated to Mexico; there’s not a family that did not have someone who went, and those that did, many did extremely well, returning years later very affluent and building elaborate mansions on the outskirts of town.

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“Covão dos Conchos” Water Feature

This waterfall feature in central Portugal has been getting quite a bit of attention on the Internet lately. At first we thought that somehow this waterfall took place naturally, but after a little bit of searching we discovered it is actually the entrance, a funnel, to a 1,520 meter tunnel. The lake, or pond rather, was created by the construction of two small dams located in a small basin area on top of a mountain. Water runoff from the mountains collects here and then is funneled down the tunnel to supply water for the region.

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Cote d’Azur Hike: Tete de Chien

This hike starts off in Cap d’Ail and heads straight up the hill and mountainside to the “Tete de Chien”, the massive rock that sits above and behind Monaco and Cap d’Ail. Easy to get to with the #100 bus. This is one, though, that I recommend using your smart phone with Maps as the path can be difficult to find at times, and they do show well on both Google and Apple Maps.

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Hike to Mont Bastide

This is one of the most accessible and flexible hikes around Nice. It allows for a short hike to a great viewpoint, or a more sportive three-hour hike, and a few hikes in between. Mont Bastide is the mountain that is just before Eze. When you pass over the bridge to Eze, your back is to Mont Bastide; the bridge joins Mont Bastide to Eze. Here’s the hikes that are possible to Mont Bastide.

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Walks & Hikes of the Cote d’Azur

The Conseil General Alpes Maritimes publish a number of booklets (available online as well) that describe many of the walks and hikes that can be discovered enjoyed along the Cotes d’Azur. We’ve been enjoy many over the past few years, and below are some of our favorites. There are 60 in total in three books; Pays Cotier, Moyen Pays, Haut Pays. If I’ve written previously about it, a link is included. “A” means they are from the first book (closest to the coastline walks) and the number signifies the number of the hike in their book. They are rated as Easy, Medium, Difficult and Sportive.

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Ile d’Yeu (Island of Yeu), France

While visiting the island of Noirmoutier, we decided to do a day-trip to the neighboring island of Yeu, which is accessible by a fast ferry that leaves from the mainland at Fromentine and takes just 30 minutes to make the trip. Another way to get there is by helicopter. It costs $100 euros and you get to take in the spectacular coastline of the continent, Noirmoutier and Yeu. Taking the ferry in one direction and the flying the other way would be a good option.

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