Sunday Summary: In Love with a Landscape

Photos and Text by Emily Benson-Scott

One of the ways I know I’ve begun to feel at home in a place is that I start my jogging routine. When I say routine, I don’t mean really mean routine in the every day sense, I just mean being able to finally execute the idea of a run rather than just map it out in my head. Normally, my “routine” of running in Brooklyn is to jump on my treadmill a few times a week while watching Food Network videos, aka food porn, to dream about how much more I’m going to be able to cook and eat when I finish my loathesome workout. But on the Riviera, running feels like an exercise of prostration before a god, a willing sacrifice to worship the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I pant and sweat and my heart pounds ominously fast but I love every minute of it. I start out around 8am. Well I’ve only done this twice, but for me twice is as close as I get to establishing a routine. In any case, I start out at 8 and gallop down the 600 stairs to the sea. On the way I’m so mesmerized I usually stop and take photos like the ones below:
imageView of Mediterranean from stairs

When I get to the beach there’s a choice to take the coastal path to Monaco or around Cap Martin and on to Carnoles. I always (twice) take the one around Cap Martin because it’s longer, and the views more dramatic. Jogging on this path in the morning feels like waking up to a new lover, caressing their curves, the gentle sound of the surf like their languid stirrings as they slowly wake to the morning light. The path follows a cliff overlooking the sea and tightly hugs the coast as pictured below :

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Coastal Path around Cap Martin

Like a new lover, the path feels dangerous with many sheer drops to the sea, both alluring and lethal.

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Sometimes stairs beckon you, a deceptively smooth transition to the sea, especially tempting in the midst of a long run, but not safe unless the sea is perfectly motionless.

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There are also tons of steps along the path like the ones pictures below which make for an especially challenging run. It’s far too expensive to rent a car for three months, so we go without one for the duration of the summer. We take some trains and buses, but mostly we walk. Trying to walk everywhere on the Riviera sometimes seems like being on a Stairmaster for an eternity.

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As you round the tip of Cap Martin, multi million dollar villas like the one below start to poke their heads out of the greenery.

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Finally cresting the tip of Cap Martin is an exhilarating feeling. Suddenly, Menton and Italy spring into view, and I continue through Carnoles and along the cheerfully sleepy boardwalk of Menton, the festive expectant tables brightly eager for customers.

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14 thoughts on “Sunday Summary: In Love with a Landscape

    1. Thank you Jim! I’m always so impressed by your photos so that really means a lot! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment! It’s hard to stay motivated to post sometimes so it really helps to hear from friends and family. Hope you Sheila are enjoying your summer!

  1. THANK YOU for the beautiful pictures and blog entry! For a few moments, I was right there with you, running along the Mediterranean! Ah! The most beautiful treadmill and Stairmaster in the world! (I will never look at the poor shleps in the gym the same again…!) I think you are approximately 8 hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time (Utah), and I often think of you, and wonder what you’re doing, “8 hours ahead of me”… Now, at Midnight, MY time, I will know that you are running along that beautiful coastline in the glorious morning light! 🙂

    1. Thanks Shauna! Your comments always make me laugh! Actually right now I’m forgoing my run and feeling dehydrated from yesterday’s gargantuan 10 plus run/Stairmaster experience. So I’m eating madeleines and drinking coffee and going to pick my mom and a dear family friend up at the airport. We are taking them to see Lavendar in Provence. I look forward to more of your comments. We bloggers need a lot of great readers like you to keep us motivated!

  2. Thank you Emily for the photos and your exquisite writing that I always look forward to reading. I hope you include this in your “book” that I hope you write someday about all your adventures. If your book would capture an audience’s attention in the way it just did mine, I think for sure that you would have a best seller. Really terrific!

    1. Sheila! Thank you! What a wildly encouraging comment!! I am working on a book indeed. I hope you are as prophetic about that you are kind! Love Emily and Robin

  3. Em wonderful post esp photos…..keep increasing readers “sehnsucht” (longing) and you have them!……now how do I get back on my scaffold and scrape?? Enjoy everyone. Love dad Sent from my iPad

    1. Thanks for such a sweet and encouraging comment Dad!! Mom and Andrea are positively blissed out and we are trilled they are enjoying themselves. Needless to say we are too (it’s restaurant week for us !) and we’re having a ball together. Off to Gorge du Verdon in a few hours. You will have to come see us too! You would love Roquebrune and our maison. Happy house painting and thanks for taking care of Push and Cliff! Love Em

  4. What a wonderful way to start an exercise routine! Maybe someday… (not routine, just a glorious visit). Thanks for the great photos.

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