A canicule is a series of hot days, derived, I’m told from “cane” for dog, as in “Dog days.” When the French weather service announces la canicule, everyone panics, there are alerts, etc.

Normally I don’t much notice the difference between the canicule and all the other hot days. But for the past 5 days I have been in the country, staying in a rustic cabin without, naturally, air conditioning. Or WiFi for that matter. It did however come with a lovely pool, so I stuck it out until I couldn’t take it anymore.

View of the sea from my pool

The house was in the hills above Menton in a family compound. Menton is the last city in France before crossing over to Italy, which I did on Tuesday to buy groceries and wine. My other major activity, other than lying motionless like a lizard in the heat, was to visit a national monument in Roquebrune. This was a house built by Eileen Grey, à well-known Art Deco furniture designer. Next to her house was a campground built by Le Corbusier. I thought that there was a connection between the two, but apparently not. The French state bought the site and has been slowly restoring both to their original condition.

The problem was that the site was very difficult to reach and once there, required climbing up and down steep stone stairs. And it was 91 degrees. I will say that it was worth seeing, but wish I had chosen a more suitable day to visit.

View from/of Eileen Grey’s house

Le Corbusier

More things to love about Nice

So I’ve been back from Italy for a bit more than a week, but I am not at all far away. Today Italy came to Nice.

I did not buy the pig’s head but did get a nice chunk of porchetta, along with Parmigiana aged for 36 months, sheep’s cheese with truffles and other goodies.