I was planning on writing about our beautiful, if blisteringly hot, sojourn to France this month, but we left Nice the day after 14 Juillet (Bastille Day), and all my impressions of painterly sunsets and peaceful farmers market day trips had been wiped from my mind.
Sadness and bewilderment and lots of hugs were the order of the day.
Still, I would be remiss if I did not mention how lovely it was to spend several weeks with family and loved ones. Swimming, diving, climbing lots of hills, taking the boat to Ile St Marguerite, and celebrating my birthday at Fred’s, as is now tradition.
We beat the heat with spritzers, homemade ice cream, cooling melon salads, and plenty of mussels and oysters. The best ones I had were opened by fishermen right in the port in Marseille and enjoyed immediately and immensely.
Yes, we also spent a few days in Marseille, exploring the old town and the MUCEM museum and, of course, cheering on Les Bleus, the main purpose of our visit!
My favorite find in Marseille was a small family bakery that makes the flakiest pie and quiche crusts, and is perfect for an easy lunch. Bonne addresse: Salon de the MG Gourmandises, 36 Grand Rue 13002 Marseille. It is right across the street from the Hotel de Cabre, the oldest surviving building in Marseille.
Marseille itself is a fascinating city, full of contrasts of old and new, and young and old.
I feel like it is often overlooked by visitors to the region, but you should give it a few days of your time and you will find yourself engaging with this city in unexpected ways.
As to Nice, and all my lovely coastal towns to its right and left – they are my first love and are always in my heart.