Location : sittin’ in my new favourite chair in a new living room
Weather : Mistral came and went today, but other than that hot
Woo. Ok. Where to begin?
|View from the spot|
|Ebba & I.. Looking at the wrong|
|one of the beaches we went to|
i forget what it was called
we go to so many ive lost count
haha 9 April
|Dinner at Evelin's|
|Thank you for not destroying/deteriorating(?)|
this vehicle that contains no
objects of value.
I think Yven was asleep inside at this time...
Since the French class is done, I have more time on my hands. I guess we (being my friends and I) all did. So we did what any adventurous au-pairs would do on a Monday morning: we climbed a mountain.
|Mont St Victoire|
|not even at the top and we get a|
Now don’t be worried, the Mont Saint Victoire is extremely hiker friendly. There are all kinds of paths, all clearly marked and easily followed, although some not all that easily climbed. The hiking community around Aix is very large and so the upkeep of the trails is very good.
|That is the way up|
There is not much to say about our day really. We started in the morning, and climbed up for a little under two hours. On the way up we came across the chapel. It was kind of cool. Just an old stone church on the side of a mountain. There was a little memorial to a hiker that fell and died on that side of the mountain a couple years ago. Spooked me out a little bit, needless to say I always made sure of my footing after that.
|Shrubbery & Farmland|
jsut kidding bout that last one
|view from the chapel.|
apparently no photos of the chapel taken
|The Hard Part|
|I took way too may photos|
|This actually was the path|
|SO CLOSE TO THE TOP|
|Very disorganized farmland if I do say so myself|
not at all like the SK Grid
|I can see my house.|
View from the top
|Neat map we found covering a well like|
thing on the top of the mountain (well ontop
of a mountain??what??)
|Follow the pebble path back up,|
that is where we came from
The highest point of the Mont St. Victoire was where we picnicked under the sweltering sun. We were all so thankful for a rest as we made it up huffing and puffing a bit. I can not exactly remember, but I believe the point was 1000m above sea level. Which is just a kilometre.
|people would just come flying out of nowhere|
|we were so mad when we had to go up again (not exactly up that part youre looking at, but really close)|
|found a sheep|
If you think it was hard for us to get up, you have no idea how hard it was to get down. Most of the path was made of small pebbles, dirt, shale, other naturally occurring elements, and was not easy to walk on. If I had a huge foam cushion on my butt, maybe I would have slide down most of it bit by bit, but I did not, so it took us two and a half hours to make our way down. We were happy to make it down and out of the frustrating land. Even though the ground was flat, most of us had troubles walking after being on an incline for so long.
|so hot that my hands swelled up|
While I am on the topic of the mountain, remember the Mistral? The wind? Well I thought that it was a wind from the sea, but turns out it is a wind that comes from the mountain thus being a mountain wind. Interesting? Maybe a little.
|my room minus me and all my schtuff|
|Discovered the Aix Sat. AM |
Market. Major steal when I got
2 Red Hot Chili Pepper Cds
for 5 euro.
|First photo in St Trop|
|Seriously delicious ice cream with a |
serious weakness to the sun. I was
|so much money|
|Looking across the bay to St Maxime|
|Just some guy's boat blocking the view of the Vieux Port (St Tropez)|
|St Tropez Tuesday Market|
|One long blue thing (on left)|
+ Marshmallow Giant Banana
= Sick to my stomach from sugar.
But of course totally worth it.... (not)
|too many people and cars to get a good photo|
took this mainly for you to get an idea
of what the markets around here
are like (more or less)
|only in the St Tropez market haha|
|super nice cafe|
not the sunniest of days
|I believe St Trop is on the other side|
of that hill...
|St Trop beach. |
SO MUCH NICER, no?
|St Trop from a boat|
|Very popular place for artists to paint |
and to live
|do you see the small fishing village now ?|
|Citadell on the hill & the Graveyard just a little lower|
|Villa that Jack Nicholson rents on occasion|
|These two belong to L'Oreal;|
Because they're worth it.
|Just thought this one |
|Where the Royal Swedish Family comes|
Their friends get to stay across the bay
in St Maxime
|belongs to the Hilton family|
|Brigitte Bardot's home; La Madrague|
|Belongs to the richest man in France|
|one of these two belongs to|
the Heineken family
|St Maxime there, on that mountain of a hill|
|on the way back|
|spot the cafes|
|buildings are taller than youd think.|
I feel so good here. So good.
|classic red roofs of Provence in St Trop|
looking down from the Citadell's hill
|famous houses from earlier!!|
|side of the Citadell.|
more or less all there was to see of it.
we walked around the outside.
I left that Friday to stay at Jara’s house for the night then leave for Saint-Tropez for a week (and since they got back on Saturday, we didn’t see each other).
Jara’s family went to Saint-Tropez for a week, and they invited her to take a friend along too. You already know who that lucky fish was. We got our own apartment to ourselves and more or less got to do as we pleased between the occasional and anticipated babysitting. Au-pairs live a good life.
I’m going to warn you, so that you are not disappointed, but there really is not much to do in Saint-Tropez other than shop, lay on the beach and go out for dinner, so please do not be disappointed.
Technically we did not stay in St.-Trop, we stayed in Gassin, which was a 10-15 minute walk from St.-Trop town center aka where one ended, the other began. Quite literally.
