Monday, 25 April 2016

Cassis - A Picture Perfect Village on the French Mediterranean

Ahhhhhh!!!  I’ve gotten so behind on this blog.  It’s been four weeks since my last post.  Granted, we were gone for two of those weeks, but that just means I have all that much more to share with you.  Short, sweet and to the point, that is what I will try to do from here on out, because believe it or not, we only have a little over three months left here in Europe and lots to do.  Crazy!  Where did the time go?  So, without further ado, finally, the last blog post on our week in southern France way, way, way, way back in October.  

Cassis – a romantic little village that sits on the Mediterranean a bit southeast from Marseille which is where we would be catching a plane back to the UK on the following day.  We spent the day driving back to southern France after spending a few fun days in Barcelona, Spain, and for our last night, we chose this lovely little place.  We hadn’t spent any time on the Med Sea in France, so this was it.  We choose well because Cassis is picture perfect.  

In fact, I might even venture to say it was a little too picture perfect.  I know that sounds crazy.  How can a cute town in southern France sitting on the Sea be too perfect?   Well, look at this photo.  

Doesn’t it look like a Hollywood movie set?  For a meal that last night in southern France, we decided to have a classic French dinner at one of the little charming restaurants in Cassis simply called A Table. 

The dinner was something else.  Our reservation started at 7:00 pm and we didn’t leave until after 10:00, our bellies full of a delicious three-course meal and a bottle of French wine.  I loved it!  There were only about ten tables total in the small restaurant, and the table you had was yours for the night. They didn't begin serving food until 7:00 pm, and once a table was taken, that was it.  We could easily see into the kitchen where only three people were working, I assume the head chef, the sous-chef and the dishwasher.  We watched as the first course was freshly prepared for each table, one at a time, and after all the tables had been served their first courses, then it was on to the preparing of the second course, again one table at a time, and then desserts.  That is after all how the French eat, slow and with much pleasure, enjoying the food and company.  When we emerged from A Table onto the quiet and now deserted streets of Cassis, we felt like we were on a movie set at the end of a long day of filming.  The whitewashed streets, now empty but with a warm glow coming from the street lamps – it seemed so perfect that it almost seemed fake.  I half expected that if we had peered behind the façade of one of those perfect buildings we would have seen a bunch of two-by-fours holding it up so it can be easily taken down when filming was over.  

One of the other reasons we picked Cassis for our final night in southern France was because from here you can walk to a fjord.  Yes, you read that right – France has some fjords.  When you hear the word fjord, you likely think of Norway or Alaska, but we actually saw a fjord in Ireland, and now, here we were in southern France visiting another fjord.    

Technically, these narrow, steep-walled inlets along the Mediterranean Sea are called calanques, but we also saw them referred to as fjords, so I think they are the same thing (and I’m not sure how to pronounce ‘calanques’ in French so we’ll just stick to fjords).  

The French fjord we hiked along looked different than the huge, majestic fjords we had visited in Norway, but it was stunning nonetheless.  Where a steep wall of rugged hard rock meets the shimmering blue-green waters of the Mediterranean, well, it’s simply dramatic and beautiful. 

And that, finally, wraps up our first trip to France.  Since this trip way, way, way, way back in October, we’ve spent another two weeks in France (among other places) touring different parts of the country.  France is just full of wonderful things to see and do, so much history from medieval cities to Napoleon to the beaches of Normandy, and of course there is the Eiffel Tower.  But that will have to wait for future blog posts.  So check back.  Hopefully I can keep these blog posts rolling at a more consistent rate. But for today, au revoir!

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