France Via Aurelia

Day 3: Laghet to Menton

Nostalgic in Menton, great views over the rich and famous in Monaco and Cap-Martin and rain.

Today we said goodbye to Maggie and Göran and their fantastic hospitality over the past six days. Lene drove me to Laghet and the Sanctuaire Notre Dame de Laghet. Today’s destination was Menton, on the border between France and Italy, and only 16,5km away. Today I walked in the right direction, after walking the two previous stages in reverse.

Lene and I spent a great week in Menton back 1980 where we stayed in the Youth Hostel. It was run by an American who played Neil Young and Jackson Browne all the time, and I remember buying the Specials, Gangsters and Laurent Voulzy, Rockollection singles in a record shop in Nice – great memories!

Back to today’s walk. The weather was cloudy and nowhere near as warm as the other days. A lot of rain was scheduled, so it was a matter of keeping a good pace to try and beat the rain. The rain started after an hour as a drizzle and luckily it didn’t get much worse (until late evening where it poured down). Whilst “only” ascending 558m, today I reached the next highest point of the trip at 768m, just outside the very prestigious Monte Carlo Golf Club.

From Laghet, I climbed steadily towards La Turbie, famous in Roman times for the large monument, the Trophy of Augustus, that Augustus made to celebrate his victory over the Ligurian tribes of the area (can be seen to the left of the church in the view over La Turbie). Past La Turbie, there are great views of Monaco and its harbour. There was a mixture of roads and fine paths today, making an arc around Monaco and on towards the Cap Martin peninsula.


The final descent into Roquebrune-Cap-Martin was tricky with a steep, wet and muddy surface and lots of loose stones. Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is yet another Roman town with small passages and beautiful stone town houses. Passing through the village, I passed a tree with a certificate that it was one of France’s most magnificent trees (picture below). It started to rain again as I walked along a nice path towards Menton, descending the last 250m, before reaching the coast.

All in all a short and easy day, where it would have been nice with better weather to enjoy the views over La Turbie, Monaco, Cap Martin and Menton. After eating a late lunch we walked around town, walked up the dominating Basilique Saint-Michel Archange de Menton, which of course was closed. Found a great Breton pancake restaurant for dinner – pancakes and cider are a great combination to be experienced in France.


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