I can’t believe I’ve been home so long since the four week visit to Europe. Time flies, filled with so many activities: working on finding a new home for the “new” Mrs. Job, doing research for “My Father’s House,” planning a course on Forgiveness for Mount Calvary at the end of this month, organizing photos, etc. But now I’m ready to share our stay at Mougins, France from July 28 – August 2.
One comment in general. In France, we are still in the alps, and sometimes my son forgets that I have a 28 year head start on him, but I did survive the walks up and down hills. No doubt it was good for me. And that’s what we did — uphill, anyway, on our first full day in Mougins. We climbed to the city. There was a rest on the way at — guess what — a cemetery. Somehow cemeteries become interesting tour stops. In this case, on the way to Mougins, I treasured it especially as a breather. Amazing the efforts to preserve our loved ones.
I will admit, the visit to Mougins was a delight. It turns out that Picasso spent the last 12 years of his life there, and they do take advantage of it, almost as much as Salzburg celebrated Mozart.
The street scenes were charming.
And that includes the shops. They even had a milliner’s shop there, along with so many other artistic delights.
For some reason I was into trees on this trip, like this one in Mougins.
Our next journey was to the Riviera. I have no desire to go back. I’m no longer a sun worshipper, nor do I like crowds, and we drove through plenty of both. I’ll say this for it, though. The waters are beautifully clear, enough to evoke envy.
And one finds the remains of great wealth, as in the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. It’s hard to imagine living in such a lavish place. It must have taken the inhabitants all morning to make the tour just through the inside to say nothing of the fabulous gardens outside. As for other activities, I can’t remember what they said about how often the owner’s clothes were changed during the day. More often than mine, that’s for sure.
But to see it was a pleasure both inside and out. My photo comes nowhere near doing it justice. What you see is just a small part of it.
And then there are the gardens.
Doug, seeking the ideal spots for photographs just missed being a part of the aquatic show.
It was all-in-all a delightful place to spend several hours.
And then it was on to Kerylos. Here’s where I confess even greater ignorance. I know the owners were somehow related to Ms. Rothschild (who also had a married name that I can’t remember), but the important thing is they wanted to live like the ancient Greeks, so their home was a replica of a Greek villa. I did manage to get one photo that reflected the style.
That made a day of it. giving us a chance to rest up for our guided trip the next day to Fort Royal where The Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned. I don’t feel ignorant that I can’t tell you who he was, because “they” don’t know either
I’m not really clear on the history of it, or the artists, but inside where the cells were once occupied paintings have now been added. For example …
In Cannes enroute from the Fort we had our own moment of fame, except no one was there to applaud. But we did get to pose on the red carpet — stars for the moment.
One of my favorite visits was nowhere near so extreme either on the luxury end of the scale, nor on the misery-in-prison end. And we were fortunate to do it, because the Renoir Museum was just re-opening after being closed for repairs. I loved the repairs. They repaired it, but left it basically as the simple home it was when Renoir and his students worked there. This scene could have been in any home of the period (1920-30ish).
The house was filled with paintings and sculpture by Renoir and his students.
He never stopped painting, but toward the end of his life it was with great pain. Before he could even pick up a brush he needed a helper to wrap his hands, gnarled with arthritis. But paint he did, and here is where he did it.
Still into my tree thing, I picked this one up outside his home.
As if to emphasize the difference, a visit to the Grimaldi’s followed. One photo seemed to me to display the lavishness of the place.
Finally, the visits that most affected my sense of smell were two perfume factories in Grasse, Perfumerie Fragonard (on the inside)
and Perfumerie Montenard (from the outside.)
I did buy a gift of soap for a friend at the first stop. These days I really don’t like scents, but by the time we’d been through the factory Ihad become adapted, I guess. I bought what I thought was very lightly scented until I got up the next day and found the fragrance filling the room. I packed it in several layers for the transport hime. I hope my friend will like it.
One last stop before flying on to Bulgaria from Milan. We did go into the center of Milan, but I think I was suffering from something close to heat exhaustion so I was only half with it. Enough to get this photo, though, of the Milan Cathedral.
Thanks for keeping me company. One more country still to go — Bulgaria.