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Vacationing –  in the OTHER South of

                           France

 

 

When we left  to go on vacation last week I said to David, ‘Do you remember in the 90’s when we were not even 50 or 50-ISH – that we were NOT going to plan our vacations anymore, we would have ALL of it done for us?  – Do you remember that, darling?”

 

And the next thing to happen was that we did plan, still plan, will forever plan our vacations and probably will never have the 6,000 USD all-inclusive plan, where bags are picked up at the outset, delivered to your first/second/third location, carted around in one GINORMOUS bus that rivals the height of the Eiffel Tower, where every meal is carefully planned out for you, and that if there isn’t SNOW where you are longing to be for your “SKI Vacation”, that indeed, the bus will turn around and take you to once again another village that does have the snow, so that you can be happy. (& won’t ask for a refund to the travel company that has left you without snow).

 

This is a story of what a vacation like ours, and a vacation like “the others” take…..and I apologize before hand.  It is lacking in anything remotely made up, fabricated, as it is entirely, beyond belief,  true.

 

DAY 1 –  MORNING – Leaving Cassis via Train to the “OTHER” South of France

 

Excitement looms.  We slept but two hours as we just could not bring ourselves to going to bed.  We haven’t had a vacation away in France for a long time.   It’s 5:00 in the morning.  We haven’t been up this early in AGES.  That’s excitement all by itself.  (David works supremely late nights so we have late sleep habits).

The taxi arrives and takes our luggage and us to the little tiny train station in the dark and in the cold.  Cassis train station is the absolute embodiment of PROVENCE.  Even without the Cicada’s humming.           IMG_8682     The COQ, however, (Rooster’s ) ARE crooning as we wait for our train to arrive in the darkness.  It’s magical.  My whole life I’ve dreamed of having “Le Coq” outside my window waking me up.  Not really, just having the CHICKENS so that I could have the fresh EGGS, is really what I wanted.    ZROOOOOOOOOM, the fast train swooshes past me and wakes me out of my dream state on Le Coq’s………and then our slow train comes to a standstill and we climb aboard.

 

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As our SNCF train glides around  & hugs the tiny seaports of Sanary-sur-Mer, Bandol, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, sunrise is beginning to peek it’s iridescent glow and it’s never been more beautiful than it is right at this moment.

 

the picturesque harbour of Sanary-sur-Mer, a c...

the picturesque harbour of Sanary-sur-Mer, a commune and bathing resort in the Var department in the Provence-Alpes-

 

 

 

 

When is the Sky the Sea?

34349_471418068635_661993_nThis is my deck in Saint Louis.

A storm was moving in and I thought it looked like the sea with mountains in the background.

I wished and prayed for this to really be my view one day IF it was in His Will.

I am now on the sea.

This is how God works.

small beach area

A Close Encounter with the Beautiful Agent de Voyage, in Aubagne France

A Close Encounter with the Beautiful Agent de Voyage, in Aubagne France  

 

Cool poster in a Mittenwald travel agency

Cool poster in a Mittenwald travel agency (Photo credit: Alaskan Dude)

  

 

 

The other day, Marti, almost walked out on her husband.  They were at the “Agence de Voyages” in the  Aubagne “mall” next to Auchun.   They needed a place to go – “package trip” preferred for the winter holiday  – preferably a skiing package in a drop dead gorgeous Alpine village, that is.  Not that they are going to be tearing down the slopes, hair flying out the wool cap, goggles in place,  Nope.  They certainly will not be doing that.   They don’t really ski.     They DID ski.  But –  Not now.  Marti’s knees are totally shot and she’s lucky to be walking the streets of Marseille and climbing buses to get around.  Her husband, David has fine knees, no problems, but SKIING is out of the question.  Once they went to Axamer Lizum, home of the Winter Olympics 1964 and 1976.  It’s excellent for beginners so they, ofcourse, began on the bunny slopes.

 

 

Innsbruck bunny slope

Innsbruck bunny slope (Photo credit: K2D2vaca)

But, her husband had weak legs, was very shaky on the slopes. It wasn’t going well.  And it wasn’t from imbibing in some particular vintage of outstanding Austrian   wine the night before.  Nor anything like that.    No.   It happened that he had taken Viagra the night before and thus, any virility show of skiing wasn’t going to happen.   That stuff is potent and leaves you shaking, (I guess).  So, that is not an option.  Skiing at their ages, now?  Oh please!

