Tag Archives: Bouches du Rhône

Carro, Bouches du Rhône, Wednesday 5th August 2015

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The attractive and shady aire at Comps

The attractive and shady aire at Comps on the Gardon River

We did make it to Comps and what a wonderful aire it is too! We found a nice large spot under the trees just a few metres from the river Gardon and we knew immediately we were going to love it there and that we’d stay put for a couple of days, which in the end turned into 3 and only left because we were getting very low on provisions and also needed to fill up with water. The aire costs 6 a night, but the guard who collects the fees didn’t turn up on Sunday night, so we had a day for free!

Our large pitch in the shade

Our large pitch in the shade

We had arranged to meet John and Julie there and they turned up at lunchtime on Monday, which made our stay all the more fun and special. Together we enjoyed a few swims in the river and Julie was kind and strong enough to row the boat for the two of us while we soaked up the sun and admired the views and the boys stayed on the shore.

Julie at the helm!

Julie at the helm!

John and Julie enjoying a refreshing swim

John and Julie enjoying a refreshing swim

The rest of the time, we just chilled by the vans, sharing our drinks and food and we were lucky enough to join them for their 31st Wedding Anniversary last night, which we celebrated with some Gin and Tonics and a chilli con carne, plus the usual glasses of wine and cheese and biscuits. And a good time was had by all!

Celebrating John and Julie's Wedding Anniversary

Celebrating John and Julie’s Wedding Anniversary

Adonis even enjoyed a spot of fishing and caught this little beauty: a Golden Orfe. The first of its kind he’s ever caught.

A proud Adonis with his Golden Orfe

A proud Adonis with his Golden Orfe

Golden Orfe

Golden Orfe

The only thing missing from Comps is a proper store to stock up on food and drinks, as they only shop there didn’t sell alcohol and Adonis and I had to cycle to the nearest town of Beaucaire, about 3 miles away, where there is a very good Intermarché which catered for our needs very well indeed.

We left Comps this morning after queuing up for a while to empty the grey water tank and top up with fresh water, as there were several vans leaving at the same time, and we headed south towards Arles and from there on the N113 and N568 to Martigues and finally the D5 to Carro.

Busy Carro's beach on a very hot day

Busy Carro’s beach on a very hot day

The bay from a different angle

The cove from a different angle

There were a few spaces left at this large aire on the Mediterranean, but as we arrived just after 1 pm, all the spots facing the sea were taken and we are now parked more towards to middle, but that’s not a major problem for we’ve spent most of the time snorkelling, first in the little cove and later right by the aire, where the sea is more open, but still wonderful for spotting sea life, with lots of different fish, little and large and of every colour imaginable and I even saw an octopus!

The beach closer to the motorhome aire and the open Mediterranean sea, still great for snorkelling

The beach closer to the motorhome aire and the open Mediterranean sea, still great for snorkelling

And with a stunning sunset to boot, what’s not to like?

The beginning of a stunning sunset

The beginning of a stunning sunset

The WOW factor sunset

The WOW factor sunset

This is truly a magnificent stop for a couple of days for only 10 a night with water included but no electricity. Payment is at machine on entrance, where you’re given a receipt with a code for the exit gate.

Tomorrow, we are going to Sommières, between Nîmes and Montpellier.

Camping Arc-en-Ciel, Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, Saturday 19th July

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Beautiful Reception area at camping Arc-en-Ciel

Beautiful Reception area at camping Arc-en-Ciel

 

 

We are so glad we came here! We’ve totally fallen in love with this amazing town, so eclectic and cosmopolitan, yet so very French! We are only sorry that we could only manage 3 days at this wonderful campsite, as it’s fully booked for tomorrow and we have to leave our pitch. In fact, we were very lucky to get it in the first place and be able to stay for 3 days, as we hadn’t booked (we never do). When we arrived on Thursday morning, I was initially told they didn’t have room for us, but the very helpful and friendly hostess found us a perfect pitch by the river, No 36, with lots of shade from a pine tree and the surrounding tall bamboo. We even have our own water fountain with an old-fashioned stone basin and we couldn’t ask for more: absolutely charming.

 

Out pitch shaded by pine trees and tall bamboo

Out pitch shaded by pine trees and tall bamboo

 

Enjoying lunch in the shade surrounded by bamboo

Enjoying lunch in the shade surrounded by bamboo

 

The tall bamboo providing shade and privacy

The tall bamboo providing shade and privacy

 

Our very own water fountain with stone basin

Our very own water fountain with stone basin

 

The campsite is spotless, with roomy shower/toilet cubicles and ample space for washing clothes and dishes. There is also a large swimming pool and lovely views of Le Pont des 3 Saults, painted by Cézanne, and free WiFi! For 75 for the 3 nights, we are more than pleased.

 

The river running through campsite with Le Pont des 3 Sautls

The river running through campsite with Le Pont des 3 Sautls

 

River running past right by our pitch

River running past right by our pitch

 

The large and cooling swimming pool

The large and cooling swimming pool

 

 

The town of Aix-en-Provence is a little jewel full of life, colour and delicious aromas. It is a place where you can let yourself be taken by your senses and every corner hides a treasure. On our first day, we visited the Musée Granet, where they are holding an exhibition of Pearlman’s Collection, which includes works by Cézanne, Manet, de-la-Croix, Van Gough, Picasso, Modigliani and others: a marvellous treat for Art lovers.

