More French adventures
Back to the summer of 2013. I’m not telling the story of this trip in order, but I will get to all of the sites eventually…
Our first night in France was spent in the parking lot of a gas station. I think I mentioned in my post on Ardeche that we like to travel without reservations. Most times this works; however, this night, it did not.
We had driven from Lago di Garda in Italy and gotten slightly lost in Genoa (we found the docks and a somewhat seedy area after dark – we drove quickly with the doors locked). Once into France, we looked for a decent spot to spend what was left of the night, and I have to say that the highway gas stations there were quite nice! There were a few other vehicles in the lot, so we figured it wouldn’t be too bad. The poor kids had to try to sleep in the back seat of the car. I woke up in the morning and they each had their doors open and legs spilling out – they had gotten hot! Luckily we didn’t get robbed. The washrooms had a shower, which was lovely, and the restaurant had the most wonderful pastries and coffee.
One of the things I love about Europe is that you can drive for a day and often be in more than one country. Along the way to our next destination, we stopped in Monaco, because, why not? On the way to this pier, we almost got run over by an expensive car and the lady in the passenger seat flicked her hand at us, like “how dare you be in our way!” Ah well, we enjoyed looking at the boats and contemplated the money one would need to live here. Not my kind of thing, but fun for a quick stop.
We had to be in Frejus the next day, so we hopped back in the car to try to get a little closer. After a night of little sleep, I was anxious for a bit of a break and an earlier bedtime.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. Martin Buber
We lucked out and found Le Relais Des Calanques, a beautiful little inn perched on the edge of the Mediterranean. While not the cheapest place to stay, I would recommend it as it is quite unique. The rooms were in little cabins surrounded by pink flowers and the views were wonderful. The kids enjoyed swimming in the ocean from the small beach while we sat in the shade surrounded by antiques and plants. This was definitely my secret destination. Fantastique!
It was difficult to leave the next day, but we were meeting up with my stepson for a few days in Frejus. We found a reasonably priced hotel right across the street from the beach. In the evenings, one side of the street was transformed into a market with people selling everything from food to crafts and even vacuums. We strolled along and took in the music and smells on our way to dinner. One of the best meals of the whole trip was at L’Hippocampe; a perfect place to celebrate all of our summer birthdays.
It was Bastille Day and people were sitting at the edge of the beach getting ready to watch the fireworks. We were fortunate to enjoy front row seats right from the balcony.
How wonderful to be with family watching fireworks over the Mediterranean! As the snow falls and the temperature drops, I’m thinking I’d like to be there right now!
Thanks for reading and have a great week.