 

 

So, they sat in the little Agence de Voyages boutique and her husband David started asking questions about where to go for a ski holiday.

 

 

ALL the packages were for a week or TWO and not just for 3 or 4 days like they were hoping for.  Then David asked her , the agent, whose name was Delphine,  about packages for a few days.  “Those packages don’t exist. “ she had to explain so very sweetly .      Then he started asking her about the TRAIN schedules and how they worked (even Marti knew, by this time, that what you needed to know about train schedules and were afraid to ask was at your local TRAIN STATION, not at this AGENCE de VOYAGES.  BUT, this  Travel Agent   had one particular quality……well, 2, NO,  3 or 4 or 5.  1) she was extremely beautiful  2) she had the speaking voice of an angel 3) she was patient 4) she was even more beautiful than what was just re-iterated in #1.  You get the picture.  So, Marti is beginning to feel uncomfortable and not sure where this is going.

 

 

She begins to bury her head in the lovely glossy travel catalogs on her lap.

 

 

English: View to Axamer Lizum from north. Moun...

English: View to Axamer Lizum from north. Mountains Ampferstein and Marchreisenspitze (massif Kalkkögel)

David then asks her about the packages to ANY WHERE.   Marti, glancing into shiny photos, forehead in her hand,  shakes her head.  David started a new question about CRUISE PACKAGES and where they went, and where did the French like to go and which cruise ship did they like the best…….and oooohhh la la she is beginning to wonder what the heck – !!!!!!!    This was getting quite ridiculous.   Maybe she should just get up and walk out?

 

 

Finally the long conversation between them, came to a close,  & they left with many Au Revoir’s and Bon Journee’s  among their new – HIS new friend,  Delphine, – to (finally) continue their fun grocery shopping at Auchun.

 

 

She said to him later,  on the way home that night after 64 euros worth of groceries………..”DAVID – what the heck was that all about?  Did you know that you were flirting with her – all those questions about packages?  You were GLUED to that seat of yours…..and I could see that you were not going anywhere!!  I mean, you were really really trying to cover the gamut in every conceivable travel package you could think up………

 

 

For her to have given the answers you wanted with your detail questioning would have taken her the better part of an afternoon.  You do realize that don’t you?  “ What? “  he looks innocent.  SO incredibly naïve.  What… – WHAT?”  –   It was ridiculous.  You do know that,…….. right?”  She queries.   “Well,” he finally says most deliberately, “She was an “agent in training” I was giving her practice………”

 

 

Not really expecting the truthful answer she had only slightly anticipated,  –  they both just ended up laughing about it, cracking up actually,  as she drove home through the hills.
But honestly, she thinks………… If it ‘s something that helps the “Just gimMEsomeLOVIN” as the song goes…… then let ‘er rip!!!!!!!!  Questions, that is.  Lots and lots of questions.   No harm.

 

 

🙂

 

 

AND, …………The French Travel Agents  are very patient…….. they will answer you , kindly, and they also  give away beaucoup travel catalogs.

 

 

That’s all these two need,…………. more periodicals for their 33 square meter apartment.

 

 

Resigning from POLITICS

I’ve come to the conclusion that the UNITED STATES is just way too political. It’s in every discussion, every status, every thought.  You people need to drink more wine and sit out in cafes discussing really important things – like maybe  what you’ll be having for dinner with your FAMILY this weekend, or where your next little vacation, or time away will be, or maybe God’s GOODNESS . SOMETHING.  ANYTHING.   Just not POLITICS.

 

HIgh on the list (in a graph)  on FRANCE is :   time spent with families, time off work, 

Low on the list was Politics and Religion. 

 

I love this.  I hate Religion .  But, I do love God and his Mercy.

 

 

I”m resigning from Politics.  From ANY THING remotely close to Politics.  Just wanted everyone to know.  And if you catch me “slipping” – please remind me that I said this. 

 

If you post anything remotely political on my wall I am deleting it. Except my cousin Bob, who is very funny and if you can make me laugh while sharing a political thought, I’ll handle that.

The Water and The Source

My sons loves to find the source of water.  IMG_7397 There are private homes where his friends have lived, where we once lived,  in Saint Louis and Saint Peters  that have  their very own ancient wells. Ancient  to us, that is,  would be around the time the sub-division was created, or to really nail it — You might begin with The history of St. Louis, Missouri.

St. Louis on the Mississippi river by night. J...

