The Five Star Vagabond

Super travel tips, all road tested by David Herd. I'm an Australian guy who moved to Thailand in 2011 & still travel the world as often as possible.

Menton French Italian border

August 11, 2015 by David Herd

Menton shopping

Menton French Italian border

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 Menton French Italian border is certainly one of my favourite towns on the French Riviera, in fact I intend to make it my base the next time I visit this wonderful part of the world.

Side-walk restaurants & galleries

Menton French Italian border

 

Menton is certainly overlooked by many tourists & travellers, to me it is much nicer than many of the more popular Riviera locations.

Art gallery

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So many interesting shops & restaurants in Menton.

Beautiful restaurant setting

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Of course one of the main pastimes in France is food and there are many good restaurants to choose from here.

While we are on the subject of food

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  Wonderful French Oysters, even though I now live in Thailand I often enjoy these succulent molluscs which are regularly imported fresh from France.
What a magnificent combination of colours in this seafood pasta

Menton French Italian border

  It tasted every bit as good as it looks. 🙂

Creme Brulee to finish

Menton French Italian border

  Now that’s what I call a perfect lunch.

So many restaurants & so little time

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  This is where I enjoyed the wonderful food you see above.

The restaurant was next door to Le Nautic

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It’s very easy to get around Menton by car.

Bastion Museum

Menton French Italian border

    Jean Cocteau, painter and poet, became involved in the restoration and decoration of the Bastion, a small fort of the XVII century, in order to convert it into an exhibition place for his work.

One of the many beaches

Menton French Italian border

 

One of the most popular coastlines in the world.

Comfortable on the rocks?

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 Probably not too comfortable, however I would be very happy lying beside her, I would gladly put up with the pain from the pebbles. :)

High density living

Menton French Italian border

  On the left is the Basilique Saint Michel.

City view

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A great view overlooking the harbour and beach.

Harbour view

Menton French Italian border

 

Some of the thousands of boats on the French Riviera.

Crowded Marina

Menton French Italian border

 

Sun, sand & boats, however many of the Riviera beaches have pebbles instead of sand.

Breakwater

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It seems to be shaped like a large anchor.

The old cemetery

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  The previous photos have been taken from the Old Cemetery which is worth a visit. Great view of the old city and harbour.

Old Cemetery overlooking Menton

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Some very ancient grave stones here.

The old border checkpoint Menton French Italian border

Menton French Italian border

 Italy is just round the corner from the French Riviera… In fact, if you are in Menton, you can just walk across the border! The Italian town of Ventimiglia is located at the terminus of the coastal railway line that runs between Nice and Monaco. 

Menton is the perfect location

St Tropez to Cinque Terre 2

 

Menton is the perfect location to stay, 2 hours west to Saint Tropez, 3.5 hours east to the Cinque Terre and 45 minutes north to Breil Sur Roya one of my favourite villages.

                         Aussie girls

Menton French Italian border

Here are my 2 travelling companions from the Gold Coast in Australia, Jodie ONeill & Deborah Holliday. Many thanks for visiting my Menton French Italian border photo blog.

 
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Sing it for me please Edith. 🙂

 

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Antibes Mediterranean resort

August 11, 2015 by David Herd

Spanish Paella in Antibes

Antibes Mediterranean resort

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 Antibes Mediterranean resort is on the Côte d’Azur between Cannes and Nice. I enjoyed a nice Spanish Paella for lunch followed by a few hours exploring this delightful seaside resort town.

After the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire, various barbarian tribes seized Antibes. This resulted in destruction and a long period of instability. In the 10th century, Antibes found a protector in Seigneur Rodoart, who built extensive fortified walls around the town and a castle in which to live. For the next 200 years, the town experienced a period of renewal. Prosperity was short-lived, as the whole region fell into disarray for several centuries. The inhabitants of Antibes stayed behind their strong city walls as a succession of wars and epidemics ravaged the countryside. In the 1244, Antibes’s bishop moved his see to Grasse. By the end of the 15th century, the region was under the protection and control of King Louis XI of France. Relative stability returned, but the small port of Antibes fell into obscurity.

From around the middle of the 19th century the Antibes area regained its popularity, as wealthy people from around Europe discovered its natural beauty and built many luxurious homes here.

Stones instead of sand

Antibes Mediterranean resort

Like the majority of Mediterranean beaches you have to tolerate rocks instead of sand unless you are somewhere like Nice where they import sand for some of the private beach areas where you have to pay for the luxury.

This does not look comfortable

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 

 However I would be very happy lying beside her, I would gladly put up with the pain from the pebbles. :)


Warm sun & calm cool water

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 

No sandcastles here. 🙂

Toys for the boys.

