Vieille Ville Antibes

Antibes had me homesick for home – for a small, slow seaside town, asleep in the winter. For a the crisp, cool seabreeze that I always remember. It reminded me of slow, coastal Cape Cod on the rocks. Of being alone in an empty place, and only then, truly feeling that I know and belong to it.

Unlike nearby towns that I’ve visited and observed by train, there’s a more rustic feel. Candy colors give way to muted pastels and weathered stone. The sea is violently alive here; it crashes and glows, the almost fake turquoise shade found just east replaced by a more complex and nuanced palette of blues, it’s smoothness broken by the sharp, snow-capped alps on the skyline.

Old Town is lively, bustling. Most tourist spots are closed for the summer, and the locals solidly own their town this time of year. Further out on the cap, the roads are empty, the air is quieter. There is a constant hum of preparation for the summer season. Beyond the high walls of villas that I cannot see, it’s a natural wonderland of green, blue. And sweet smells.

Picasso painted this skyline once. I sit and eat jelly candies while looking at the real thing.

From the jetty, the sky and sea turn pink, then blue, then blend. A single boat floats, a plane lands. And suddenly, in one instant, the mountains stand out darker and the air is cool.

The sun, dipped and gone.

Until the morning when this small, beautiful piece of the world is alive again.

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