St. Louis on the Mississippi river by night. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial aka. Gateway Arch and Old Courthouse are visible. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It began with the settlement of the St. Louis area by Native American mound builders who lived as part of the Mississippian culture from the 800s to the 1400s, followed by other migrating tribal groups. Starting in the late 1600s, French explorers arrived, and after the French and Indian War, a French trading company led by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau established  St. Louis in February 1764. The city grew in population due to its location as a trading post on the Mississippi River In 1803, the city and the region were sold to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.  (Read, edited and taken in part from Wikipedia ).

So, My cute little  sons, wearing their best coats and using  fork shaped divining rods were known to hike into thick underbrush just to find “The Source” muddied coats and all…..  back in the 80’s in Saint Louis………

SO imagine our surprise when we discovered in this part of the world (France)   The Spring at Saint-Pierre- Les-Aubagne  (Pronounced O-Bahn) not far from where we live in Cassis.

The Hostellerie de la Source (the name comes from the spring that runs through the property), is a 17th-century bastide surrounded by the loveliest of gardens with ponds and swans  and shaded  by box trees that are over 800 years old.

At the beginning of the 1920’s, the aide-de-camp to the last Czar of Russia, Nicholas II, lived here with his family.

The Czar (LOC)

Having fled their country, the Semenoffs stayed several years in Saint-Pierre -les-Aubagne and even transformed what is now Room No. 16 into a Russian Orthodox chapel.

The Hostellerie de la Source  as it is named since it became a hotel is one of those traditional Provencal hotels that is delightful to visit especially if you talk to the proprietor that lives there. Yves, is his name.  He’s over 75 and looks fit and energetic and he says “ it’ s because of the WATER.”   His description of the place, ” – there is a Roman Aqueduct on the property….plus the  cisterns run underneath the hotel and the road next to it.”

IMG_8574        Being told  “many  people  each day come to fill up their large containers,”   sent us scurrying out to The “Cooperative” down the road to buy a “Jerrycan” so we could fill up our own and take it home.   Yes!
We have to get there before 1pm – any day – (it opens up to the public at 8am) and we can take as much water as we like.    IMG_2666

The Hostellerie de la Source  – whose water is said to have exceptional qualities.  Its principal component is barium, an alkaline-earth metal with anti-acid properties that is rarely found in such concentrations.  Not very gassy, the spring water is particularly light, rich in calcium and magnesium, and contains no nitrates.  The spring, whose age has been determined by carbon-14 dating at between 2,500 and 7,000 years, could well be, who knows, an elixir of youth……IMG_2668 IMG_2670

Now discover Marcel Pagnol and his Manon de la SourceJean de Florette and many other of his fabulous stories and films – just one of the reasons we came to France………………..

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VALENTINE’s DAY is OVER, but the LOVE continues on…………….

Valentine’s Day is OVER – but the LOVE continues on……………….   

 


The LOVE?  Not the ROSES?  Not the HEARTS?  Not all that RED in the HEARTS?   RED in the ROSES?       IMG_8539

 

NO.  And,

 

Yes.  The L O V E.

 

Of what?
Of blinding tiny sun dials whirring

 

Of the rugged Hills where you live

 

The NAME of the hills in French “Les Collines” (pretty eh?)

 

The breathtaking height and majesty of Ste Victorie

 

Montagne Sainte-Victoire

Montagne Sainte-Victoire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The fact that Cezanne painted it over 60 times

 

The Energy of the Seaport in Marseille

 

Marseille Vieux Port

Marseille Vieux Port (Photo credit: Esme_Vos)

 

The quiet of the Port town in Cassis in Winter

 

The beauty of the Mediterranean in all it’s shades of bright blue, dark blue, angry black, foamy tide and glistening turquoise on your favorite day     IMG_8483

 

The SMILE on the Boulangerie clerk’s face when we tell her the pain (baguette) we took yesterday was fabulous (even though it’s exactly like all the other baguettes every morning, only this particular one was HEART shaped!)

 

 

The Freshly squeezed orange juice every single morning – no electric squeezer – all old fashioned manuel squeezing

 

The Médiathêque Marcel Pagnol (Library – Marcel Pagnol – in Aubagne)

 

The BOOKS

 

The Discovery of Marcel Pagnol’s first edition books      IMG_8562

 

The Beauty of the words in those books of Pagnol

 

The FACT that your husband sits reading in the Library because he waits for you and all he can read in there is FRENCH!

