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Printemps en Provence

sunny 17 °C

It is spring in the south of France and it’s easy to see why the Côte d’Azur (the Blue Coast) of the French Riviera is so named…
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The startling blues of the Mediterranean sea and sky, coupled with the vibrant colours of spring, make a beautiful backdrop for the historic stone buildings in this part of the world...
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It may only be the beginning of March but the sun is out, the skies are clear, and the festivals are in full swing. The Mimosa Festival was just winding down when we arrived in Mandelieu near Cannes, but the red mountains of l’esterel were still radiant with golden blossoms…
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The Mimosas of the l’esterel mountains herald the return of the sun and are celebrated along the coast from Cannes to St. Tropez on the road christened ‘Le Route de Mimosa’. We followed this winding seaside route to the ancient port that has been synonymous with the high life for more than a century. This is St. Tropez before the yachts of the glitterati arrive for the season…
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Interestingly, the Mimosas are an invasive species introduced from Australia. In British Columbia we have an equally invasive species – the Scotch Broom. However, while the French celebrate their golden bonanza with festivals and celebrations, we in Canada spend a great deal of effort trying to eradicate ours. But the Mimosa Festival is not the only celebration of spring, and mid-week we went to Nice to witness the annual Battle of the Flowers…
There was a parade of spectacularly adorned floats the length of the seafront, (Le Promenade d'Anglais), along with clowns, bands and giant inflatables…
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Hundreds of thousands of blossoms are used to decorate the elaborate floats... P1020850.jpg
And, while the flower girls threw bunches of Mimosa into the crowds, they were pelted with confetti in return.
The third festival on the coast in less than a week was the Fetes de Citron in Menton where more than 100 tons of oranges and lemons are annually used to create enormous monuments in the park. While the statues are certainly spectacular in size, one need to look no further than the market in Cannes for an amazing display of fabulous fruits and vegetables...
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...Not to mention an incredible array of cheeses, fish, meats and … Oh. Don’t get us started – just look at this mouthwatering lot….
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After a week soaking up the spring sunshine on the Côte d’Azur we are now en-route to England – C’est la vie!

Posted by Hawkson 13:40 Archived in France

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Comments

Oh poor you.....hard life but someone has to do it - and aren't you lucky it happens to be you! Mrs. Sun is also shining here on the snow-capped mountains and walking is most invigorating. See you soon.

04.03.2013 by joyce

I'm here in the UK too and will be in Nice with my sister soon...again we follow each other around!

05.03.2013 by liz

17 degrees and they're wearing winter clothes! Softies.

05.03.2013 by R and B

Welcome to England. The weather has somewhat improved over the last couple of days, however the dollar is strong so the signs are that the stay should be a good one.
Love Jean and David

05.03.2013 by Jean and David

What a bonanza of fruit, veggies, cheese and flowers. The lean months are gone. Almost gone here too. Daylight savings time next weekend so you'll be home with the longer days.

Tom

05.03.2013 by Tom

Will look forward to welcoming you home. Pics of the south of France made me nostalgic! luv, Sharron

05.03.2013 by Sharron

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