coastline

Beautiful Èze

On a beautiful Sunday morning, I decided to go to Èze – my Lonely Planet guide said that U2’s Bono owns a villa here, so it had to have a nice view, right…?

I caught the #82 bus from Vauban to Èze village – NOTE: it’s important that you catch the bus to “village” instead of “sur mer” which means beach, otherwise it’s going to be a steep long hike upwards… The bus ride was quite pleasant and only took about 25mins or so. When we arrived, everyone beelined it to the village. I had read that there is a nice garden-like place that you can visit once you reach the highest point. In any case, there is a Tourist Information office which provide you with maps and suggest good places to see whilst in Èze village.

The village was quite small but charming nonetheless. There are alot of artist studios both work on canvas, and clay works – whether it be kitchen plates or pretty decorative tiles. The village has a medieval feel to it, with it’s winding lanes and alleyways. There are a number of nice vantage points that provide a nice view. I somehow managed to find my way to the entrance to the highest point to see this “garden”. I paid the 6EU entrance fee and began to make my way around. The garden is basically a cactus garden – every single possible type of cactus was there…. I made it up to the top and as I looked over at the coastline of Èze, I thought WOW this is truly spectacular, no wonder Bono has a villa around here somewhere…

After exploring the village, I started my walk back down. I had asked the tourist information office if it was possible to hike down all the way to the beach – they said that it was and it would take around 45mins at a steady pace. The hike down was really nice, although at times I thought I was a tad bit crazy as there was no one on the trail for the first 30mins and no cell phone signal! (though it was fine, I was paranoid for no reason!!) The weather was so so good, and I was so glad that I was hiking down and not up! I came across a few people after 30mins who were huffing and puffing – on two occasions I was asked as to how long there was to go (at least thats what I thought they said in French), and with my basic French and some sign language I would tell them that there was still some time to go, wish them “bon chance” and kept on going…

I made it down in exactly 45mins! I didn’t know where the access point to the beach was, but I followed a groups of guys who had just unloaded paddle boarding gear from the car and were in board shorts. I think they knew I was following them but I didn’t care. Turns out I was right, they led me to the seaside – as it was covered in rocks NOT sand. I found myself a nice place to sit and had my packed lunch. I couldn’t resist the amazing turqoise pristine water, so I rolled up my trousers and dipped my feet into the water – oh so nice! but I also cut my toe on the rocks (I HATE ROCKY BEACHES!!). Just chilling by the seaside was so nice, but I could feel my feet burning so I thought I should keep moving (yes I know I should put sunscreen on but I never burn – clearly only in France I burn…)

Next, I walked over to Beaulieu Sur Mer – which was the next beach/bay over. In actual fact, I was going to catch the bus back to Nice, but after waiting 20mins at the stop, I grew impatient and began to walk. And I’m so glad I did. The coastline was absolutely stunning and the sun was shining – loving life! There was a port called “Port de Beaulieu-sur-Mer” that had ALOT of nice yachts! (I have a thing for boat…). I didn’t stay here long, I walked along the harbour and continued walking to the next bay. Oh and the houses that I walked past were absolutely beautiful – I wouldn’t mind a summer villa here…

From Beaulieu sur Mer I walked to Villefranche sur Mer and this was a very busy beach! There were alot of locals here though, unlike the other beaches… The wall was covered in nice pink/purple flowers and the water just looked so inviting! I ended up buying an ice-cream and chillin’ by the water. By this stage, I had walked about 6km, so I thought I should catch the bus back – and given that I knew that bus #100 went along the coast I decided to get to the main road and get on the bus. BIG MISTAKE! the train station was only a short walk from the beach. I even asked the workers there how long it would take me to walk up to the main road, it took AGES! plus the road was all windy and it was a steep ascent! anyway, I managed to get to the main road (eventually) and luckily didn’t wait too long for the bus…

It’s a really nice walk from Èze to Villefranche, particularly because I had the path all to myself… I would definitely recommend it, only thing is to remember to bring water…!

