Saturday, 31 December 2011

Was Buddha a God?

I found this question on an internet site devoted to Buddhism, and I have to admit to having not known  the answer... that, in fact, he was not (and is not).

This piqued my interest immediately.  How many people over the course of history have died (and continue to die) fighting for 'their god', believing that theirs is the only one that matters, that only 'their God' can have the answers.  In saying this I do understand and know that there are of course many wonderful people doing wonderful work in the name of their religion and their God all over the world and have done so for centuries.

Personally, I have avoided organised religion for all of my life. My travels to Laos however has awakened a desire to learn more about the religion of Buddhism.

Who would not want to know about a way of life that teaches goodness and love. Who would not want to be surrounded by people who live their lives in this way, whose goodness is palpable.  I defy anyone who finds themselves in this type of environment to not be affected by this goodness (no matter how little time they are in it).

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

One of the greatest gifts that came to me during my short time in Laos was meeting and getting to know a very special Novice Monk, a beautiful boy, who has been in his monastery from the age of 11. Whose every single morning starts at 4am with prayer and meditation, who at 6am moves out in procession with the other Novices and Monks from his temple into the streets of Luang Prabang for the alms giving, and in doing so  receives his breakfast from the generous and early rising locals who line the streets of this town every morning of the week. Whose last meal of the day before alms the next morning is at 12.30 pm.  

There is pride in everything he does, his zest for learning is enormous and his love for his country, his family, and his fellow man great.  

I thank him for helping to open up to me a new and exciting journey.  Khawp jai lai lai (the prettiest thank you of any language).


This photo is copyrighted, please do not download, thank you :-)
©copyright Millie Brown 2011

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Laos the land of smiles and kindness

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

How many times had I passed through Asia, a quick or a long plane connection......lounges and terminals were pretty much all I had seen or knew about in this part of the world. Stopping in Asia  was always just a means to an end..... my final destination, Europe. Little had I seen of the treasures existing outside of these airports.

As the opportunity to travel to the Southeast Asian country of Laos presented itself I was intrigued even before I stepped foot onto the tarmac of my 'new' and exotic destination..... the town of Luang Prabang. The name alone sounded so foreign and exciting to me that I could hardly arrive there quickly enough.  

This fascinating town was to be my introduction to the beauty of this landlocked country sitting tightly between Thailand and Vietnam with Burma and China to the North and Cambodia to the South.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Crossing the Mekong River, Luang Prabang

The physical beauty of Laos is surpassed only by the magnificence of its people.  I have  never met more beautiful people; their sweetness, kindness and goodness melted my heart every single day of the two weeks I was there, their smiling faces and generosity of spirit were the absolute highlight of my trip.

Luang Prabang (translated means royal Buddha image) is situated on a peninsula between the fertile banks of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers.  It  is a town bursting with magnificent golden temples, each sitting proudly in the grounds of its monastery, home to over one thousand novice and fully fledged monks.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

Luang Prabang (classified in 1995 as a UNESCO world Heritage city) was once home to Lao's royal family (the once Royal Palace now houses the Royal Palace Museum) until 1975, the year the King was forced to abdicate to the Pathet Lao party (communist party) and the family were sent to caves in the North of the country and finally to  're-education camps' where they were to sadly perish.

Laos PDR (Peoples Democratic Republic) is one of the few remaining communist states in the world today, and only opened its doors to foreigners in the 1990's.

My days in Luang Prabang were spent meandering the streets, (by foot and by bicycle) soaking up and photographing the daily life of these gentle people.  One of the first sensory sensations that hit me when I first took to the streets was the smell of smoke; the streets are dotted with small open fires surrounded by Lao families cooking and eating their meals together (any sort of cooking inside would be a fire hazard in the small wooden houses that are their homes).

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

The daily produce market was a favourite place to wander, so many sights and aromas, an absolute hive of activity and foodie heaven.  There were however a few personal tense moments,(the clubbing of live fish will always move me on quite quickly as will the sight of unprotected fresh meat and animal blood in plastic bags!  More positively, the fruit I tasted including bananas, papaya and mandarins were second to none.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

The selection of food is endless and includes produce and ingredients used in their specialty dishes such as, buffalo sausages, minced meats; porc, chicken, buffalo and beef, fresh Mekong river fish, river weed and a huge selection of various spices and of course a lot of rice (sticky rice being a big part of the staple diet in Laos).  The street food is varied and copious, these food stalls are seemingly located in every street of the town and include grilled meats and fish, minced meats wrapped in banana leaves, spicy soups, noodle dishes and grilled bananas....amongst others.

