Monday, April 22, 2013

Saint-Jean-Cap Ferrat......a story

Once upon a time,  over a quarter of a century ago,  before France was even a remote dream for us,  Monsieur brought me to one of the best hotels in the tiny port town of Cap Ferrat to stay for a week.  

Our room had a view of Villa Kerylos from one balcony and the salt water pool of the hotel from the other balcony.    With a couple of friends who came along, we saw the sites and visited  the nearby towns. We dined well and in style.  

In those days we didn't travel light.  One could bring several pieces of luggage on a plane for no extra charge.   I actually had a case which had fittings for 12 pairs of  shoes and at least three hats.     I wore my wonderful vintage clothing collection peppered with modern pieces and I got all" dolled up" with high heels and gowns for the evenings.   And of course I had a handful of different bathing suits and bikinis for the two hotel pools.   It was a glamorous time.  We cemented our love for this special coastline and vowed to come again.

Now, all these years later,  when I started the walk into Cap Ferrat to show Roge the splendid walkway that skirts the sea, that week seemed to belong to another life.

Monsieur and I had done a lot of exciting things in those days and in my mind one event blends into another. The experience of my visit to Cap Ferrat was with me still on some level,  but one moves forward with new ideas and plans and the past is done.

Today the walk along the sea on the little peninsula still has timeless appeal.

The promenade with its splendid mansions from a bygone era conjures up the "movie star" past of the Cote d'Azur and starts you thinking of all of the old films you have seen of another time... but this place.  

I took this path with Roge a week past to be stunned once more by its beauty.  And as I approached the little town at the end I saw again the port, the "whale tail" benches, the hotel: Le Voile D'Or.  

And though I had been back since, this time the old memory came flashing back of the week when I "tripped the lights fantastic on the sidewalks" of Cap Ferrat. 

 Photo by Mary Payne

Photo by John Puckett
Photo by John Puckett
Photo by John Puckett
Brother Roge, aka John Puckett

This enormous sculpture peeks over a private garden  Photo by John Puckett
Photo by John Puckett
The former house of David Niven   Photo by John Puckett

David Niven's olive tree alive in the wall.  Photo by Mary Payne

Photo by John Puckett

Photo by Mary Payne

Approach to Cap-Ferrat      Photo by John Puckett

Thats was our hotel room, top on the left.  Photo by Mary Payne

The three amigos    Photo by Mary Payne

   "Very mean dog"  Photo by Mary Payne

Trompe L'oeil on side of building   Photo by John Puckett


  1. I love the back story and the pictures are excellent. a lot of beauty. thanks. now that i know K. i could picture you both back then and it was a great film!

    Karen Vicki

  2. We take visitors 3 or 4 times yearly on the walkway from Villa Kerylos to St. Jean. It's one of the
    great treasures of the Cote d'Azur, and also a nice way to get to Ephrussi Gardens owned by the
    wealthiest family, richer than the GDP of France, on Earth. Your photos are superb.