Sunday, October 16, 2005

"Peille" de Chats

Peillon

On Saturday, Jube and I made an afternoon of Peille and Peillon, two mountain towns about half an hour away from Nice. The snap above is a view of Peillon, a spectacularly picturesque "perched village" that is gorgeous from far away. As we were driving up to it, Jube told me, "You have to walk up." I was ready to take a few pictures from afar when he told me it was a joke. We drove up some winding switchback roads (Jube is used to it, the mendois) and parked at the top. The town was not quite as amazing up close. The wood shutters were all very worn and the stone walls crumbling.

However, Jube and I are not cowards, so we plunged into the tiny village streets. They are made of cobblestones when they are not slabs of raw stone formed into steps. This town is steep! We climbed all the way to the top, and didn't meet anyone on the way. We were very surprised not to see any stores; no boulangerie, no restaurant, nothing but a closed-for-the-season inn. On the other hand, we did see lots and lots of cats. Tons of cats! In most French towns, you have to watch your step to miss the dog turds on the ground. In Peillon, they were cat craps! It was amazing. We saw at least 10 cats, who all stared at us while we walked around the city. I think we might have seen 10 people . . . but we might have seen less. It seems like we saw more cats . . .

After Peillon, we headed to Peille. From a distance, Peille is much less impressive than Peillon (I like seeing how many times I can confuse you with the words "Peille" and "Peillon"). Up close, it is lots more agreeable. We saw only two cats, and one dog (a bichon frise!) who barked at us. We saw several stores and passed a baby shower in the town hall. We climbed all over the city. On a good day, you can see the Mediterranean, but we weren't able to see the Baie des Anges, since it was getting dark and cloudy by that time. We also almost froze! The weather was much colder at 600 meters above sea level.

When we got home, our own cat was there to welcome us. Her name is Pitchounette, and she is actually the neighbors' cat. We don't feed her at all, but the siren song of Jube's guitar calls her over.

Mean Guitar Player

5 comments:

Lulu said...

Peille and Peillon are among my favorites places in Alpes Maritimes. Peillon looks like the perfect village with very clean streets, a very beautiful church on the top of the hill ( it's good to spend time here) and very well restored houses. But the most of houses are secondary house : that's why, this perfect place is sometimes lifeless...
Peille is different, less perfect than peillon, but more interesting to visit : the streets are more mysterious, the city looks like a labyrinth...
It's difficult to choice my favorite village : i like also Sospel, Tende, Breil sur Roya, La Brigue, Sainte Agnès, Utelle...
Bye !

Robyn said...

But Gem, who could resist the siren song of Jube's guitar? Not I.

helene said...

I can't believe you didn't snap a photo of the bichone frise for Noelle and me!!!

roger said...

Fab photo. I shall link to it!

Sammy said...

We have a neighbor's cat that squats our house too. I do, however, attribute my cooking smells, rather than my guitar playing, to be what attrats him.