Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reflections of The South

We have returned from our jaunt to France's Mediterranean coast and I am already missing it. They say people are; town people, country people, mountain people or coastal people, I am a bit of all of those, however whenever I am on or near the Mediterranean coast, I feel a sense of well being and contentment that I cannot explain, it runs deeper than just a holiday thing, my hairdresser, describes my hair as Mediterranean!  Perhaps my early ancestors hailed from some place on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Now back in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the weather is growing colder and there is the distinct smell of Autumn in the air, the first dusting of snow appeared on the mountains the other morning.  The Mediterranean won't really experience colder weather till around November.

  I know some people who have moved from the Mediterranean coast to other parts of France because they miss the seasons, although there are seasons in that part of the world, they are less defined.  There is a point in Southern France and I can tell you exactly where it is, it is just after Carcasonne, the landscape starts to change, green fields and deciduous trees decrease in numbers and are replaced by pines, cypresses and vineyards as you reach Narbonne you get your first glimpse of the sparkling blue Mediterranean and the further east you go, the landscape becomes increasingly Mediterranean, driving through towns you see Bougainvillea, Oleander and olive trees in abundance, the architecture changes, the colours change, tiles on roofs change, the style of the shutters on the buildings change and most significantly, the light changes...

I could not resist snapping this 2CV, they are getting rarer in France, you don't see this icon of France on the roads as often as you used to.  Judging by the flowers, attached by a ribbon, I suspect this one has just been used for a wedding, possibly carrying the bride and groom. My friend Veronique over at French Girl in Seattle has just written a superb post about the 2CV, pop over and visit her, she has one of the most informative and interesting blogs regarding France and French life.

Most of these photos were taken in Antibes, we spent an afternoon there with Belle Mere, she had not been for quite a while, she reminisced about a restaurant, near an English bookshop, she used to frequent around 20 years ago, imagine her delight when she discovered the restaurant and bookshop still there.  The restaurant was different to how she remembered it, much more modern and swanky now and the bookshop is larger, needless to say we had a delightful lunch and afterwards wandered round the bookshop.


  1. What a wonderful post, dash! Captivating words and beautiful images.
    I've always longed for a Citroen 2CV, they are such an iconic motor. x

  2. Dash-- Thank you so much for mentioning my post on the wonderful 2CV! This is one story I have particularly enjoyed working on ;-) Loved your post too. i can totally relate to the part where you describe your feelings as you get closer to the Mediterranean coast. My family came from the South and the South is where I will always return... Something tells me that by the time my son is off to college, I will have one foot in the US and one foot on the French coast (can you guess what city? ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  3. Lovely photos and descriptions...Have you ever thought of writing a travel book?

  4. Dash, what lovely photos.
    I haven't been to Antibes since 1995. It looks as lovely as ever.

  5. Years ago, during my art student days, I found Picasso's painting 'Night Fishing at Antibes' (MoMA/NYC) and immediately fell in love with the mystique of 'Antibes'. Your photos continue the allure. I have thoroughly enjoyed your vacation! Thank you, Dash, for these wonderful posts.

  6. Perfect vacation spot! =)

  7. That is my favorite restaurant in Antibes as well. :) They only renovated it a few years ago--happily, as you say, the food is still good and a very good rapport qualité prix for Antibes.

    I live in Arles. Not quite the Mediterranean, nor Provence but a weird little microcosm on its own!

  8. Well, having just returned, myself, from two weeks of scuttling around Languedoc/Rousillon, I just found your blog via "Lost in Arles". this should be fun to peruse.

    And speaking of mother-in-laws?....I just saw mine (she's French) for four days, just two weeks ago. She and the father-in-law arrive here in five hours....for a three week visit. It's a good thing we happen to like each other.

    Once again, I'll look forward to reading your blog.

    David Terry

  9. SO wonderful to see these quintessentially French images. So cinemagraphic and aesthetically pleasing. I feel like I'm in Vuillard's painting or Jacques Rivette's cinemagraphic film. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....


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