Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Local Volcano

 Rumor has it that this hill/mountain (depending on your standards) right next to our apartment is an ancient volcano. I found out about it thanks to the handy website Tripadvisor, which I consulted to find out whether there was anything to do in this little village we're living in. One of the top-rated things to do (and let's be honest, one of the only things to do in Mandelieu), is climbing San Peyre for the beautiful views.

Since I live on the 8th floor of our building, I didn't realize quite how high it was. From our balcony it doesn't look that high, because duh, we're already up pretty high. One day when I was walking through the village I found stairs going up the hill and I thought- why not? 

After getting to the top of this tall and narrow staircase, I walked through a neighborhood of $$$$$$$$$ houses before finding the San Peyre park. There was a trail leading pretty much straight up, and I didn't realize how much of a hike it was until I was about halfway to the top.

Stair from the bottom and from the top

I'm usually very anti-hiking. When I was 14 and still full of youthful energy I was forced to climb Y Mountain (that's in Provo, Utah for those of you lucky enough to have never been there), hated it, and promised myself I would never climb a mountain again. Thankfully, my ability (and motivation) to hike goes up significantly when I'm in foreign countries because I'm more excited. And less lazy, I guess.

The views of the sea and the mountains got better and better as I got closer to the top. If you weren't aware, here on the southern coast of France we're still in the Alps! The d├ępartement (rough equivalent of a state) we're in is called Alpes-Maritimes.

Port of La Napoule

That's Cannes across the bay

I mostly took this so I could pause to catch my breath ;)

A few ruins of a medieval church and some uneven medieval stairs that made climbing more interesting.

Trail that looks like it's leading to nowhere.

In the end, I got my exercise for the day... and I think the view were worth it! For perspective, here's San Peyre from the ground (the pointy one on the right). Now every day when I see it I can feel proud. And weirded out that I did that on a whim. 

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