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St Tropez Celebrates Lateen Sails

St Tropez: Les Voiles Latines

The star-studded village of St Tropez on the French Riviera is really a little fishing port wrapped in flashy clothes. Its 20th century rise to fame gave it a high gloss polish, but deep inside, St Tropez remains a simple sea-loving village. 

To feel St Tropez's salted soul, take part in one of its sailing events. St Tropez hosts a number of them, with the largest being the Voiles de St Tropez in early autumn.

The Voiles Latines in St Tropez

The Voiles Latines sailing regattas are fun too, and today marks the launch of their 13th edition here in St Tropez! It's a treat not to be missed if you're anywhere close.

From May 23 to 26, 2013, over sixty classic lateen sail boats will gather from around the Mediterranean in Saint-Tropez for the this event.

What are lateen sails?Lateen Sail Rig by Britannica's Definition of Lateen Sails
Britannica says they're: "Triangular sails hat were of decisive importance to medieval navigation.... The lateen is believed to have been used in the eastern Mediterranean as early as the 2nd century, possibly imported from Egypt or the Persian Gulf. Its effective use by the Arabs caused its rapid spread throughout the Mediterranean, contributing significantly to the resurgence of medieval commerce. Combined with the square sail, it produced the ocean-conquering full-rigged ship."


What should I expect during the Voiles Latines?

In St Tropez, sailboats rigged with such lateen sails will be flocking from Italy, Tunisia, Spain, France and Switerland too to take part either in the event. You can watch them sail around the bay and dock along the port in the evening. The weather is great (sunny 20°C right now, lots of wind!) so this should be a fantastic few days in St Tropez.

Expect some festive atmosphere by the harbor, water jousting ("joutes nautiques") tournaments by the bay, an open catalan market and of course regattas. 

The Voiles Latines 2013 regattas take place on Saturday, May 25 starting at 12 Noon and on Sunday, May 26 at 11AM.

Bring your binoculars and camera with zoom. 

St Tropez


Weather Whine

French Riviera muddy trails in the Esterel Mountains

It isn't just Cannes and the film festival that's spiffed about the current French Riviera weather.

Being normally spoiled with fresh sunshine in May, we cannot believe the amount of water that's pouring down this week from our usually blue skies. 

Umbrellas are on sale again, and with a price-tag vengeance. Drivers snap and wail even more than usual. And my hiking boots are full of mud.  

So what's up, météo? Sun is promised for Tuesday and Wednesday this week, but it is then to go away for a few days. But sunshine is an inalienable right over here. It's in the Human Weather Rights Declaration; check it out in the fine-print below:  

Rights Of 1789

While our rights are being reviewed, here's where to obtain fairly good weather forecast for France: Meteo France.

Be aware that the French Riviera from Hyères to Menton varies greatly in topology and thus in weather. It may be pouring in Cannes but sunny in the hills of Fayence, or vice versa.

If it's any consolation, remember that "après la pluie, le beau temps..." 

Esterel Blooming


Cannes: Film Festival Fun

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Cannes Film Fest

Cannes is about to go nutty! 

The 66th edition of the Cannes film festival makes a splash from May 15 to 26, 2013.

The Feature

The festival begins with a jazzy classic, The Great Gatsby, with Leonardo diCaprio and Carey Mulligan. The 3-D lavish film is director Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1920s novel set on the French Riviera.

But the film has already opened to mixed reviews in the US, so some of the buzz has fizzled. 

The Palme d'Or

Spielberg
Possibly more exciting are the films competing for the Palme d'Or. This year, 23 movies compete for the coveted title, and Steven Spielberg heads the jury. We'll know the winner on May 26.

Palm d'Or contenders include "Steven Soderbergh's "Behind the Candelabra" with Michael Douglas as famous pianist Liberace and Matt Damon as lover Thorson. Soderbergh claims his movie was turned down by Hollywood as being "too gayish". Let the controversy begin. 
Also to be screened are “Le Passé” or "The Past" by Iran’s Asghar Farhadi,  “Like Father, Like Son” or "Soshite Chich Ni Naru" by Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Koreeda. And finally... the lone woman director selected to compete: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, sister of former French first lady Carla Bruni, directs “Un Chateau en Italie”.

For the Un Certain Regard sideline, Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," portrays Hollywood teenagers who obsess over celebrities and burglarize their homes. 

There's always plenty of fun at the more accessible Out of Competition films. Head down to the Theatre Lumière and on the beach at the Cinéma de la Plage for those. Films include J.C. Chandor's All is Lost with Robert Reford and Hiroshima Mon Amour from Alain Resnais. Blood Ties – Guillaume Canet

As usual, expect the Cannes Film Festival to fill the city with glitz, extravagance, excitement. 

Cheers diCaprio!


Around La Motte: A Hike in the Vines

Hike at Château des Demoiselles vineyard estate, La Motte, Var, France

Are you visiting or living around the French Riviera? Interested in a hike or a bike ride, among rows of vines in the Côte de Provence vineyards? On private property, this is usually a challenge or simply not allowed. Here's an exception.

On Sunday, May 5, 2013 the Château des Demoiselles vineyard estate in La Motte, Var, France hosts a hike, bike and photograph open day from 10AM until 5PM. Hop on a guided walk either at 11AM or at 3PM.

It's a treat after a bit of wine tasting and cellar visit.


View AzurAlive.com: Château des Demoiselles in a larger map

 

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