National Geographic : 1967 Jun
To this day his retreat remains detached: no hotels, no roads, no automobiles-only thirty monks cloistered behind monastery walls, and perhaps a dozen other inhabitants, including the operators of a small restaurant serving lunches to visitors. For three days I walked paths once trod by barefoot pilgrims who, during the Middle Ages, received the same indulgences for a trip to St. Honorat as to the Holy Land. Bells that awakened me in the mornings summoned the monks to prayer and to fields and vineyards. In the afternoons I swam in clear water or browsed in cloisters that sheltered as many as 4,000 monks in the seventh century. Across a channel from St. Honorat I could see the silhouette of lie Ste. Marguerite, named for St. Honorat's sister, who followed to be near him. But he had taken vows renouncing the outer world and would promise only to Aperitifs by candlelight whet appetites at Chez Felix, a waterfront bistro in the old walled section of Antibes. The Greeks, who founded the port, called it Antipolis, and used it as an advance post against attacks by the Ligurians. In medieval days Antibes served as a bastion for the Kings of France when the Dukes of Savoy fortified neighbor ing Nice. At terrace tables facing an ancient gate near the harbor, diners savor loup de mer aufenouil-seaperch with fennel-orsupion a la nicoise-baby octopus in a sauce of tomatoes and garlic. Pedaling backward while fiddling and smoking a cigar, a trick cyclist entertains luncheon guests at Chez Felix. Fruit, flowers, and vegetables adorn the hatof the rider, who spurns tempting offers to perform on stage. 823 N.G.S.