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March 1997

The Michelin Green Guide lists several driving tours around the Riviera. This year, since we’d seen many of the major sites already, we decided to follow a circuit from Vence, through some interesting-sounding canyons (e.g., the "Gorges of the Wolf") and eventually back to Grasse. It turned out that the canyons weren’t as impressive as we expected – some of the roads we’d traveled just to get to hill-town restaurants had much more breathtaking views – but as we rounded a bend in the river we suddenly saw a car in a field racing towards us. Then it rolled over! Fortunately I resisted the instinct to swerve across the road to avoid a collision.

We stopped to see what was happening. It turned out to be several young men taking turns speeding a junker onto a ramp – only the right wheels – and rolling it. They were practiced enough that the car usually made a full roll, although a couple of times they had to manually restore it to upright status. They wore helmets and a full shoulder harness so there was little danger, but it did seem an unusual way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

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