It is our last day on the Mediterranean and we are not ready to leave. Since I am a few days behind I will start with where we left off.
July 10th. Vezenobres- Chateauneuf-du Pape- Aix en Provence- La Ciotat
After a frantic few hours of getting ready to leave the house in Vezenobres we were on our way to the Mediterranean. The house was perfect for our group and we had the most wonderful time there. Cleaning up however, was a major task and the kids must have had to do 10 trips to the garbage depot down the street. We drove from Vezenobres to Chateauneuf- du- Pape via Uzes, a beautiful little town. It was market day and the roads were lined with vendors and shoppers, this caused us to crawl though the streets, it was wonderful to see the town in action but it added 30 minutes to our drive to Chateauneuf – du – Pape. We arrived at 1230 and discovered that even wine farms close for a two hour seista so we went for a fantastical lunch where I finally got to eat some escargot. Chateauxneuf-du- Pape is a village that is famous for its wines. This Village is probably the most well know of the Cotes du Rhone area and is remarkable.
We visited three farms and I have to be honest with you, by the last farm the wine were all starting to taste the same. Wine tasting is free and an amazing experience, you get to go into the cellars with a very educated grower and they let you try all of their wines. We bought a few bottles, Colleen and Falco who live in Holland and are driving home, bought a few cases. We felt quite jealous that we could not do the same.
Next stop was Aix.This is a super cool city, where everyone is beautiful, well dressed and fabulously fashionable. We wandered the streets for a couple of hours, let the kids ride on the carousel and took in the sights. At this point is was approaching 6:00 so we thought it best to get to our coastal hotel in La Ciotat.
On arrival we rushed to the pool. It is an infinity pool on the fifth floor of the hotel that offers an amazing view of the ocean and the city. It is even hotter here that it was in Vezenobres and I am keenly aware that bringing Jeans was ridiculous! There is a night market taking place and everything was a buzz. We were quite exhausted from the very busy day so we ate diner at 1000 and crashed at 1130.
Sunday July 12
Today was a beach day, we walked 15 minutes to a little grotto, drank beers and played in the Mediterranean. There were hundreds of fish and Sophie and I even saw a sea snake. I am so glad I brought the Masks and Fins as we have used them often. There is a farmers market outside of our hotel so at 2:00 , for 12 Euros we bought a whole chicken, Garlic roast potatoes, a huge piece of ham and roasted read pepper. Using a little plastic knife we cut up the feast and toasted this beautiful place. We feel so privileged and lucky to experience this, it is quite simply wonderful.
After the chicken feast we swam in the pool, showered and got dressed. We ate dinner in an amazing restaurant overlooking the harbor, and at 8:30 watched the final game of the world cup in an outdoor cafe. Amazing, what a day.
Monday July 13.
Today we drove to Cassis to spend the morning on the beach with Pekka and Kirsten. We rented a paddle boat, fed the huge fish in the ocean and laughed as they almost jumped into the boat. I am rushing now as I have to leave for dinner so I am going to make this short. We have really enjoyed this beach part of our holiday but sadly we have train tickets that leave tomorrow at 12:45 for Paris.
We have to get up early to drive to Marseilles, return the rental car and take the high speed, TGV train to Paris. This trip takes three hours. To drive it would be close to 9 hours! It is unlikely that I will write until I go to Holland on Saturday since I will not have access to a computer.
PS. In France they kiss three times to say hello in the south and four times in Paris..who knew…?