Driving the French Riviera

peppered homes

Our weekend outing included a drive along the French Riviera.  It is a beautiful drive through cliffs that jut into the Mediterranean Sea.  As you are driving the muscles of your legs and core engage to keep your body upright in your seat, as you make the twists and turns, through winding roads.  Peeking through cypress and mimosa trees to catch quick glances of the sea.  For brief moments when the road opens up enough you can see sandy beige homes, peppered along the hills with varying colors of shutters from sage green to turquoise.  And in one lucky spot, the Swiss Alps covered in snow come into view.  They are so faint, at first you think they are clouds building in the distance.  You can’t help but imagine taking the road in the summertime, with the sun beating down, warming your skin in a convertible with the top down and hair whipping you in your face.

Peeking to the Sea

Jutting cliffs

The final part of the drive was up to Col du Canadel.  On this part of the drive we lost sight of the sea and were taking hairpin turns through the rocks, sandy rubble and more aired, sturdy trees.  The road was of course for both directions but barely wide enough for one vehicle.  There was hardly a part of the road that you could see more than thirty feet in front of the car, making you constantly wonder if there was a car just around the corner, coming in the opposite direction.  Top that off with being in the backseat, with a 150 pound dog panting hot dog-breath in your face, and it is about enough to make you lose your lunch!  After about 10 minutes I was wondering, why we even took this road, when the views were minimal and the nausea was increasing with each second.  Then suddenly we slammed on the brakes.  A truck was parked in the middle of the road and hunters were putting their kill into the back.  I was thankful for the moment to catch my breath and release my grip on the seat in front of me.  After a few more kilometers we stopped again and I was grateful to simply fallout of the car and breath in fresh air.  Then we walked to the lookout point at Col du Canadel.  The wind was whipping around you, the air was crisp and cold.  We had made it to what seemed like the top of the French Riviera, with views that were so expansive, it made you feel as if you were flying.  We fell silent, as if speaking would take away from the experience.  The clouds were wispy, the sea was chiseled, both from the Mistral winds.  And you realize, there is nothing quite like being on mountain tops.

The view from Col du Canadel

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