IMG_2977 copy

IMG_2981 copy

IMG_2982 copy

IMG_2983 copy

IMG_2989 copy

IMG_2992 copy

IMG_2976 copy

IMG_2996 copy

IMG_3000 copy

IMG_3036 copy

IMG_2998 copy

IMG_3056 copy

IMG_3057 copy

IMG_3068 copy

IMG_3075 copy

IMG_3084 copy

IMG_3092 copy

IMG_3134 copy

IMG_3181 copy

IMG_3190 copy

IMG_3192 copy

IMG_3193 copy

IMG_3204 copy

IMG_3209 copy

IMG_3219 copy

IMG_3228 copy

IMG_3260 copy

IMG_3269 copy

IMG_3271 copy

IMG_3273 copy

IMG_3276 copy

IMG_3281 copy

IMG_3283 copy

IMG_3287 copy

Beautiful beaches of Lisbon

As an Australian, I really appreciate the coastline of Lisbon – they have actual beaches! not the stoney beaches that I’ve seen in the UK…

And the beaches stretch endlessly – and they are clean! so so beautiful!

The only bad thing that I can say is that I don’t like the development on the beaches ie the stores, cafes, the sun mat hiring places. Beaches should be kept natural – best way to conserve them. I’m so glad that the beaches in Australia don’t have any development on them – I hope it remains like that…

The beaches that we went to were: Estoril and Caparica. Estoril is on the same side of downtown Lisbon whereas Caparica is on the otherside, ie you have to cross the bridge. Both are about 30mins drive from Saldanha and they aren’t over crowded.

The day we went to Caparica, there were a group of kids with bicycles with parachutes attached to the back, where the wind was providing momentum – it looked like so much fun! I walked along this beach, the weather was warm and it reminded me of home…

Seeing this coastline of Lisbon, really makes me want to see the Algarve – which is supposed to be really really nice! Definitely going on the bucket list!

Lisbon_2wm

lisbon pano1wm

this is actually a lighthouse (so I'm told...)

this is actually a lighthouse (so I’m told…)

IMG_9987wm

IMG_9983wm

IMG_9972wm

IMG_9950wm

IMG_9944wm

Caparica

Caparica

IMG_0315wm

IMG_0108wm

IMG_0031wm

IMG_0018wm

IMG_0020wm

12 Apostles

We arrived at the 12 Apostles before sunset – YAAY! So we managed to fulfil part 1 of our mission. Part 2 of the mission was to secure a good viewing spot to make our time-lapse and capture awesome shots of the sunset. BUT before we set up we thought we’d explore the National Park a bit…

There are many beautiful things to see here – we only managed to get to one of the viewpoints. There were others that we really wanted to see (e.g. London Bridge – rock formation) but we couldn’t risk not making it back in time to see the sunset at the Apostles. So we made our way back to the Apostles view point.

It was such a surreal moment when I first set eyes on the Apostles – I had wanted to come here for such a long time that I couldn’t believe that I was actually there! There weren’t 12 of them anymore – nature had taken its toll. I think there were 7 or so Apostles remaining, but even then, it was absolutely beautiful. We set up our tripods and began our shoot. About 30 mins later, there were 3 other tripods set up next to us – we weren’t the only ones eager to capture the sunset… Slowly the crowds formed so we were happy that we had secured a brilliant spot. It was about 10pm and we were still there! It hadn’t gotten completely dark yet – but the wind had picked up and we were beginning to get cold. We saw the moon rising and we actually managed to capture this in our time-lapse. We wanted to photograph some stars as well but it was too cold and it hadn’t gotten dark enough for the stars to be easily visible through our lenses – so we decided to call it a night.

If you plan on road tripping along the Great Ocean Rd – definitely spend a good few hours at the 12 Apostles National Park. There are a lot of view points and hikes that you can do that would definitely be worth it. Seeing the sunset at the Apostles is a must – absolutely breathtaking! Also, spread out your trip if you have the time. We wanted to go to the zip-lining park around Cape Otway but it was raining on the day and we thought it wouldn’t have been as fun.

All in all – one of the best road trip destinations with loads to see along the way. You will definitely be stopping every half hour just to take a photo of the amazing coastline of Australia!!