 

The Discovery of a Spring water source where one can get their water in a jerrycan

 

libre  or FREE    – (story coming…….)                               IMG_8574

 

The wonder of the Cistern and that the Romans set up camp in this very place

 

The further wonder that it’s been there 2000 years before Christ.

 

The memories of a particular day, called VALENTINES DAY and the taste of the

 

chef’s best on your tongue even the next morning………The Beginning and his finale looked like this:

 

(Not wanting to brag personally, but still – bragging on HIM – THE CHEF

 

from ANGELINA – Cassis)

 

Here it is:

 

IMG_8545

 

IMG_8546

 

The kindness of perfect strangers. The pleasant and sincere greetings, the lilt in tone of a thank you for coming, the smile,  the movement of hand gestures that allows you to proceed, the shutting off of a leaf blower just so the worker can say “Bonjour” to you.      The unexpected e-mails, and facebook greetings from anyone and everyone –  family, people who we had thought “disappeared”……..

 

It’s a GIFT to open such e-mail! How wonderful to keep in touch with those you care about – all electronically!

 

The Love that she shares with her husband, amidst everything good, everything frustratingly difficult, amidst  language barriers, amidst failing eyesight,

 

amidst doctor’s visits and shots for her knees, amidst having to repeat things because he won’t wear the damn hearing aids, amidst hips colliding in too tight a kitchen, amidst laughter that is so strong it turns to tears, amidst the incredible odds of just being HERE………

 

THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE — whether it be strangers, friends, close friends, family, and especially to the person I love.    🙂

 

(The freshly squeezed orange juice too)   😉

 

freshly squeezed orange juice

freshly squeezed orange juice (Photo credit: Geoff Peters 604)

 

 

I Love You

 

Another Day – about Nothing – THE BUS RIDE DOWN RUE PARADIS

Seinfeld had a deal that their  show was “about nothing. ”  Sometimes I think my writing is about “nothing” , but basically, it is about “something.”

It’s just little vignettes – of a day – in Marseille –

THE BUS RIDE DOWN RUE PARADIS

Bus stop

Bus stop (Photo credit: pimhorvers)

She held the kleenex close to her nose as it was constantly her nose’s best friend these last hours, a teeny cold coming on, perhaps, and the bus stopped at her exact spot.  She stepped up – plastic bus card swiping the meter in front, clambering to her seat, ” oh no, wait!   I’ll stand”   SHE THINKS, “it’s not that far,”  so she grabs the bright yellow pole.   Then she decided to sit.  After all, the bus was empty up front, only half full in back.  Oh! She would have to face the strangers.  And ride backwards.  Okay, so be it.  She did and she stared at them and they stared — – – mostly out the window into the darkness.  No one stares, well, they do…but it’s so unobtrusive, it’s nothing.   The one thing she does know for sure is that they are all in black.  Everyone wears black. Black coats, black trousers, black dresses,black!  This COUNTRY  *LOVES*  black!!!!!! She starts to crane her neck, and that’s not good enough, so she turns her entire body in her big coat towards the front of the bus to check her stop.  After 20 seconds  she decides to get up and converse with the driver (in French.) She says something to the effect – prochain arrette?  (next stop?)  He shakes his head.  “WHAT the heck does he not understand about 2 simple words that she said correctly?”  Granted, she really should have said, “Avez-vous un arrêt de plus dans cette rue?” Do you have one more stop on this street?”  – but 4 hours of french earlier from class, 1 hour of french in the café with her “ mon ami” – 1/2 hour of which was explaining “Carafe d’eau” to her friend – and it being a late hour, she just didn’t have a brain to think anymore.  French was done for the night.  It had gone to bed long ago.   So, frustrated, she sat back down, sure – almost POSITIVE that he had one more stop before getting to the big boulevard PRADO.    Sure enough, there was one last stop – and it was hers!  She happily bounded off the bus – which is a feat for her decrepit knees and said very amicably – “OH that is what I wanted….this is perfect…..thank you!

Merci beaucoup – Bon soiree – Au Revoir”    – off the bus!