The restaurants are numerous and most are fabulous, a mix of Gallic and Lao dishes makes eating in Luang Prabang  a treat.  It is a city also known for its abundance of top quality cooking schools, wonderful boutique hotels, guest houses and relaxing and zen like spas with every treatment imaginable.

Laos has affected me in ways I never guessed it would and has snuck quietly and surely under my skin.  I have many reasons to return and return I shall.  In the meantime I have  many stories to share and so until the next post......Millie xx

©copyright Millie Brown 2011

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Christmas lights of Florence

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

As I head off on an Asian adventure for a couple of weeks (without a computer, which I am actually quite excited about), I wanted to wish you all a beautiful Christmas.  May it be full of beauty, warmth and love, no matter where you are in the world. 

Millie xx

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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Apartment swap - Paris / Venice

© Coyright Millie Brown 2011

I knew who was getting the better end of the deal in the nitty gritty of the apartment swap but as far as the location went it was pretty equal!

I had just received an email from my dear friend  Helen who lives most happily between Venice and Australia, 6 months in Venice from spring to Autumn and back to Australia for its warmer months.

She had the wonderful idea of swapping homes for a week, I would fly to Venice and stay with her for a night and the next day after we had enjoyed a good catch up she would  take my house keys and a plane to Paris.

While Marco (Helen's Venetian husband) and Helen's gorgeous roomy apartment is situated on an adorable and quiet canal 10 minutes walk from St Marks square in Venice,  my apartment was a studio around 10 times smaller and consisted of a pull out couch bed (albeit a very nice leather one).  However, the position of my studio was 'tops',  rue St Paul in the Marais and I loved it, and so apparently did Helen. Who spends time in an apartment anyway when the streets of Paris are beckoning.

© Coyright Millie Brown 2011

For the one afternoon and evening that we had together in Venice Helen ran me around like the 'local' that she was (and still is) and I was immediately under the spell...of that time it had been two years since I had spent any time  in Italy and probably 20 years since I had visited Venice.

Since this particular visit I have been lucky enough to have been able to return to Venice a number of times, even taking the train from Florence for a day trip just to experience and see Venice in all its Carnival glory. A huge photo opportunity if ever there is one.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

Here are some recommendations that Helen shared with me for
Venice, the city she loves and knows so well.

St Marks square at night (Piazza San Marco)

Helen led me to  St Marks square  at night and later told me she had done this for a reason.   It was only around 8 o'clock but there was hardly a soul on the streets, (it was the last week in September) and I had  absolutely no idea what we were heading for....that was until we turned the corner and my re-introduction to this beautiful space quite literally took my breath away.  The sheer beauty of the Cathedral with its magnificent mosaic  facade, and the grandeur of the square itself is amplified tenfold by the soft lights and the still of night.

If you have the opportunity to experience St Marks square at night after the crowds have disappeared, do it, it is such a very different experience than the one you will have sharing it with thousands of others during the day.

Entry to St Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

Helen had left me with a very 'handy' piece of knowledge that saved me quite literally at least an hours wait in a queue. (I am not someone who loves a queue)! 

There is no church that will refuse a person the opportunity for prayer and so there is usually an entrance to accommodate these people, and it is usually located to the side and away from the mile long queue that is common in many of the busy and large Cathedrals.  If you do not speak the language the sign for prayer is universal and always understood.  If you feel that you would like to take the time for prayer look for this door and you will be allowed entry without queuing. More information here

© Copyright Millie Brown
The beautiful domes of St Mark's Basilica taken from Saint Mark's Bell Tower (Camponile di San Marco)


When crossing certain canals in Venice stand up with the locals in a traghetto (much more fun than a vaporetto).   My first traghetto experience was crossing the grand canal on the San Sofia Traghetto to get to the  Rialto food and fish market (which is fabulous by the way and well worth a visit).

©Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Crossing the Canal on a Traghetto 
© Coyright Millie Brown 2011
Disembarking a traghetto

Coffee Standing at the bar in the gorgeous Cafe Florian - St Marks Square

I didn't stand, my feet need resting occasionally, so I sat snuggled into a corner of one of the intimate and gorgeously decorated  rooms where I soaked up the warmth of the coffee, the pastries and the atmosphere.  Simply divine and I didn't care what it cost! Website here

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

Scuola grande di San Rocco

Visit the Scuola di San Rocco, it was a confraternity or lay brotherhood and was formed in the 15th Century to help those affected by the plague and give comfort to the poor.  It is lavishly decorated with canvases by one of Venice's greatest Renaissance artists Tintoretto.  He completed an extraordinary series of religious works throughout the many rooms of the Scuola between 1564 and 1588.
Campo San Rocco, San Polo

Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari

Is one of Venice's most important Basilicas because of  the wealth of art that is found here, including Titan's Altarpiece of the Assumption ( a masterpiece of the high Renaissance), a wooden statue of St John the Baptist by Donatello and paintings by Bellini (one of Venice's most famous painters). It is also the burial place for Francesco Foscari (one of the most powerful and important Doges of Venice, 1423 - 1457) as well as Titan himself who died of the plague in 1576.
Campo dei Frari.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Nico's gelato

Head for the Fondamenta Zattere on the Giudecca canal in the Dorsoduro area to stop and choose one of Nico's wonderful gelati.  Enjoy it while making your way to the Punta della Dogana Center of Contemporary Art (which houses modern artworks from the Francois Pinault Foundation). This space was formerly the old customs building and was renovated by the Japanese Architect Tadao Ando. Apparently the restoration was done in 18 months.

Best Coffee and Croissants (Cornetti) Caffè del Doge

Helen took me here on my first morning and I returned every day after that! Only in Italy can they make a coffee as good as this and the cornetti alla crema are sensational. The café is located very close to the Rialto bridge, tucked away in a tiny little alleyway called Calle dei Cinque in San Palo, if you cross over the bridge from the San Marco side turn left and it is the 3rd alleyway on your right and down 50 metres or so on the right. Ask one of the waiters from the restaurants if you can't find it.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

Cantina Do Mori for Italian tapas (cicchetti) and a glass of wine

Wonderful atmospheric wine bar,  again very close to the Rialto bridge. It's a great place to stop for a minute or an hour. When I was there it seemed to be full of locals, they can down their wine and cicchetti while standing at the bar nearly as quickly as their morning coffee!   I, however took my time and loved it. Situated in Calle do Mori or Calle Galiazza in San Palo (two entrances). In the area just behind the Rialto market.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
An Angel on the facade of the Doge's Palace

Take the 'Secret' tour of the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

You will need to book in advance for this one (as I found out) , you can book online or if you are in a hotel they may be able to get you tickets.

Unlike the regular tour the secret tour takes you to many of the hidden passages and rooms of this palazzo from where the Doges ruled the Republic of Venice for hundreds of years.  It will also give you an insight into some of the the darker secrets of Medieval and Renaissance Venice. More Information and tickets here

Like Florence.........I could go on and on, but I simply have to end somewhere.

Thank you Helen and Marco for having loaned me your wonderful home and for having given me the gift of one glorious week in Venice.  

Recommended reading 

A History of Venice - John Julius Norwich
Journey from Venice - Ruth Cracknell
Venice - Jan Morris

Millie x

These photos are copyrighted, do not download, thank you :-)
©copyright Millie Brown 2011

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Frenchmen everywhere are flying

I had to share this with you...these guys are the flying Frenchmen, and until today (the last day of the Adelaide International three day event), I never knew they existed.  

A Frenchman, an Italian and a miscellaneous, (sorry missed some of the details),  travel the 'horsey' world jumping super high show jumps and all without a single horse in sight!  Apparently their record is well over 1.8m high.  Who would have ever known! It certainly was a crowd pleaser and with the horse masks in place, just a touch quirky!

Here they are in action.... the jumps by the way had just been raised four holes higher than the height the horses had been jumping moments earlier.

While searching google to find out more about these 'Frenchmen' I discovered Lorenzo...THE flying Frenchman. Click on the link below to take a look at the beautiful images and story of a very special relationship.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

International Three Day Event comes to town

Quick hop and a skip and I'm in Adelaide taking photos of their annual International Three day Event.

For me, Camera + Horses = Bliss

This event is the largest and most important Three Day Event in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts riders and horses from all over the world.

