Our Vacation Rental Homes in Sablet, Provence

Sablet Village, Vaucluse, Provence, France
Maison des Pelerins and La Baume des Pelerins, or "les Pelerins" as we affectionately refer to our dream come true, of owning our own homes in Provence, are located in the heart of the Vaucluse. We thoroughly enjoy hearing from our guests to "les Pelerins" that they feel they are spending time in their own home in Provence. To be a part of village life, Sablet is the perfect place. "Les Pelerins" dates back to the time when the Popes administered the Catholic Church from Avignon, with a Papal Vice-Legat having a residence right here in Sablet. Our neighbor's home was the Vice-Legat's residence. Ours was one of the buildings that housed visitors and pilgrims and was connected to it, as we can see from the internal portals, and the front door of Maison des Pelerins. Hence the name - Pelerins is French for pilgrims. I hope this Blog will help you get to know Provence and live your Provencal Dream.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Fish Tale from La Ciotat

Everyone knows Cassis - it is the beautiful little seaside village that (mostly) French people love to flock to in the warm months each summer.

Beach goers enjoy  a warm October morning in La Ciotat
We came to know and love Cassis as well as its larger and a little more "work a day" neighbor - La Ciotat when we spent two weeks at "Le Camping" in the  nearby village of  Ceyreste with our then two small boys, back in the summer of 1985.  Funny that we hadn't been back to La Ciotat (although we had visited Cassis a number of times since) until just a few weeks ago.

Does that sign say, "Swimming Prohibited"?
What really stands out in my memory about La Ciotat - apart from its beach being the first place where our little boys saw topless sunbathers - is our evening fishing trip taken on a local fishing boat, captained by an "local expert".

Colorful boats anchored in the harbor at La Ciotat
To make a long story short - La Ciotat, being on the Mediterranean Coast, it of course has a typically Mediterranean climate - which can also mean the coastal areas being blanketed by fog on summer afternoons and evenings!  Dense fog is not the ideal setting for a family fishing trip, but we'd booked the boat and by the time we reached the boat, the captain had all our items loaded onto it and assured us that he had the latest in electronic equipment so that we would be completely safe and would certainly have no problems at all in finding the best fishing spot!  Somewhat reluctantly we climbed aboard and set out chugging through the stone walls of the breakwater - as the bells from the old Church struck eight times ... bong... bong... bong... bong... bong... bong... bong... bong! 8pm!

Four hours later the same bells marked our return, as we thankfully chugged back into the harbor - this time there were twelve bongs! I say "thankfully" because we had spent the better part of those four hours bobbing around, somewhere in the totally fogged in Mediterranean with the Captain constantly sounding his horn, to make sure that other vessels knew we were out there, and not run into us!  Adding to the sense of drama, in between sounding the horn, he was checking radio signals with a directional finder - picking up radio traffic in a variety of languages - Spanish ... North African varieties ... Italian etc.. etc...

Looking across one of the piers towards the Port of La Ciotat

Did we catch fish? Oh yes! We did catch a fish! In all that time, our younger son, about 6 years old at the time, was constantly casting his line and reeling it back in - (to keep from become completely bored I think).  We told him time and time again, not to do that, because he should give the fish a chance to bite - but he didn't stop.  It was probably just as well, because the only catch for the night was some poor, unsuspecting fish that got hooked in the gills as it was swimming past and was reeled in!

Right around 1:00am, we arrived back at Le Camping, to find the gate locked for the night, so we parked the car and walked back to our rented Camper Trailer with our fish.  We were all so tired, that we left the fish in its bucket on the table in the campsite and called it a night.

Around 9am, the boys woke up and ran out to check their fish.  We heard them chuckling away and went to see what was happening - they told us that we'd caught a "cartoon fish".  What's a "cartoon fish"? Why .. it's a fish skeleton - just like in the cartoons after the cats had feasted while we were asleep - and I can confidently say that, that night, the cat(s) in Ceyreste had the most expensive cat food in all of France!

A "Cartoon Fish"
Like all of the small towns and villages along that part of the Mediterranean Coast, La Ciotat has grown with more shops, cafes and  restaurants along shoreline as well as lots of rides and activities for children.

Actors playing the part of 1720's seafarers at the Festival
This year we arrived at the Port on a Sunday morning to find ourselves at a "Spectacle 1720" Festival where the Sunday Market usually is.  The market was being held further along the beach front and we enjoyed a stroll through the Festival and then a good walk  along  the beachfront to the market.  The port was still busy and clock still chimed every hour on the hour.

A colorful carousel with a nautical theme attracts children to the beach area
Market along the beach at a La Ciotat

Touring the beautiful Calanques is a very popular and relaxing
The Musee Ciotaden is just a cross the road from the Port

View from the Restaurant we went to for lunch - the weather was just turning and before long we had heavy drizzling
Going back to La Ciotat was like visiting an old friend - although the town had changed in all those years, it was still basically the same. The sight of kids playing on the beach took me back to those hot August days when we loaded up the car early each day and headed from Ceyreste to the beach, with the kids (and every other person in France) along the crowded beach road until we found the best spot for the day's play.

No comments:

Post a Comment