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Nature's Beauty

Mediterranean Sea Coasts: Culturally Rich Azure Wonders, Part 1 of 2

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The Mediterranean Sea is an almost completely enclosed intercontinental sea bordered by the coasts of southern Europe, North Africa, and western Asia, from the Strait of Gibraltar in the west to the entrances of the Dardanelles and the Suez Canal in the east. The Côte d’Azur is a world-renowned beachfront coastline that is interspersed with small harbors, large seaports, and surrounding hilly areas, and it has become synonymous with relaxed and carefree living.

This stretch of Mediterranean coastline is protected from the extremes of winter by the Alps mountain range, which shield the area from the icy mistral winds. Snowfall in the region is quite rare, and the Gulf Stream creates warmer water temperatures, especially ideal in the colder months. During a lecture in 2019, Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about the healing environment of Monaco.

In 1887, French writer and politician Stephen Liégeard published a book entitled “La Côte d’Azur,” describing its delights and the crystal azure waters. The appealing name was adopted for the region and remains today.

Once a small coastal village, Cannes is now an important city on the Côte d’Azur, and the world-famous Cannes film festival draws the world’s creative elite there annually. Nearby, one may also hike the Pic du Cap Roux or visit the idyllic Cap d’Antibes peninsula.

The city of Nice is currently France’s seventh most populous center. The Old Town of Nice gives one a chance to soak up the medieval aura, with its narrow winding alleys weaving between ancient buildings. To the north of the Old Town is Garibaldi Square, a piece of history from a time when Nice was within Italy’s borders.

Also on the Côte d’Azur is the Principality of Monaco, which is amongst the most luxurious resort destinations in the world. Far below is Port Hercules, the only deep-water port in Monaco, which has been in continuous use since those ancient days. Menton is the easternmost town of the Côte d’Azur. With 316 days of sunshine a year, Menton is famous for its lemon-infused olive oil.

To close today’s program, we now share an excerpt of a 2015 lecture given in the Côte d’Azur commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, where our Beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned how good it is to be close to the ocean.

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