Adelaide is a great venue for this event, it may be a small city (nothing wrong with that)!, but it has so much at it's many other cities of the world could host a four star three day event only a minutes walk from their city centre, set amongst beautiful gums and olive groves.

A Three day Event is comprised funnily enough of three events, each one being held on an individual day.  Dressage on the first, Cross country on the second (today) and show jumping on the third. It is a grueling test for both horse and rider and makes for a great spectator sport. 

These beautiful animals are truly extraordinary, their grace, sheer guts, and beauty never cease to amaze me and I could watch them all day, so tomorrow that is exactly what I intend to do.....again.

Millie xx

Friday, 11 November 2011

Let's speak Italian

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

Let us suppose you have taken my recent advice and you have made a couple of trips to the Institut in Villefranche, you are conversing easily in French and are still madly in love with everything French.........but maybe, just maybe, you ventured over the border to the east and fell under the spell of  Italy and everything Italian, the spirit and passion of the Italians, their food, their art, their history......and of course their language.

Is there a more romantic, beautiful sounding language in the world?  I will leave the answer to you. I love both French and Italian equally, however I certainly don't speak both equally as well, having only recently commenced my Italian studies.  Lets just say that in Italy I am very used to confused faces staring back at me, even when I am sure that what I just said was a sentence of grammatical perfection, their looks make it clear that I must either be completely delusional or my accent is somewhere near atrocious, (or horror of horrors both)!

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

I am however making progress and I have two wondeful Italians in Florence to thank for that.  If you are lucky enough to spend any amount of time in this divine city why not dip your toe in and get started.  Just be aware that when you do decide to let 'your version of Italian' loose onto the unsuspecting Italian public you too may not always get the response you hoped for.   However maybe you will not be quite as delusional about your ability to form that 'perfect' sentence as I clearly am!

Marcello Ciao from the school Spirito Italiano and Lucia Ducci are my 'picks' and I can not speak highly enough of them as people and as teachers.  Both have helped me enormously and I love their company, their humour and their PATIENCE!! (God love them, they have needed every ounce of it with me). Lucia is contactable on her email address;

Separate to Marcello's teaching is his business as an agency for some wonderful apartment rentals in Florence.  While hotels are great for short stays, apartments are my choice of accommodation for any stays over a weeks duration.  I have enjoyed the peace of mind that organising an apartment through Marcello brings, you can ALWAYS be sure that he will do his absolute utmost to make sure you are 110% happy and comfortable., he is a delight and so are his apartments.

Note: Learn Italian audio:
For those of you who cannot get to Italy to study the language, I can highly recommend the book 'Teach yourself Italian' by Lydia Vellaccio. I used this method prior to commencing my studies in class. I found it extremely useful and practical (2 cd's are also included). Unfortunately it is not available for sale through my Amazon shop however click here to purchase.

Buon weekend à tutti

Millie x

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©copyright Millie Brown 2011
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Friday, 28 October 2011

Some downtime in Villefranche, France

If you find yourself in Villefranche sur mer on the Cote d Azur madly studying the French language  (as suggested in my previous post) here are a few of my favourite spots to rest your weary self during your down time.

Head to Plage de Passable's private beach (here)

You can walk here from Villefranche in around 45  minutes, heading onto the peninsula of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

I cannot advise you as to the quality of the food here having only tasted their pizza for lunch,  but I can say that at night in particular the romantic setting alone should make it more than worthwhile, the twinkling lights of Villefranche from the quiet sandy / pebbly beach cove is definitely enticing. (If you don't have your own car, taxis are available between the beach and Villefranche, buses also run during the day and early evening).

On your way to the beach and just before you arrive you will come across a sign pointing out the magnificent Villa and gardens of Ephrussi de Rothschild   (here), do not walk past this beautiful and fascinating peak into the life of the aristocracy during the early 20th Century. You will most certainly be hard pressed to find any gardens more gorgeous than these in the world.  I have visited many times, and never tire of it, the views from the private suites of the Villa are so dreamy and romantic its hard not to float off into some sort of reverie, pure magic.

Paloma Beach

One more beach on the Peninsuala that I love is Paloma, (maybe not in high season on a Sunday) as I found out on my last visit, having been squeezed in like a sardine between a VERY 'happy' birthday boy and his friends and family and a very vocal and boisterous italian family! Once again I can only attest to the pizza,  but I have heard good things about Paloma's food. The beach area itself is lovely and well protected and the setting, well once, yes, south of France gorgeous! Paloma beach website here

Paloma is a little further away from Villefranche than Plage de Passable but take the route passing through St Jean-Cap-Ferrat the town, and its probably only a 10 to 15 minute walk on from there.

