Fete du citron aka Lemon Festival in Menton

6 Apr

The spring is yet to come, these are the last days of the winter carnival but boy the oranges and lemons do look and smell so juicy and summery! And if you’re lucky, like we’ve been, to celebrate the festival in a sunny day, then despite the crowd, you’ll really enjoy yourself! And I guess it’s easy to be  lucky with the weather on Cote d’Azur even at the beginning of March!

We decided to follow my friend’s advice who told us that, considering the amount of people who’d attend this festival, it would be very difficult if not impossible to find a parking spot available so we decided to take the train. Menton is anyway just 1/2 hour away from Nice.

We woke up late and by the time we arrived at the train station it was already 11 am. Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, we had to wait for more than an hour for the next train so we decided to pay a second visit to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral so to shoot some pics in daylight. I don’t know about you, but when I visit a church I don’t expect  to find its yard packed with the most glamorous and expensive cars available on the market. We had a laugh about that especially because one of them was full with crosses and Jesus related items on the board. It might be a Russian thing, I don’t know :)!

Before returning to the train station we stopped for a delicious cake in one of the numerous French patisseries along the road.

We got on the train together with some other 100 people, the train was packed, there were people sitting on the stairs, which left us wondering why there were so few trains on a festival day. It is nice though to travel by train, you can really chill out and enjoy the beautiful coast view.

Once in Menton we headed directly to Jardin Bioves to see the Citrus exhibition. It was almost lunch time and we’ve been told that was probably the best time for pictures: good light and just few visitors. This year’s theme was The Big Civilisations and you could see plenty! I was very impressed by the result, the steadiness of the constructions, the mixing of the colours!

I heard that all the citrus fruits had been sold for jam at a low price at the end of the show, I would have helped heartedly to the dismantling of it all 🙂

We quickly ran then to find a good spot for the Parade of Golden Fruits. This time we had tickets bought on internet some days earlier but you can buy tickets also from the various ticket counters around. We found out it would have been impossible to see the smallest thing otherwise, since they closed the streets all around the festival area . The parade was similar to that in Nice except the floats were made of oranges and lemons: music, dances, beautiful and colourful masks and confetti everywhere!

It didn’t last that long though so we decided to enjoy the rest of the afternoon strolling around the beach and sightseeing the old part of the town. Despite the crowd, the downtown is a really nice place to visit, with little typical shops, lemons and lemon shaped items everywhere. But just around the corner you can find yourself walking along cute empty narrow streets and sink in the laid back atmosphere the town has outside the festival time nad be amazed by the surprising views Menton has to offer.

On our way back to Nice, the 1/2h train ride seemed barely enough for looking at all the pictures we had taken :).

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2 Responses to “Fete du citron aka Lemon Festival in Menton”

  1. Ancutza April 13, 2011 at 11:46 pm #

    Wonderful festival and photos! and we had a great time toghether!:)I Hope to see you soon!

    • dusty laces April 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

      Haven’t we :)? Who knows which festival will get us geographically close ;)? Hugs!

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