Sunday, March 14, 2010

Good Times in the French Riviera

La Roquette - Things are still going well here in the small village of La Roquette. In fact, we are getting very well acquainted with the area and are feeling pretty at home here. We have been doing a lot of walking here. Today, we walked to a town on the beach called La Bocca which is about 6.5km away. It was very confusing to get to because all the street names are the same. We passed 3 streets called Chemin des Gourgettes, 2 called Michel Jourdan (haha) and 3 called Garibondy. All in all, we got lost on the way and it caused a heck of a time getting to the beach. But we finally made it and had a great picnic lunch with MEAT and mustard too this time.

It was very beautiful. Thursday, we got our first taste of the Mediterranean when we went to visit Cannes . The city is very chic and expensive and much smaller than we were expecting. We took a long walk to the top of the hill there where the old castle was and saw a beautiful panorama of the entire coast. Its amazing that the mountains (lower Alps) go right up to the sea. Everything was very blue and shiny from there. The weather has been better here, but still not swimming weather yet.

Wednesday, we went to the weekly outdoor market in our village and Betsy was able to show off her French as we got fish (bass) and lots of veggies. We found out that the nearest bancomat is in Mouans Sartoux which is 4,4km away from us, and we were running out of cash. We had just enough to buy everything that we wanted except for bread. That night we cooked a feast ! Betsy was pretty squeamish about eating fish with heads and tails intact. I (Ben) had to hack away with our dull knives here to chop off the heads and fillet them before we cooked them. We prepared them with raisins, lemon, sugar and some thyme and sage from the garden here and they turned out delicious. We were just so grateful not to eat pasta or soup for dinner.

Our host family has retuned from their weeklong trip to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. They were very happy to see us, which is nice. We can tell that they really like us and Ton has already invited us to come back if we can’t get a place when we get back to France. Charlie and Minou are no longer living with us (so sad), but they did visit our house today for an extended period, and get excited when they see us. The Polish contractor got here this morning and we are looking forward to a long week of construction work on the entry stairs and walkway etc.

P.S. One quick note about our travels—we have been really impressed with the Offices de Tourisme in France. We have seen (and used) them everywhere, no matter how small the village. Perhaps because of the levels of national pride? 

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great week! I'm really jealous that you got to see Cannes. There's that big film festival that's held there every spring, and the pictures of the town and surrounding geography always look beautiful. The fish dinner with head and tail still intact though, that, I am not as jealous of. Glad to hear you're bonding with both host family and host pets. Keep having a blast!