 

Busy Aix-en-Provence on a Friday morning, market day

Busy Aix-en-Provence on a Friday morning, market day

 

The rest of the time we have enjoyed strolling gently through these quaint streets and marvelling at the town’s fountains and architecture, not least its Cathedral Saint Sauveur, that dates from V to XVII century. We visited this morning and it’s truly fascinating, with its Roman mosaics, Medieval triptychs and Renaissance paintings: a wonder to behold!

 

The Cathedral Saint Sauveur

The Cathedral Saint Sauveur

 

A clock tower

A clock tower

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the large street markets selling everything you could possibly need and I am forever gob-smacked at the size of the fruit and vegetables here: a gigantic version of what we get back home and so aromatic and inviting. We came back loaded with nectarines, apricots, sanglier (wild boar sausage), herbs of Provence, cherries and assorted flavoured biscuits, such as aniseed, lemon, cinnamon and chocolate: truly delicious.

 

Enjoying a spot of shopping at the magnificent street market

Enjoying a spot of shopping at the magnificent street market

 

Giant cherries!

Giant cherries!

 

Look at the size of those spring onions!

Look at the size of those spring onions!

 

We’ve just come back from a meal out at Le Solferino restaurant on 3 Place d’Arménie, where we enjoyed lamb cutlets and salmon with a nice bottle of local Rosé, all very reasonably priced and most enjoyable, served by a very friendly and efficient waiter who spoke good English: a perfect way to end our visit to this adorable and welcoming city and I for one can’t wait to come back.

 

Strolling gently through town enjoying charming views

Strolling gently through town enjoying charming views

 

Quaint and chic

Quaint and chic

 

Fountain at Place d'Albertas

Fountain at Place d’Albertas

 

La Rotonde Fountain

La Rotonde Fountain

 

Aix-en-Provence 018

 

Tomorrow, we are heading slightly north east – east of Manosque, to visit some lavender fields and hopefully buy some lavender products. I am really looking forward to that, as they look amazing in the pictures!

 

So very French!

So very French!

Carro, Bouches du Rhône, Friday 9th August 2013

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Motorhome aire at Carro, right by the Mediterranean

Motorhome aire at Carro, right by the Mediterranean

 

 We have made it to the Mediterranean at last and it’s only taken us 5 weeks! We’ve been here for 2 days at the motorhome aire on Quay Vérandy. We thought this aire was actually going to be in Martigues, which is where we were hoping to stay, but after driving around in Martigues looking for it without success, we entered the co-ordinates given on the aires guide book (‘Le Guide Officiel Aires de Services Camping Cars’: Lat 43º 19′ 46” N Long 5º 2′ 23” E) and it brought us here, about 6 or 7 miles further south!

Taking a walk on the rocky landscape

Taking a walk (and a beer) on the rocky landscape – motorhome aire in background

 

The drive from St Remy de Provence was very easy, following the D99 west to join the D570 south to Arles and from there gently south east on N113 and N568. We just had a quick stop at Supermarché to stock up on food and we were here for 12 noon.

 

Carro

Carro beach

 

It’s still hot here, but very windy, maybe experiencing some of that famous Provençal Mistral, so much so that the wind pushed the motorhome off the levelling blocks earlier on when we were actually inside! It definitely rocked us like never before!

 

Cove and beach

Cove and beach – great for snorkelling

 

Still, it’s been very sunny for the last couple of days and we have enjoyed a few swims in the warm Mediterranean sea. We have also made the most of our snorkelling gear and have enjoyed a very peaceful time spotting the various fish around the rocks surrounding the beach. There is something very special and magical about swimming with the fish, oblivious to everything else, listening only to the sound of your breathing: it’s almost like being on another planet.

 

Strange sights at the fish market

Strange sights at the fish market

 

Carro is mainly a fishing village and this morning we bought some mussels directly from one of the port’s fish stalls by the aire. It was definitely the most popular stall in the market and we had to queue for a few minutes to get our kilo, which I cooked à la Marinière for lunch: fresh and delicious!

 

Preparing the mussels for lunch.  Can't get them fresher than that!

Preparing the mussels for lunch. Can’t get them fresher than that!

 

 

We feel really privileged here on this aire right by the sea: we’re a mere 50 metres from the water’s edge and just 5 minutes’ walk from the little beach in the cove, nicely sheltered and supervised during the day. It’s funny, though, how only around the corner from here, in the open sea, it’s really rough and a few people are enjoying windsurfing and body boarding in the strong current and waves.

 

The rough sea round the corner, perfect for windsurfing, etc

The rough sea round the corner, perfect for windsurfing, etc

 

This aire costs 10 a day, payable at the entrance by credit card: same system as in Bourget-du-Lac, and there is no electricity either, but plenty of water.

 

I just like this seagull hovering over the boats

I just like this seagull in the sun

 

Tomorrow we’re heading for a France Passion bull farm in the Camargue, which should be really different to everything we’ve seen so far.

 

Seagulls enjoying a meal

Carro and marina