Millie xx

All images © Millie Brown
©copyright Millie Brown

Friday, 14 October 2011

Loving and living in Florence

My favourite busker, I pay...he blows a kiss!

For many reasons I never imagined loving any other city in the world as much as I love Paris....Florence was my happy surprise.  Two very different cities, however I feel as passionate about one as I do about the other, and for quite different reasons.

The Adelaide magazine, Adelaide Matters, recently asked me to put pen to paper and write 10 things I love to do in Florence. The only problem I had with that was keeping it down to 10.

I would like to share just a few of the experiences mentioned on that list as well as some of my first black and white photos of Florence taken while I was at photography school.  I developed and printed these images in the school darkroom and it became my 'home' and my obsession.  If I was not traveling somewhere or walking the streets of Florence that is where I was to be found, day and night, and I loved it.

Santa Croce
One of my favourite areas of Florence is Santa Croce.  Start in Piazza Santa Croce and visit the Franciscan Basilica, this church is the burial place for Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli, among other illustrious Florentines. It is also home to some of the most famous late Medieval and Renaissance art in Florence, including frescoes by Giotto, and Donatello’s crucifix.
While you are in the church, take the time to visit the monastery and the Scuola del Cuoio (The Leather school).  Even if you are not in the market for exquisite hand made leather products it is  pure pleasure to wander the the old monastic cells and witness the artisans  at work.

Cibrèo Caffé and Trattoria
While you don’t have to go far in Florence for a good coffee, take a few minutes of your time to make your way to Cibrèo Caffé (two steps from the wonderful Sant’ Ambrogio food market). Here you will enjoy a warm atmosphere and delicious Italian pastries and coffee with the Florentines. 
A further two steps away is Cibrèo Trattoria. Fabio Picchi, the chef and owner is himself a Florentine institution and is the man behind the Cibrèo Caffé,Trattoria and Ristorante. For excellent food at half the price of the Cibrèo Restaurant go to the Trattoria.  It can get crowded and you may be sitting on a communal table, but it only adds to the whole experience. Arrive early, they don’t take bookings at the Trattoria.

San Niccolò
Cross over the Arno river to the (Oltrarno) and the area of San Niccolò.  Make your way towards Via di San Niccolò and  the old gate of San Miniato.  This area is the heart of San Niccolò and is a corner of Florence that is both vibrant and relaxed. 
While here, take a coffee or a panini at caffé Il Rifrullo followed by a to die for gelato.   Another favourite place to eat in this area is Enoteca Fuori Porta, which is situated just past the old gate and city wall as you make your way up Via del Monte alle Croci to Piazza Michelangelo.  This is a must do walk, you won’t regret the climb, the view as you walk up and from the Piazza is worth the effort, I promise. 

The Bardini gardens have only been open to the public for a few years and are the less  crowded alternative to the better known Boboli gardens. I advise entering from Via dei  Bardi #1 red, in San Niccolò (the entrance ticket includes a visit to the Boboli gardens). The gardens are situated on a slope overlooking the city,  and if you sit and sip a wine in the loggia you will enjoy yet another superb vista of Florence. 

View over Florence from the gorgeous Bardini gardens

Exit the Boboli gardens at the Pitti Palace,and then head over to the wine bar directly opposite, Enoteca Pitti Gola e Cantina, sit on the terrace looking onto the Palace, ask the boys to recommend something from their excellent wine list and order the homemade Ravioli, it quite literally melts in your mouth!! 
Brancacci Chapel
If you are an art lover, you must not miss a visit to the Brancacci Chapel in the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Here you will get to marvel at one of the most famous pieces of Renaissance art in the world, the frescoes depicting the life of St Peter painted by masters, Masolino and Masaccio.

There is so much to do, see and experience in Florence, it is impossible to put it all in a simple list, I hope to be able to share more notes from one of my favourite cities in the world again, I have so many!

Have a great weekend  Millie x

All photos are copyrighted, please do not download :-)
©copyright Millie Brown 2011

Friday, 7 October 2011

Sarah's Key; A dark piece of French history

Sarah's Key

I am taking the time to go back in history to the 16th July, 1942 in Paris, France,  a very dark day in the history of the world and in particular France.

