The Chin Life

In French, the word “Menton” means “chin.”  This was perplexing for a good while before I could get my computer to stop autotranslating French.  Instead of balking when I could only find the route from Nice City to Chin, I’ve finally started to get accustomed to the lifestyle in  Menton.

Somehow, the sea seems to get bluer and bluer every day as I walk to class.  The picture above is the view from the main campus building.  It’s just like the first few days of spring in the States, when I’d glance over my schoolwork and sigh at the sunlight and lush green out the window.  Menton is that, but it started pretty much the day I arrived.  I’ve found I can’t even study in the library because of the distraction offered by these incredible views.  Only one of my four classes has a direct view of the harbor, which I relish, but I find myself hypnotized by the softly murmuring tide whenever my attention wavers from political philosophy.  Theaaaaa… kshhhh… come for a swiiim… krashhh… the water’s lovelyyyy…

Once the weather warms up, I’ll be on the beach every day, I’m sure.  It turns out that my home-away-from-home is rated #2 best beach on the French Mediterranean on francetravelguide.com!

The last French city before the Italian border, Menton is a sunny, picturesque village located east of Monaco. Bordered by lush green gardens and lemon groves, the scenic little city is off most tourists’ radar despite its unique beauty. Menton’s pebbled beach is stunning enough to make up for not having smooth, white sand. The old town is charming and palm-tree lined, and the harbor is marked by sailboat masts.

Because Menton gets remarkably fewer tourists than many higher-traffic destinations along the Côte d’Azur (like Saint-Tropez), it tends to be less expensive and less crowded. Menton also enjoys surprisingly warm weather thanks to the steep surrounding hills, which trap warm air from the Mediterranean; it is said to have the highest temperatures on the coast. This micro-climate is what makes for perfect lemon-growing, and the city celebrates the bright yellow fruit every year during the Fêtedu Citron® (Lemon Festival) in February.

How about that!

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