Singapore Beauty, Food, Travel, Lifestyle & Fashion Blog

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Nice: Baou de Saint Jeannet

hello again!

homaigod, i have been down with a very nasty dry cough for the past few days, and my voice is so lost i sound like a frog croaking :( couldn't take it anymore and went to see a doctor to get some meds, all that coughing at night is denying me a good night's sleep! woke up feeling so unrested and lethargic boohoo :( 

read that the haze has been getting worse these few days, so everyone should stay indoors more and try to avoid exercising outdoors, for the sake of your health! also, drink more water and keep yourselves hydrated!


carrying on from my last Europe travelogue post: i blogged about how we got from Turin to Nice here!  

we woke up all fresh and ready for a mission: to scale the Baou de Saint Jeannet, which is one of the highest and most prominent peaks right above our village of Saint Jeannet!

i don't know why we always have this very quaint idea of picnic-ing on top of mountains. hahaha. i guess the idea of it just sounds very fun and exciting and otherworldly! people picnic in the park or by the seaside, we picnic on top of mountains :D

we stopped by the local shops to buy food for our picnic, hurhur.
there was a fruits and vegetables shop right around the corner of the Frogs' House, and we decided to get some fresh fruits for our picnic!
picking our fruits ^^
we bought a bunch of grapes and some peaches, only for like 4 euros! insanely cheap.
the bakery right next door. no pictures of the bread hahaha we bought chocolate croissants! this must be the baker, his shirt is covered with flour stains. his children are adorable!
doing homework at the shop, maybe?
this fountain channels fresh water from the mountain! had to fill up all our bottles to ensure that all of us were well hydrated. though at this point of time we didn't yet realise just how perilous climbing a mountain could be.
random kitty! there are no cats in Italy, but we saw quite a few in France. it was sprawled across a table looking all comfortable and lazy. good life huh!
pretty pink Vespa.
the route to the mountain is just behind the village, so off we gooooo mountain climbing!
me! that grey rock formation you see at the back is the Baou de Saint-Jeannet, our agenda of the day.
good thing we all brought our track shoes! all decked out in our mountain climbing gear. GO GO GO!
yes that grey thing on top is where we actually managed to climb up to: after like 2 or 3 hours of super scary climbing.... D:

it was so scary i kept all my cameras! the weight swinging from my neck felt very unstable and i was worried i'd either damage my cameras or fall from losing my balance. so, please imagine us climbing up a rocky mountain.

with lots and lots of rocks and gravel,
like this:
(image from google)
this part of the mountain was easy to climb. just had to keep on going and going.. 

but the higher we went, it got steeper and rockier. and you know what, all the little stones and gravel are LOOSE. IT IS SO FRIGGIN HORRIFYING. whenever i slipped on the loose gravel, i'd scream. lol.

it got so steep we had to literally CLIMB with our hands and feet O_O i had to concentrate so hard on where i was putting every hand and foot, looking for hand holds and foot holds. and all the while, i was wondering if anyone died climbing that mountain before.

i must say, we were either very brave or very stupid. no guide, no hiking equipment, no nothing! only had our picnic food, water, and cameras.

all it would take is like, maybe a wild goat running out to me and scaring me, and i would lose my footing. and tumble hundreds of meters down the side of the mountain. and then the newspaper headlines would be like Singaporean Girl Dies Attempting To Climb French Mountain While On Holiday. LOL..... 

so yes, i was so freaked out to the extent i started imagining what it would be like if i died attempting to climb a mountain. #failmax 

but once we finally made our way to the top, the exhilaration was INDESCRIBABLE. you feel like you're on top of the world!
the view was just astounding! we were 800 metres high up on the mountain, and everything looked so miniature and unreal.
just to show you how precarious it was: we were right at the edge of the cliffs, and it is seriously one of the scariest feelings i've ever experienced. one missed footing and my remains would be making its way back to Singapore in an urn (if you could even find my dismembered body at the bottom of the mountain) *shudders* i didn't even dare to stand straight up when i was near the edge of the cliffs cos i was really afraid i'd lose my balance on the uneven and rocky surface!
we spent like 30 minutes taking photos of the view and with the view, and got thoroughly baked by the sun. i spammed on so much sunblock, but i still got darker. pffftttt.
self-timer mode by balancing the camera on a pile of rocks. not bad, right. hahaha.
the view is really awe-inducing! on this side of the mountain, all you see are the Alps and clouds hanging low over the mountains. it looks like Narnia or something.
it was quite a crazy idea to picnic on top of the mountain, the sun was unrelentlessly bearing down on us, and there were giant ants crawling on the rocks... nonetheless, we proceeded to enjoy our fresh croissants and yummy fruit that managed to brave the arduous journey with us slightly squashed, but otherwise unharmed!

i love the fruits there. there is this particular fruit they call a donut peach, which is so sweet it tastes almost unnatural. and super juicy too! so juicy the juice would trickle down our chins when we bit into the fruit.
(what a peach donut looks like)
the color of these flowers appeal to me very much, i don't know why!

descending the mountain might sound easier than ascending it, but i did not trust my poor sense of balance to not send me plummeting down the mountain, so i had to navigate with my butt instead on the really steep parts! i was getting down on my butt and all fours. the path we took up the mountain was so steep that when we started descending, we nearly couldn't spot where we came from because it looked too steep to climb!

after managing to make our way down the steeper and more treacherous parts of the mountain, i could finally heave a sigh of relief :S phew!
and we unexpectedly came across a herd of goats grazing on the sides of the mountains! they were like only 3 or 4 metres away from us! what a close encounter :D they were very smelly though! :S 

gotta say, the goats are definitely way better with climbing the mountain than we were. the advantages of being four footed?
the little white goat is my favourite :D looks like a nanny goat!
there were two shepherd dogs tending to the herd. soooooo cute, especially the Beagle puppy!!!

by the time we got back down to the village, it was just about to start raining! thank goodness the rain didn't come earlier, the climbing would have been an utter nightmare and i really think i wouldn't even be able to move for fear of slipping. i'm so glad we made it back down in one piece, honestly. but i would do it all over again in a heartbeat! the view really made up for the scary climb, and the adrenaline rush and sense of achievement felt really good!

