Europe 2010: Day 9 – St. Tropez

……………………………………………. Bain de Soleil for the St. Tropez tannnn………………………………………..
                                                                   (sing it with me)

I didn’t know what to expect “San Tropay” to be like, other than the residents are their own specific shade of sun-kissed bronze.  The association between St. Tropez and sunscreen led me to conclude it was a beach town, so I likened it in my mind to the beach towns I was familiar with.  American beach towns like Miami or Los Angeles weren’t what I was thinking because of their “in-your-face”-ness.  I had in mind more like La Jolla or something Outer Banks-y – you know, something residential and low-key.

Nothing in my limited world experience prepared me for the beauty of St. Tropez.

It was unlike anything I’d ever seen before.

There were outcroppings of rocks in the place where sandy beaches had been in my mind.  The horizon wasn’t endless, rather it was filled with coastline; a series of glorious, winding, rocky beaches.

I love the sound of water lapping against the rocks.

I could have stayed there all day, but I also wanted to go in and explore the town itself, which we were able to do entirely on foot.

I like town squares as much as the next guy, where everything is visible from wherever you look, but give me a narrow passageway, and I am all over it.


To me, town squares seem to be all about maintaining a façade of perfection, and what you see is what you get.  In contrast, there is an allure to a small, pedestrian-only alley – something just begging to be discovered.  Rather than having everything on display for all the world to in one glance, a narrow walkway beckons you to come closer and explore.

I loved that retail and restaurants mingle with residences.

We found all sorts of surprises just by walking down these seemingly ancient passageways.

Houses whose walls were dripping with flowering vines…

… next to the local Louis Vuitton store…

Then you just *have* to keep going because you never know what’s around the next corner!

Can I just say that one of my favorite things are painted shutters and doors???

Of course the boats in the marina were spectacular, and I liked that we could walk right up to them…

… but the extravagance of life on the Côte d’Azur is not what impressed me the most about my visit to this lovely Mediterranean town.


The thing I love the most about traveling (and was able to do on this trip) is exploring a new place on foot.  I love the sights and the smells and the sounds and the ability to touch things if I want to.  I like to feel like I am a part of the city, experiencing it the way a local does – especially the daily minutiae. 


I guess because I consider myself a low-key kind of person, a low-key kind of vacation suits me very well.  I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone refer to the French Riviera as “low-key”, but I managed to find a way to make it so.

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3 Comments

  1. my grandma always wore that brand of sunscreen! i hardly ever see it anywhere anymore 🙂

    ahhh cote d'azure….hard to believe i have been there now!

    i love your day. i love the coastline
    and the boats you could walk up to (just like in monaco)

    seems very similar.

    beautiful! thank you for sharing!!!

    Like

  2. I've loved reading this series on your European trip, not only because of the beautiful pictures, but because you have become so adept at putting into words thoughts/feelings that make me go: “Yes!! That's what I meant/felt when I was at (insert location here)!” Can't wait for you to have more travel adventures so I can tag along – even if it is only virtually 🙂

    In this post it is:

    “In contrast, there is an allure to a small, pedestrian-only alley – something just begging to be discovered.  Rather than having everything on display for all the world to in one glance, a narrow walkway beckons you to come closer and explore.”

    Like

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