St Agnes, An Interesting Drive

St Agnes 

Today we are off to Sainte Agnes, the highest perched city in the area (elevation 4,000Ft!). We took the train to Menton and waited for about 20 minutes for the bus. Here are a couple of shots from Menton while we wait for the bus :-)

The walk from the train station to the bus station was about 5 minutes and along the way Susie found HER car (it is an old Jaguar) 

The Drive from Hell to Heaven :-) 

The "bus", actually it was a big van, departed on time and after about 5 minutes, we started to climb... and climb... and climb... It was CRAZY. Here is a map of the route.

The map only shows the big switchbacks... there must have been more than 50 switchbacks!!! Here is a shot from the bus (sorry for the poor quality). Notice the switchbacks. FYI the total trip was only about 15 miles, but it took about 50 minutes. Many parts of the road had 200-300ft shear dropoffs! Oh and did I mention the road was 1 1/2 lanes wide for 2-way traffic :-) 
After 50 minutes we reached the top. Here is a bus shot as we approached St Agnes. 

Well, we are at the top in one piece.

First, let's learn a little bit about St. Agnes:

  • Archaeological digs at the site have unearthed at least 23 skeletons along with other artifacts, indicating habitation to the Bronze Age or even to the Neolithic era.
  • Supposedly St. Agnes is  "the highest coastal village in Europe". 
  • Looking at the picture above you will notice the remains of a castle at the top of the big rock behind the town. 
  • According to legend, the castle was built by a Saracen Prince Haroun, who had fallen in love with a young Provençal girl sometime in the 9th century. The castle was restored in 1502, but today is in ruins. (We never made it to the top... it was like 90F, humid and no breeze)
  • Most of the building in the town were built in the 15th to 18th century.
  • Today there are about 900 inhabitants.
OK, on to the pics...

Here is the town's church.

A look inside.

Looking towards the back of the church from the altar.

A few shots...

Lots of narrow streets. 

The beginning of "main street"

Here is the other end of "main street"

There were several arches along the way.

Many of the building had there names in script elevated a few inches in front of the wall. This created some really cool shadows. Below are some examples.

Ya think this person really likes red :-)

A few more shots before lunch.

Firewood stacked up for the winter...

There was a nice restaurant at the far end of the town and we decided to grab a quick lunch. No Sandwich cam, but here are a few shots from the patio where we dined.

Here is a panoramic shot from the patio... it still doesn't really capture the view :-(   Notice the roads.

Notice the car/parking lot to the left. We will head over there after lunch to get some great views of the town.

After lunch we walked over the overlook (see above photo-where the car is parked)

Here are a few shots...

We had lunch under the red umbrellas (on the right side)

Here is close-up of the town.

A nice pano with the town on the right side.

OK, let's keep moving. A few more shots.

I love this sign  :-) 

I wonder if this guy read the sign :-) 

Here are a couple of shots from the edge of town.

Note all the switchbacks.

A few more shots before we head down on the bus ride to Menton.

Here are a few shots from the ride down. (NOTE: Shots are from a fast moving bus, so quality suffers)

Here we are about 10% of the way down. You can see the town to the left of the rock outcropping in the middle and the castle remains on top of the rock outcropping. 

Here we are about 1/2 way down. That is Menton in the background. Note the highway in the middle ground. 

Note the switchback road on the bottom right of the photo.

It was a much faster drive down... and much bumpier! 

A shot from the train station in Menton-colors everywhere!

Hope you enjoyed today's adventure.

Side note: Sweden lost to Belgium last night :-(
The interesting thing is we saw NO Swedish yellow shirts today. (FYI - the Northern Ireland boys wore their shirts all the time... even after they lost)  



Hey there, feel free

to share this post


    Blogger Comment


Post a Comment