On our first, true non-beach day of our vacation we headed up to the perched village of St. Paul de Vence, a beautiful, arty town full of shops and galleries. And tourists. Jam packed full of tourists. We spent the afternoon wandering through hot streets, taking pictures and eating ice cream. My favorite part of the day was when we came across the pétanque courts.
Pétanque is a game very similar to bocce in which you toss metal balls at a “cochonnet” (little pig) which is a small wooden ball, not an actual pig. Whoever is closest, scores. Simple to understand and simple to play with a glass of wine in your hand. It’s a game often played by groups of older gentlemen in the south of France, passing the afternoon together. Most towns have their own public, shady petanque courts and you can bet they are filled every afternoon with the men of the town.
Our rental house had it’s own petanque court so we spent the following evening playing until sundown.
We had only two beach days left so we chose wisely. First, St. Aygulf, where we also found a brocante (see postcards from previous posts) and you can buy beignets on the beach.
Then our favorite of all the beaches we visited, Theoule sur Mer.
More crystal clear water, more snorkeling with pretty fish, fantastic yachts just outside the protected bay, a raft to swim out to and dive from….
I mean, come on. How do you follow that? With a visit to a winery, of course.
To sum up the south of France…. Beautiful.
There’s still one more recap post left because there’s a lot to see between southern France and the Belgian border, even if all you’re doing is driving home.