I love Mediterranean lifestyle, but this year was so hot I thought I’d melt right there on the sidewalk like an ice cube. I had trouble sleeping at night and I found it hard to find the motivation to do anything after midday. Had I been traveling solo, you would have found me in the shade, eating olives and drinking rosé or sitting on the beach under an umbrella with a cocktail all day long. 😉 But I thank the stars my love is less affected by the heat than I am and generally a much more reasonable person altogether. 😉 Haha! And even though we had our share of self indulging, we also found the time and energy to travel around a bit.
The nicest town we visited this year was Aigues-Mortes, known for its salt fields that can be observed from the fortress’ walls. There was also a little boat one could have taken to experience them up close, but we had to catch a train later and were thirsting for a beer under the plane trees. On our way around the city walking on the fortress walls, under the scorching sun, I thought I’d faint several times, sweat dripping from my forehead, but when I started spotting the roofs over the sun-washed houses, with the occasional bougainvillea and pool forming a colorful patchwork, I got so caught up in their beauty I almost forgot to complain about the heat altogether. Haha!
First we had lunch at this incredible place (and we didn’t even know it was incredible, it just looked cosy and so we took a seat!), where this ageless dame walked around in a black dress with too much make-up and too much jewelry and used the patio as a sort of a stage and, although completely unaware of it, she was the star of the place! We had squid with grilled veggies and then the best melon tart I ever tasted, had no idea there was such thing as a melon tart until the lady mentioned it while licking her lips. 😉 It was the best thing we had all summer and I’ll be trying to recreate it soon.
Then we went for a little walk around, I found a cute antiques shop and when asked if I could take a couple of pictures, the answer was “No way, if you like something, you buy it.” And so I hoped nobody would buy anything from her, ’cause I could very well deal with a no from a person with manners, but this kind of attitude doesn’t tend to score high with people.
The heat was like a curtain between me and the world, I was walking around looking for shade when it struck me that people resembled headless chickens, jumping around without direction or purpose. Luckily we found a cool spot and enjoyed a pint of ice-cold beer with the best view I know- people. God, my relationship with people is so fond and complex, I love them and hate them and consequently I couldn’t agree more with Sartre- L’enfer, c’est les autres- Hell is other people. You could see all types of folks, kids crawling around their parents’ phones, others screaming for ice-cream and others again just sipping their wine and reading the paper under a big Panama hat. 😉
“Had it not been this crowded, we could have gotten us a pied de terre here one day”, said F. “I know”, I sighed. “Too much people, though. And probably little to do besides eating and shopping.” “I’m afraid you might be right. But I loved it nevertheless!”
That day was such a treat. I love France and the fact that it’s so versatile, there’s really something for every taste- be it wild nature, old towns or jet set life. And the food! Good, the food! À la prochaine!