Tag Archives: St Remy-de-Provence

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

Camping Monplaisir, St Remy-de-Provence, Wednesday 7th August 2013

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Camping Monplaisir

Reception at charming Camping Monplaisir

 

 We have enjoyed 3 wonderful days at this excellent 4* campsite just 10 minutes walk from the town centre of St Remy. We were initially thinking of stopping here just 2 days, but then Adonis noticed there was a market in town today, so we extended our stay an extra day as we didn’t want to miss it.

 

The very popular market at St Remy

The very popular market at St Remy

 

And what a market it was! We got there for 10.30 am, as we had to change pitches at the campsite before we left because ours had already been booked for the day, so the market was already heaving with people. We found exactly what we were hoping to find: lots of lavender-related products, which make perfect presents to take back home, as well as other local specialities, such as cheese and saucissons and I musn’t forget the delicious lavender ice-cream, which I’d never seen or heard of before! There was even a Spanish couple selling paella, so we had a kg of that too for our dinner (we simply couldn’t leave it behind).

 

It was a real treat to enjoy all those different market stalls, as often we miss market days quite simply because we’re not in the right place at the right time.

 

 

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

 

Yesterday, we went to visit the Monastère de St Paul de Mausole (Cloître St Paul), just out of town, where Vincent Van Gogh spent a year after cutting part of his ear off and where he completed more than 150 paintings! The place is still a rest home and patients are still using painting and other art forms as part of their therapy. I found it most touching, especially Van Gogh’s bedroom, so poor and desolate-looking, with bars across the window overlooking the hospital’s garden with its sunflowers and irises. There are over 20 reproductions of his paintings at the very place where they were created, according to our guide. It certainly is a very special place, full of emotion and beauty. The entry ticket was only 4.50.

 

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

Beautiful cloister at Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

 

Cloister at Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

Cloister at Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

 

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The barred window at Van Gogh's bedroom

the view from the barred window at Van Gogh’s bedroom

Van Gogh's bedroom whilst convalescing at Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

Van Gogh’s bedroom whilst convalescing at Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The' bathroom'

The’ bathroom’

The view from the 'bathroom'

The view from the ‘bathroom’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lavender and Van Gogh's painting on the spot where they were created

Lavender and Van Gogh’s painting on the spot where they were created

The sunflowers with Monastery in background

The sunflowers with Monastery in background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

Monastère de St Paul de Mausole

 

The Sunflower Thief!

The Sunflower Thief!

 

 

The rest of the time here, we have divided between exercising in the campsite’s fabulous swimming pool, chilling at the bar (lovely alcohol-free mojito!) and relaxing in the shade of our pitch, as it is still very hot down here (34 ºC). Having said that, there was a storm early in the morning and we’ve had some very heavy showers, so today it is only a mere 24 ºC, mercifully!

 

Large pool at Camping Monplaisir

Large pool at Camping Monplaisir

 

 

Chilling at campsite bar

Chilling at campsite bar.  Really enjoyed my alcohol-free Mojito

 

Tomorrow we are off to the Mediterranean coast, heading for Martigue and then Carro.

 

I love all the flip flops hanging around swimmimg area

I love all the flip flops hanging around swimming area