We slowly say goodbye to summer; even though it is autumn and winter is already waiting. On the Cote d’Azur, the seasons are not exactly blending into one another: for a few days, hell breaks loose with extremely heavy rain showers, making some gardens so heavy that they slide along with soil and allup the road below. Don’t drive along high rock walls in the rain; chances that you will get a rock on your roof are pretty high.
And then suddenly it’s over; your swimming pool is overflowing with happiness, the garden turned into a jungle but the sun is shining and that’s what it’s all about in the South of France.
Whistling you walk along the sea where you are out of the blue overtaken by lazy walkers who move on a hip step. A step! Who didn’t grow up with a step? I rode my red step with thick white pneumatic tires on the sidewalk of the Hoofdweg in Amsterdam, but then I was 5.
Now mature men and women with an expressionless face drive past, staring at the horizon as if they have to go to an important appointment. Apparently a serious matter, that e-step ride. The e-steps are everywhere on the street: you can sign up with a credit card, download an app and then you can take it with you. If you are at your destination, you leave the e-step and 1 euro per used minute will be collected. Well thought out and clever idea. Although the reason to grant the e-step licenses licenses was to tempt the motorist to leave their car and to take the e-step from now on. Which official has come up with that idea; standing on the e-step with earplugs for the music and in one hand a mobile phone is of course asking for trouble.
And there are plenty of troubles; In Nice, Cagnes sur Mer and Antibes alone, every month hundreds of people are injured because they fell off the e-step, encountered a car door or wanted to drive onto a curb that turned out to be too high. Broken wrists, legs, skull invoices; the first aid posts are full of it. There is a law in the making that sets new rules for the electric step including helmet, gloves and only on the bike path. I think we will not see that e-step again.
Just like the 31 Pakistani people who were arrested at La Turbie this weekend; they were hiding in a truck that came from Italy. The French gendarmerie has handed over the “refugees” to the Italian police, who are happy to receive them in accordance with the rules of the new government.
In the meantime, the good life continues quietly here; two luxury hotels received the designation Palace. This is of course a marketing stunt because it is a self-made network of 31 Palaces in France. But if you want to be treated like an emperor or queen, you are welcome at Château de Saint-Martin and Spa in Vence and Le Cheval Blanc in Saint-Tropez.
You are also very welcome in Isola 2000 from November 30. That is the official date of the opening of this ski resort at 1.5 hours by car from Nice with 45 ski runs including 3 black, 13 red, 22 blue and 7 green runs between 1800 and 2610 meters height. The first snow is already there!
With the sun on the Mediterranean sea and fresh snow on the Alps, we are going to have a great time again.