:D :D :D

we went back to the Frogs' House to rest for abit before the next excursion: to look for the local winery!
i love how the French (or maybe just Benoit, the owner of the Frogs' House) always simplify everything and make it sound so easy.

about climbing the mountain: "it's easy, you girls can easily do it in 2 hours, you look fit! just follow the trail all the way and you'll reach the top!"

about finding the winery: "it's easy, just follow the main road from the carpark until you see a church and take the path behind it, and just keep on walking straight until you reach a vegetable farm, and the winery will be just behind it!"

obviously, we got lost hahaha and made a weird detour through someone's overrun garden! and when we asked directions along the way, we got like three different kinds of directions =.=
the little church we were suppose to take the path behind (but there were two paths behind it! geez. we managed to take the right one though!)
line of pigeons roosting on an electrical line and looking totally cute. haha! 
lavender season's almost over, but we spotted these in someone's garden!
after 45 minutes and getting confused by various directions.. (we took so many detours and wrong turns along the way!) we finally reached the winery!
lovely painted wall outside the winery. 
and actual grapes on the vines!!! #supersuaku
there were huge bottles of wine just sitting around.
we went in for some wine tasting! i'm not a huge lover of alcohol, so i can't really differentiate the good and the bad. the dessert wines were very good according to Fish and Woon, but they were rather expensive! Woon bought a couple of bottles, and we left. #anticlimax
goodbye to the cute little grapes on the grapevines!
and so we trekked back "home" again to the Frogs' House, at least we didn't do any more detours in any strangers' overgrown gardens on the way back.
weird alien-ish looking trees that look like giant dandelions.
super artistic shot! so we went back and passed by all those pigeons on the electric wire again, and Fish was all like "OKAY I AM GOING TO MAKE THEM FLY, THEN YOU ALL TAKE PICTURE OKAY!!!" 

and she ran at the birds, squawking and waving her arms like a lunatic, and nothing happened for like, five seconds. and Woon and i nearly died laughing. 


luckily, my camera was already on so i just lifted it and quickly snapped a shot! and ended up with this award winning shot of the year! *proud*

anyway, the pigeons were totally lazy. all they did was to fly a short distance away to perch on the roof of a nearby house. but it was really quite an epic sight! okay Fish, i promise never to laugh at you again.
just another random cute animal. i know, there's been quite a few already bwahaha.

went back to our room to wash up, and then it was time for dinner at Le Chante Grill, another popular restaurant in the village! it was so busy we had to make reservations for later cos when we went there earlier in the evening it was already full.
super ravenous after all the climbing and trekking we did. also, i think fear also makes one hungry. and i was very scared on that mountain :S
the chef plonked this huge menu on a chair next to our table, for our reference. of course, we didn't know how to read anything, so we had to wait for him to come back and explain. 
Woon and i! we were sitted outdoors by the way, nice cool weather in the evenings so it didn't make sense to dine indoors!
and this is the chef explaining the menu to us. he looks extremely intense and fierce, but actually he was verryyyyy nice!

we went for one set meal which cost 27 euros, with a soup and a dessert, and ordered another main to share!
fabulous fish soup. it tasted fishy but not fishy at the same time. #hardtoexplain
this.... is the most fantastic dish i've had in France! eat already can cry. WHY IS IT SO GOOD??? it's a TUNA steak, and it doesn't even remotely taste like fish! i ate a forkful, and was utterly puzzled, because it tasted like MEAT. like chicken! and then we realised it was the tuna steak we ordered and we were like OMGWTFBBQ HOW COME SO GOOD? the tuna was firm and tender and soft all at the same time, and it was bursting with flavor. i was savouring every bite and it was simply divine! i still can't get over how delicious it was!

thinking back, i kind of regret not ordering another one now ;( 

where/when can i eat such good tuna steak ever again?
beef steak :D super thick and juicy! accompanied with grilled vegetables and some fantastic creamy sauce. sighhhhhhh.
a meal just can't get any more perfect, but it did. creme brulee, which was served in a shallow dish with a super thick layer of glazed caramel on top...... heaven. crispy sweet caramel bits with smooooooth cream... *sigh of satisfaction*

best. meal. ever.

and that concluded our day. what a day... i will never forget our close encounter with nature on the mountains, the breathtaking feeling of being on top of the world, and the happiness of a wonderfully delicious meal, taken in good company.

til the next! happily, i'm almost complete with the Europe travelogues and i think there'll be just another two entries to bring an end to these adventurous tales of mine. hope y'all are keeping up with the posts! :P


and meanwhile, i'm also working on my Genting blog post! :D a few teasers for what is to come soon: one picture from each day! showcasing my favourite upcoming pieces on TheVelvetDolls too, hehe. mucho loves!
day 1: at the strawberry farm. embroidered eyelet blouse with the most gorgeous intricate details! wore it with highwaist shorts and a scarf, just right for the chilly weather there!
day 2: scrumptious breakfast at the Bakery before a fun afternoon at the theme park! denim romper with prevously launched rainbow cardigan :D
day 3: our spread of dimsum at 好友记 we gorged ourselves silly with for breakfast, before we departed home! lace sleeve skater dress that's a super comfy and easy-to wear-version of the lace sleeve top!


wait for the Genting post okay! hope everyone had a fab weekend!


© Yina Goes

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