Antibes Mediterranean resort

There are so many beautiful boats on the Riviera all along the coast from St Tropez to Menton. There is only one problem facing many of the owners, no matter how big your boat is soon somebody will arrive with a bigger one, see below. 🙂

The Sultan arrives, chopper on-board of course. 🙂

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 

Some of the wealth on display is astonishing.

An Aussie in Antibes

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 

Good name for a boat. 🙂

Antibes Mediterranean resort there is No Compromise 

Antibes Mediterranean resort

All you need is money, a lot of money. 🙂

Fort Carré d’Antibes

Antibes Mediterranean resort

 

The Romans probably built the first fortifications at Antibes. In 1553, a tower called la tour Saint-Florent was built around a preexisting chapel. Henry III had four bastions added in 1565, whereupon it became Fort Carré (the squared fort).

 

 My two lovely travelling companions

Antibes Mediterranean resort

Deborah Holiday & Jodie ONeill from the Gold Coast in Australia travelled with me through the French & Italian Riviera. We were based in Breil Sur Roya a delightful  French village north of Monte Carlo.

Thanks for visiting my Antibes Mediterranean resort photo blog. Hotel Ibis Styles is a reasonable price, just book through THIS LINK.

                    
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Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

November 18, 2013 by David Herd

Magnificent Mediterranean home

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort, if you want to see how the rich & famous live in Europe just take a wonderful one hour walk from Santa Margherita. The homes are truly magnificent,  prepare yourself for a great experience when you arrive at the beautiful waterfront village of Portofino. The buildings, the boats, the restaurants, it’s all there. Just make sure you have your credit card and a wallet full of Euros.

Bella bella!

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Portofino  is an Italian fishing village, and upmarket resort famous for its picturesque harbour and historical association with celebrity visitors. It is a comune located in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera. The town is crowded round its small harbor, is closely associated with Paraggi Beach, which is a few minutes up the coast. Other nearby beaches include Camogli, Chiavari, Lavagna, and Sestri Levante.

An amazing destination

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Just sitting in the morning sun, sing it for us Otis. 🙂

You can smell the money here.  😎

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

This is a fascinating place to visit, it is however very expensive as you can imagine.  

The Portofino wealthy Italians arrive

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

I wonder if he can afford to buy everyone lunch? The truth is he can probably afford to buy the damn restaurant.  

Lunch, nice but expensive.

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

If I remember correctly my seafood soup was 26 Euros.  

King of the hill

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

The sheer wealth here is astonishing, I imagine most of these homes have been handed down through families for centuries. If walls could talk there would be some fascinating tales  to be told here. 😳  

Same house different aspect

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

No matter which way you look at this home it is simply breathtaking, I wonder which boat is theirs? My money is on the red one. 

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This is the Club Mediterranean yacht.

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Quite an amazing looking yacht. 

Some people really struggle in life, others don’t.

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort 

Naturally there is a helicopter aboard.

And the beat goes on.

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

  Now this is what I call a great boat.  

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Global inequality is certainly growing, in 2015 half the world’s wealth is in the hands of just 1% of the population.

Can you imagine the cost to fill the tank?

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Imagine this, you pull into the dock and say “fill it up please”, it would cost as much as an around the world air fare.  

Big Daddy 

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

No matter how big your boat is I guarantee someone around the corner someone has a bigger one.  

On the hill is Hotel Splendido

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

Hotel Splendido is rated the number one hotel in Portofino. 

Halfway between Santa Margherita & Portofino

Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort

 

 For the budget minded like myself it makes more sense to stay at Santa Margherita and visit Portofino on foot or by ferry. The Lido Palace is on the beach if you want to go upmarket, my hotel was one block back and reasonable priced, with free car parkingThe Mediterraneo.
 
Thanks for visiting my Portofino wealthy tourist holiday resort photo blog.
 
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Click here to see one of my favourite places in France.

 

Here is another great part of the world

 

Cinque Terre is very close

 

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The fabulous French Riviera.

August 1, 2013 by David Herd

French Riviera, from St Tropez to the Italian border you can smell the money.St Tropez

French Riviera or Côte d’Azur, what can I say that has not been said or written about before. So I guess I’ll just highlight my favourite parts of this famous coastline, and try to pass on some travel tips and advice. For the best deals on hotel bookings with a choice of when to pay + a lowest price guarantee, just click here.

Magnificent motor yacht 

french riviera

One thing is certain, no matter how big your boat is, someone will stop beside you in a bigger one. The wealthy are always trying to out do each other, well good luck to them, I like most people love to see how the rich & famous live. That is not an example of the rich & famous below, that’s me David Herd and my friend Jodie O’Neill from Australia.