Needless to say we did a lot of walking around. We walked around the new harbour and the old harbour. The old harbour is that harbour to be in. This is where all the really nice boats are. The ones that cost millions of dollars and have their own crews. You could call us naïve for being surprised at that last one. If you can afford to have a boat bigger than a house, you can afford to have uniformed guys washing the side of the boat by hand and the cleaning lady too. Not to mention the chef and handful of other crew members I do not even want to think about.
As I said the old harbour is the place to be, even if you are not a boat. All the chic cafés, bars, clubs and restaurants are around the old harbour. Buying anything in St.-Trop costs an arm and a leg, but may cost you an arm and two legs by the harbour.
High end chic is all the rage, and everyone’s must have. The little streets are filled with designer shops, and even non designer shops that get away with the same price tags just because they are in St.-Tropez. Needless to say I didn’t buy anything from those shops.
I did buy myself one thing though and that was at the market on Tuesday morning. The market was absolutely INSANE. Everyone that was on vacation must have been at that market when we went. There were SO MANY PEOPLE. And things were really pricey for being a market. But I did buy some candy. And by the way, the thing that I bought for myself was some kind of brown jumper thing that is really in style here and I have wanted since I first spotted them out on the town.
|this photo was really hard to take|
I think we went to the beach every single day. I know I say this a lot, but I really did get a significant tan. The beaches were really nice. The beach in St.-Tropez is really nice and the water is good, but it isn’t the famous beach. The famous beaches are not actually in Saint Tropez. They’re in Pampelonne and stretch for 5km. Where we went it was kind of nice. Closer to the water there was a lot of debris, but farther back the sand was nice. And the water had a bunch of kelp or seaweed debris in it as well, which is not overly pleasant.
But hey, nobody goes to the beach to build sandcastles (well, we did.. but that is beside my point). They go to tan! Honestly, I have never seen so many naked people in my life. I was tempted to stand in the middle of the beach and take a panoramic photo to show you all, haha, but I didn’t. But really. This place is where the All Over Tan came to be. Nobody’s got anything to hide. At all. Oh, and if you are ever engaged in a nude to nude conversation while standing up, the appropriate was to stand, is with both hands on your hips. I’m not joking, it is just way people do it.
|entrance, dining room, kitchen and laundry room|
It was not nice the whole time we were there. Often in the evening it would get cold and windy, maybe a little rainy. The night when it actually rained, Jara and I went to a movie. Odd as it is, the ticket was cheaper there than in Aix. We saw Thor. It was alright, if you like Marvel movies.
Time for something touristy!! We went on a boat tour of the bay and got to see all the villas where celebs come for a week or two a year. Ridiculous! On a slightly less ridiculous note; did you know that Saint-Tropez is two thousand years old? And really is just a little fishing village. Behind all the glitz and glam, I saw that before the guide pointed it out. I think it was when the girl at the grocery store snapped her gum at me.
|outside our apartment|
Across the bay we saw Saint-Maxime. Every night it was light up so beautifully. Lights all along the shore and peppering all the way up the hills. It looks gorgeous from a far, but that is all. Apparently it is not popular because it just not a nice place. As in they have an ugly port and well, could you imagine competing against St.-Trop?
After the tour Jara and I walked up the hill to the Citadell. Way back when it was used to defend against pirates then obviously went out of use. It has since become a Naval Military Museum and is getting some intense renovations on the interior. You also have to pay to go in. Not exactly being the kind of museum that would float our boat, we just walked around the outside.
|living room, chill room, TV room, getting ready |
room, potentially sleeps +3 people room
Peering down below, we saw the graveyard. As you can see, it is really small. If you want to be buried there, you have to have been born in Saint-Tropez, or be Brigitte Bardot. They are making an exception for her (even if her villa is not even in Saint-Tropez).
I actually felt rather uncomfortable the whole time I was there. I felt really out of my element. Like this place was too expensive for me to be on vacation there and like everyone knew it. It really is a different kind of life, and I don’t think I want it. It was nice for a vacation, but that is all I can handle. Maybe someday I will go back…
|Dinner at Pearl Beach|
Phew ok. Got everything covered.
Now for my day.
Today was Wednesday.
|this place was nice.|
May the Fourth. May the Fourth be with you. Intergalactic Star Wars say. I wish I had remembered earlier in the day… Especially since I spent the whole day thinking it was Cinqo de Mayo.
So, being Wednesday Marwann and Ines did not have school. However, being the incredible gymnast she is, Ines was gone all day at her gymnastic training then to theatre class.
|blustery day in may|
In the afternoon when Marwann and Imed went to foot and Sophie went to Iness’ theatre, I went for a solid run. I found some trails in a forest area right near the house. It was the most intense run I’ve had for a while. And also the first time I’ve ever ran with music. It really does pump up your mood.
May the 4th be with you!!!
For some reason, pancakes have been declared as extremely Canadian here. Maybe it is the connection to maple syrup? I don’t know. When Sophie asked me if I could make the big fluffy pancakes, I said no problem. The maple syrup was bought, and I whipped up a bunch of the fluffiest pancakes I have ever made in my life for part of dinner. You probably have no idea how well pancakes and couscous go together. Double recipe and an hour of flipping was devoured in a matter of minutes. Success check mark please.
Ok. I hope this makes up for the lack of entry over the past nearly a month. I really will try to get the bank done. I have entries just waiting to be typed up. Sitting there, in my travel book. They call out to me every time I look at the book on my table. If I start dreaming about them, you’ll hear about it.
hokay. so in two shots, I got this typed up and the photos too. However, as you can probably tell, I gravely miscalculated the photo to text ratio, highly overestimating my photo count and extremely underestimating my amount of text. vahtevah.