Walking down the hill to PRADO – where her next bus will come – was pleasant, quiet,

uneventful. THen, there are steps behind her.  No one is on the street but her and the steps she is hearing are louder and louder.   She saw someone stumbling out a Tabac moments earlier,  and she was not afraid, but then her brother’s words came into her head……...”They say Marseille is very dangerous – be careful out there walking. “  Well, hell!  She walks  ALL the time and a good bit of it is in the after sundown hours.  Then, all of a sudden, she hears a KKKKKKkkkkkkkkkkkkclllllluoooogggGGGGG   – SPIT!  Ah, nice,  – this is a man, an OLD man, that has to SPIT.  He is not after her, nor could he catch her. His chief desire in this night is to visit a Tabac, get cigarettes, and most definitely SPIT.  “ Just stop your imagination of “being Taken” now- get to your  Next bus stop – bus # 19.”  She tells herself.   Now she arrives at the bus stop and looks at the schedule.  It is going to be 10 minutes.  Ah sacre bleu – an ETERNITY.  Sit, pull the down coat around her legs tight, shove her cold hands with kleenex into the pockets and wait, and think, and dream, and wait some more.  The man to her right was fiddling with his iPhone earphones trying to untangle them.  The woman on her left was carrying a huge long mirror or some work of art wrapped in brown paper, amidst some squished fresh (or they were fresh) cut flowers.  She was wearing a long black coat ofcourse.   She tapped her black boots on the pavement impatiently, the right guy kept untangling what looked like was already untangled. Maybe he was using the earphones as prayer beads…but what does he get on that thing, like 2 PRAYERS???

She’s  sitting in the middle watching him from the corner of her right eye, watching her out of the corner of her left eye, while looking straight ahead.  That was the apartment of her friend A who moved back to Texas, and she was still sad she was gone.   The cold wind picked up. She is sitting on the bench pulling her scarf up half way to her nose and her coat tighter around her.  The three of them sitting/standing  there – a real boring combination.  It’s such a long 10 minutes.

And then

Bus 19 appeared.  In the distance.  It took FOR EVER for it to get from the previous stop to driving up   to the BORING THREE (at ST GENIEZ-PRADO. )  Oh for heaven sakes.  She gets off at her stop PRADO- TUNIS- and walks towards her husband’s school where he teaches.  She feels very safe and secure and at peace.  She is wearing her long black coat.  She is French.   (She wishes).

NOTE:

Okay – note:

I’m thinking of writing in third person for this NON book I’m writing.  What do you think of this so far?   SHould it be Third person, or should it be I, I, I, I, I, I, I.

I hate that.

But it IS all about *I* – Me –  My — MOI experiences. What am I to do……….?

 

 

 

Just a ho-hum day – but great SUN and…..what’s that coming out of the SEA???

CASSIS- Marseille – High of 45 – Low of 37 degrees – – –   PARIS – RAINY & 39 = ouch

High of 45 today!!    Impossible!  We were in the sun all day. It felt like 70 as we hiked and lay on the rocks.    Lovely lovely sun!  So, we are now getting warm inside as the temperature plummeted so quickly as the sun was setting.  I actually turned on the heat in my little car -& now in my apartment –  it got so incredibly cold, so quickly.

Time for using that new bathrobe -fluffy white and plush…….my luxury.

It’s impossible to bring a big robe back across the pond when it takes up so much room – unless ofcourse you have a vacuum bag that sucks everybit of air out of it – but it’s still going to take up a lot of room in a small carry-on suitcase. Thus, we splurged and bought one from IKEA.  My favorite home away from home.

Now, walking and hiking brings on a huge appetite and here is where we had our picnic today!  It was cool, very sunny, and we ate our lunch on the rocks.

Brilliant Sun, cold water

Brilliant Sun, cold water

Calanques Marseille Cassis 1

Calanques Marseille Cassis 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 divers came out of that freezing cold water while were munching our sandwiches.  Jaw dropped, ham & lettuce fell out  of my open mouth and my eyes were glued to their svelte bodies wrapped in special diving suits as they walked past me, my head following their every move – – splat splat across the rocks, things dangling from them like goggles, spears, and then a huge lovely silvery fresh fish. No time to grab camera!!!  It cracked me up (inside) what a sight!! I didn’t laugh outloud but  I was just glad it was them, not me in that water.

I do admire those divers though.   But, my thing?     I CHERISH hot water – hot showers – especially.

It’s so important – we take such things for granted sometimes.

ALORS!   A day in CASSIS – A LOVELY hike, a memorable picnic.  Wish everyone of you could have been with us today…………….. IMG_8480

The Night We Got Locked out of the PARKING GARAGE in Marseille

It was an uncharacteristically balmy night in old Marseille.