St Tropez

french riviera

Strangely enough my two favourite places are at opposite ends of the Riviera, St Tropez for sheer opulence, people watching, & great restaurants and bars. Beside the Italian border is Mentone a much more subdued city but with many things to offer the tourist. You can leave your car at the hotel and jump on a train to have lunch at Nice or Monte Carlo, or go the other way into Italy. St Tropez is not on a railway line so once you are there the car is your only option. The photo below is the St Tropez flea market open every Saturday at 6.30 am, these are the biggest Paellas I have ever seen.


St Tropez Saturday market.

 

french riviera

The biggest paella I have ever seen.

Pebbles on the beach at Nice.

french riviera

One of the most popular cites on the Riviera.

  This does not look comfortable

David Herd Thailand However I would be very happy lying beside her, I would gladly put up with the pain from the pebbles.

:)

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The harbour at Nice.

french riviera There are thousands of boats of all shapes and sizes along the whole French Riviera, no matter where you go you can smell the money.

Monte Carlo harbor & Castle.

Monte Carlo Monaco At the end of the 12th century B.C., the Romans occupied the region. Monaco is part of the Province of the Maritime Alps. During their occupation, the Romans erected at La Turbie, the Trophy of Augustus, which celebrates the triumph of their military campaigns

Mentone

David Herd Thailand

Menton was a real surprise packet, a great place to be based, close to Italy as well as the French Riveria.

Art gallery Mentone

David Herd French Riviera

Lots of interesting shops in Mentone

The Sultan arrives, chopper on-board of course. :)

Antibes Mediterranean resort

There is so much wealth here on the French Riviera.

Paella in Antibes

Spanish Paella

Great food, here I am eating Spanish food in France.

Antibes

Antibes French Riviera After the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire, various barbarian tribes seized Antibes. This resulted in destruction and a long period of instability. In the 10th century, Antibes found a protector in Seigneur Rodoart, who built extensive fortified walls around the town and a castle in which to live. For the next 200 years, the town experienced a period of renewal. Prosperity was short-lived, as the whole region fell into disarray for several centuries. The inhabitants of Antibes stayed behind their strong city walls as a succession of wars and epidemics ravaged the countryside. In the 1244, Antibes’s bishop moved his see to Grasse. By the end of the 15th century, the region was under the protection and control of King Louis XI of France. Relative stability returned, but the small port of Antibes fell into obscurity. From around the middle of the 19th century the Antibes area regained its popularity, as wealthy people from around Europe discovered its natural beauty and built many luxurious homes here.

Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo.

Cafe Paris Here are my friends Jodie O’Neill & Deborah Holliday putting on the ritz at Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo.

Another Cafe de Paris in St Tropez.

The Cafe de Paris St Tropez

People watching is the main pastime in St Tropez.

St Tropez’s most famous face, Brigitte Bardot.

Brigitte Bardot Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot; born 28 September 1934) is a French former actress, singer and fashion model, now an animal rights activist. She was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and ’60s. Starting in 1969, Bardot’s features became the official face of Marianne (who had previously been anonymous) to represent the liberty of France. Bardot was an aspiring ballet dancer in early life. She started her acting career in 1952 and, after appearing in 16 obscure films, became world-famous in 1957 with the release of the controversial film And God Created Woman. She later starred in Jean-Luc Godard’s 1963 film Le Mépris. Bardot was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for her role in Louis Malle’s 1965 film Viva Maria! Bardot caught the attention of French intellectuals. She was the subject of Simone de Beauvoir’s 1959 essay, The Lolita Syndrome, which described Bardot as a “locomotive of women’s history” and built upon existentialist themes to declare her the first and most liberated woman of post-war France. Bardot retired from the entertainment industry in 1973. During her career in show business, she starred in 47 films, performed in several musical shows, and recorded over 60 songs. She was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1985, but refused to receive it. After her retirement, Bardot established herself as an animal rights activist. During the 1990s, she generated controversy by criticizing immigration and Islam in France, and has been fined five times for inciting racial hatred.

Nice & Antibes are very nice places, Monte Carlo is unbelievable and over the top as you would expect, and as for Cannes in my book, forget it, unless you are there for the film festival. Below is the world famous Monte Carlo Casino, perhaps the most famous landmark on the French Riviera.

Monte Carlo Casino

Monte Carlo Casino

Thanks for visiting my French Riviera photo blog.

That’s all folks

Playing Blackjack sexy girls

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Ok, here is a slide show of the fabulous Côte d’Azur.

Super travel tips.

Hotel bookings. The best deals including your choice of when to pay, now or later, + best price guarantee.

A good hotel in St Tropez is Les Palmiers, 150 Euros per night. Click here.

One of Europe’s best markets is in Ventimiglia over the border from Mentone every Friday.

You can fly Singapore Airlines from Asia to Nice via Milan.

Lots of tourist information here on this very good site.


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