Tonight I am going to watch 'Sarah's Key' or 'Elle s'appelait Sarah'.  The film is based on the book by Tatiana de Rosnay, and was one of the most disturbing and emotional books I have read in quite some time.  

La rafle du Vél d' of the darkest days in the Nazi occupation of France and one that the French government kept quiet about for a very long time.

However, in July 1995 the then President Jacques Chirac recognized officially the role that the French played in the killing of thousands of innocent French citizens.

In the early hours of the morning on this day in July, four hundred and fifty French police rounded up around thirteen thousand Jewish women, children, and men (four and a half thousand of them were children), and sent them to an almost certain death (23 survived).

They were imprisoned in the Vél d'Hiv stadium in central Paris until such time as they were sent to camps outside of Paris (which previously existed for German prisoners of war), and from there they were put onto a direct train for Auschwitz.

Not to be ignored are the number of French who showed extreme bravery in terrifying times to help save a further 10, 000 Jewish men, women and children from the round up. 

I highly recommend this book as a reminder of the personal and human tragedy that is born from bigotry, ignorance and hatred.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Still walking the Cote d Azur

Tour du Cap d'Ail

The Tour du Cap d'Ail walk if you complete it in it's entirety, (walking to Plage Mala and then back all the way to the Port de Cap'Ail), is quite a bit longer than the Carnoles to Roquebrune Cap Martin walk, but equally as gorgeous.

Once again taking the train from Nice Ville get off at Cap d'Ail station (18 minutes from Nice and only a couple of kilometres from Monaco), and walk down towards the sea, its a 2 minute walk to the coastal  path.


© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Restaurant 2 minutes from Cap d'Ail train station at the start of the coastal path

At the beginning of the path, there is a cool restaurant / bar with a magnificent view of the sea,  you can stop for a drink or lunch before you start the walk or maybe dinner after, (your choice)!  If you have packed your own food, there is a picnic spot ready and waiting for you just next door to the restaurant (photo below)

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Picnic area

I'm sorry to say I have no idea of the name of this Restaurant / Bar, having not jotted it down at the time (the blog was not yet in mind)!

When you get to this restaurant area turn right onto the coastal path and you will be heading in the direction of the gorgeous Plage Mala (Mala Beach).

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
The scenery walking to Plage Mala from Cap d'Ail

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Rock terrace out on the sea

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Approaching Plage Mala

On this beach you will find two great restaurants / bars with their own beach facilities, Eden (website here) and La Reserve (website here).

You can sit and relax for hours here in couch seating on beach decking and eat and drink at any time of the day or night, or take a beach lounge and umbrella, or even have a massage, its all here. There are kayaks, boats, rubber tyres, snorkeling, in short, every water activity that exist, its a fun, relaxing, less hectic and beautiful part of the coast.

© Copyright Susan Blair 2011
Comfortable seating at Eden on Plage Mala - Photo Susan Blair

There is also the public area of the beach if you are not wanting the creature comforts, but  I have to admit to loving the private beaches and everything that comes with them! (Maybe they are to be avoided on weekends in high season though, but that applies to the public areas as well).

© Copyright Susan Blair 2011
Pizza and Rosé for us......and it was one of the best pizzas I have ever tasted! Photo Susan Blair

After the beach, you can make your way back to Cap d'Ail station by heading upwards and out onto the streets of Cap d'Ail where you could spend hours just marveling at the magnificent villas in the area. Or you could take the same path back and this time continue on passing the Restaurant just down from the train station and heading towards Monaco, passing gorgeous Belle Epoque villas including 'The Rock' where Greta Garbo liked to spend some of her spare time.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
Path heading towards Monaco

You will walk along the Chemin des Douaniers where these villas are situated and at the pointe des Douaniers or Cap Fleuri there is rocky plateau where you can again stop for lunch or dinner at Le Cabanon, I didn't, but it certainly looks like somewhere I would like to eat for the location alone.

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011

© Copyright Millie Brown 2011
These stairs carved into the rock can be found all along the coastline

All along the path are panels of information detailing the flora and fauna that is found in this area and very much adds to the interest of the whole experience.

I did not walk all the way to Monaco, but you can..... let me know what its like!!!


These photos are copyright, please do not download, thank you :-)
©copyright Millie Brown 2011

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