“Well, anyway, it’s looking like a beautiful day
Throw those curtains wide!
One day like this a year’d see me right”*
From the moment I threw open the curtains and watched the sun rise over the headlands reaching out into the Mediterranean Sea from our friend’s apartment in Villefranche-sur-Mer I knew this was going to be a special day.
Our promised bike ride was to reach up onto the high road that hugs the top of the cliffs where the Alps come down to the sea and then to wander inland to the mountain village of Peille for stunning views in the quiet streets reaching up the mountainside.
It’s easy to talk about the plan and it’s easy to write it down. What is impossible to capture is the stunning set of views that captured our eyes around every corner, riding high above the sea below.
The stunning medieval village of Eze perched on its rock above the sea and the glitz of Monaco were like toy towns beneath us.
It was in fact quite hard to keep riding, there were so many places to stop and take pictures.
As promised Peille was a maze of narrow streets and stone houses perched way above the valley below, a lovely place to take a break in the cool stones.
And of course the other star of the show was riding in company, chatting and laughing with my friends Jens-Loft and Doretta, larking about on our bikes, especially when presented with the long sweeping descents back to Doretta’s home in Villefranche.
The traffic on the main roads was occasionally fast, but certainly not busy, while the minor road to Peille allowed us to ride together and talk the whole way (with the exception of a bit of puffing on the steep bits.)
It is no wonder so many professional bike riders choose this area to live and train, roads like this just make you want to get on a bike. Thanks Doretta, this was a truly stunning day on the bike, one that will inspire me for many years.
*Credit lyrics Elbow “One day like this”