Monday, June 30, 2008
Pulling into Monte Carlo, Monaco. This tiny principality is quite unique--they ran out of room and had to build up. As in up up.
Turns out, we were given dockage in the middle of a boat show. We even had the red carpet at the end of our gangway. All of the boats were decked out in their dress flags and there were people and events and such.
Got an unexpected little break one evening and found horses (!) on my walk along the dock.
It was a horse jumping show! I watched for a few minutes from behind a fence before I hurried along my way. Two days later and there are only a few dumpster piles and stacks of bleacher seating as a reminder that this event ever occurred. It's amazing how quickly they can tear down evidence of a big show like this complete with stables, showbooths, practice arenas, audience seating and all of the footing that made up the arena itself.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Leaving Antibes, you can see the snow (!!) on the peaks of the Alps. Wish I could rent a car and slip away to go explore, but alas....
We anchored out for the afternoon in Villefranche, a cute little city that surrounds a pretty bay. Apparently, legend says Hercules opened his arms and Villefranche was born.
When the guests departed for lunch off the boat, we took the tender out for a quick spin to charge the battery.
Circled our boat for a nice view of her anchored against the backdrop of the town.
Later that afternoon we picked up anchor and headed on our way. We arrived in the very pretty port of Nice. I'm going to be extra corny and say it: Nice is quite nice. Har har. But really, it is. Or at least I enjoyed what little I was able to see.
I haven't had much time at all off the boat, so when I got off early one night I jumped on the chance to go for a run along the coast. What a fabulous run! Wish I had taken my camera along with me, it was just that amazing.
The view backwards as we left Nice. That was the coastline along which I ran. You're jealous, I know. ;)
Friday, June 27, 2008
The markets in Cannes, hidden in between the narrow streets, have fabulous produce. And I have I mentioned how amazingly amazing the cherries here are? They're unbelievably sweet, flavorful and they have that snap as you bite into them. * swoon *
I've already shown the amazing goodies in the shop windows...
Here I am attempting to take a picture of the giant bundle of flowers and bread I was carrying back to the boat. I was running early morning errands to buy fresh flowers for the boat and hot baguettes. Rough life it is, buying flowers from the morning markets and fresh baked bread from the boulangers.
Our next port was Antibes. In the few days we were there I was only able to get off the boat once for a short break.
Wandered from the docks through the city walls.
With the heat, I couldn't resist a boule of chocolate ice cream to accompany my wanderings. It was quite a surprise to receive a flower on my cone! That's a first.
A view of the old town Antibes from the docks. We've been super busy, but this particular trip of ours ends in a few days and I am rather excited. Yay.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Welcome to St. Tropez. Here we were docked right up to the street, right in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle.
On my break I took a quick stroll down the street. Of course, every window that wasn't an expensive, high end clothing store boasted tasty goodies.
Some of St. Tropez's old school charm.
The artists set up shop along the waterfront behind all of the boats. Some of the painters were better than others. I realized how long it had been since I'd even picked up one of my brushes....
Boat farm! We sailed out for the day and dropped anchor off the beach. This popular spot apparently becomes even more congested with yachts in the high season.
View of the beach from the boat. When the guests got off for lunch, we jumped in and enjoyed a few minutes in the crystal clear (but chilly!) water. I don't get much time to myself throughout the day, but when I do it sure beats my old breaks back at the office. ;)
Back in the port of St. Tropez, but in a different spot this time. Got a clear view of the old mingling with the new.
Taking pictures as the sun set. I believe that was the night we took a wine break up on the bow when the guests left for dinner. It's the little things.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
When we finally got a day off, I went with some friends from another boat and took the train to St. Paul de Vence for the afternoon. What you can't see out the window is the amazingly blue waters of the coast.
Perched up on a hill overlooking the surrounding land, this adorable little medieval village is self contained and complete with narrow cobblestone walkways. (Some of which are quite decorative and ornate.) Also chocked full of art galleries catering to all tastes, it is a nice place to wander the streets for the day.
We had wine with lunch, of course.
And enjoyed the view!
And this is random, but.... I thought of you, Natalie. :) Plus, they're looking for sales people, har har.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
With my limited free time and lack of reliable internet, I've gotten more and more behind on blogging. Yikes! I'm scrambling to throw something together. After we left Barcelona, we arrived in Cannes. This was as we pulled into the harbor.
The view from the bow of the church tower where we were docked in the old port. One evening stroll took us up for a great view of the city below.
For our first few days there were no guests on board so we were preparing for the next group to arrive. This means we work a more "normal" schedule of 8-5 and this allows for time off in the evenings. There are several Irish pubs in Cannes, and one night while making our rounds, our mate hopped up on stage to sing Mustang Sally with the band. What a night!
Being in France is murder on one's waistline. Too many goodies everywhere you turn! While out on a provisioning run with the chef, we oggled the pastries and the breads in the bakery. I stuffed my face with baguette and pain au chocolate. Two of my favorite things in the world. Can't wait for a crepe! With Nutella and banana, of course.
Fortunately falling during a guest-free period, we got a chance to mingle with other yachties at a big crew party in Antibes. Bus transportation was provided and took us to the party where we were right on the beach. It was quite lovely, but getting home at 3 was too late of a night for me. I'm such a wimp when there's work the next day. One thing I've noticed is there's not a lot of sleep in yachting and I'll take all that I can get!
Here is the evening view from the top deck of a friend's yacht. They were parked at the end of the dock and had a much more marvelous view than us. You can see how all of the yachts are lined up in a fancy display of conspicuous consumption. But really, it's quite a sight to walk down the dock and see. They all look so splendid illuminated at night.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
One of the things I just had to revisit in Barcelona was the Sagrada Familia. This Gaudi cathedral that seems to be the pride and joy of the city is spectacular in it's oddness and grandeur.
Each side is remarkably different in feel and style.
What I find to be the coolest part is that the cathedral is still being built. It's been in-progress since 1882 and it still has yet to be finished.
The very non-traditional stained glass.
The canopy of trees that comprise the main hall is just spectacular.
The best treat of all is taking the elevator up the spires to look out over the city and to peek at all of the details at the top.
And then you can take the spiral stairs down. Check out the hole in the middle of the staircase!
Our second day in Barcelona begun by taking the tram over the water to Montjuic, a green hill that juts out from the city.
Once on top we got a marvelous garden view overlooking the city.
We finished off our time in Barcelona with a lovely picnic in the park by the water. The produce was remarkable and was delightfuly accompanied by great wine and good music.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Hello Barcelona! You know you're in Spain when you're surrounded by Tapas restaurants and hanging pigs legs (with their little cone shaped cups to catch the dripping fat) everywhere you turn.
You know you're in Barcelona when you find yourself face to face with Gaudi everywhere you turn. Let me just say how much I love Gaudi. More on him later, though.
Strolling through the back streets of Barcelona's Gothic Quarter yields countless gems of detail.
Tucked away inside an unassuming building facade, we stumbled upon a hidden church courtyard complete with fountains and white geese.
One of the chapels inside that Gothic courtyard.
As any guidebook-consulting tourist would do, we did a lot of walking along La Rambla. This street, alive with the busy traffic of pedestrians is the perfect place for people watching and is also chocked full of bizarre street performers. All you have to do is look up to see some intriguing architecture.
Here is proof that I'm not the only one who is picture crazy. Here our chef is photographing her zucchini blossom meal at a sidewalk cafe. The chef and the first mate both have wildly better cameras than my own and it is humbling. This is inspiring the future purchase of my own once I can save up enough money. I can't wait.