 

Curve

Curve (Photo credit: iko)

 

After several very cold days and staying indoors way too much we finally had tickets for the Cinema on Prado to see LINCOLN.   But It wasn’t going to be an ordinary night…….although it started off quite sane and normal.
We were early for the film, so we strolled Prado and dodged dog poop.  It’s getting better, or perhaps the rains have washed a lot of it away.  It doesn’t bother us anymore……..we have “radar” that advances so far ahead, that even with my near sightedness – it is spotted farther than a fishing line is cast, I swear it to you.

 

The street was now virtually still, but that’s because we had been in the very center of the worst traffic a half hour earlier.

 

Apparently rush hour is exactly from 4:30 to 5:30, because we were stuck in it for a full hour upon leaving IKEA on the outskirts of the city.

 

Thus, our usual plan of parking for FREE at the BRITISH COUNCIL, where David works, was nixed (by  moi) as I thought we should get closer to the theatre.  Parking for free, at the BC, though secure and easy, requires waiting for Bus 19 to Castelane, standing in rushhour madness for 15 minutes on that bus,  and then walking backwards to the theatre.  So, I urged my husband to park in the CASTELANE underground parking.  Our little car slid down the steep ramp and little lights set into the pavement greeted us.  Plenty of openings! We were in luck!

 

Parking garage

Parking garage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

We walked to our Cinema Theatre through the metro entrance.  (Very convenient for persons needing to park and take the metro and then train to various towns. )

 

After our pleasant stroll dodging doo doo, we made our way into the plush theatre and sat in bright red cushioned seats for LINCOLN.    Ofcourse, an amazing film, though even as I boast a certain relative who was a Confederate General in that Civil War, my historical knowledge of that particular 13th amendment was severely lacking.

 

After the film we had dinner at Paulaner, nearby underneath clear glass  and plastic covering indoor/outdoor little dining room.

 

Candles glowed and sticks of sawgrass in corners added texture and ambience.   The wine was good, the entrees very fresh – so much in fact that my husband is now used to my frequent expression…….”Ah….isn’t that a lovely plate, but alas, the head is still on.  Oh well, I can cover his eyes and be okay.  It’s definitely fish, freshly caught!”  And it was delectable.

 

It’s getting close to midnight now.   Eating dinner in France is always very late……so we head now for the parking garage with the little lights in the floor.

 

Castelane - Marseille

Castelane – Marseille (Photo credit: Josélito TIRADOS)

 

We cross at Castelane by the big pointed statue and head down the steps to the garage. It’s sealed.  I mean the shutters are down, there is no opening.  We go back up and head down the metro entrance.  It’s also shuttered tight.  It says overt 7:30 and ferme at 19;30.  That’s odd, we were sure it was a flashing 24/24 when we slid down the ramp 5 hours earlier……..what the heck?

 

I won’t go into the dialogue, but let’s just say that it was lively, loud  – words were flying everywhere all up into the high apartments above us as lights came on in front of us and which resulted in perhaps waking up souls in those apartments because that’s just the way it goes sometimes.   Alas, there is no way some situations are not going to bring about certain dialogs of………..

 

“  SHOULD HAVE,   COULD HAVE,   WOULD HAVEs ” – so,      from afar,    it probably looked a bit – shall we say – theatrically comical?

 

After a call to a friend, who had a friend who had a taxi service and after the conversation on the phone with the taxi driver we nixed the 65 euros that it would cost to take us up and over the mountain to our home in Cassis.

 

Plan C was to now find the CITADINES where we stayed when we first arrived in Marseille 5 months ago while  researching  apartments.   It was an extended stay sort of hotel and they gave British Council members a discount.  On the way towards The Citadines, I see an IBIS Hotel.  We get points there, so……sometimes the “Pollyanna”  I say, “hey, that’s a bonus, right? “    Then the miracle happens.

 

This clerk who had every motive to sell us a room for the night tells us in beautiful English “ I think that you might be able to get in at a particular entrance. I would love to book you a room, but if you want your car, I think that you can get it.”  He then proceeds to WALK us OUT of the IBIS to the Street, taking us part way up and pointing to exactly where we need to enter to find an opening so that we can get into the parking garage.    We thank him profusely and head towards the spot.  I’m the first to see the ramp down and it’s closed. Sealed. Then I cross the street leaving my husband standing under the bright neon 24/24 Parking sign.  I see this is no ramp – it’s stairs so gingerly walk down them and see it’s – ofcourse –  locked.

 

A- HA!  There is an intercom .  Pressing it – I am thinking that NO ONE is going to answer…….I begin:  “HELLO, – BONSOIR!   ma voiture est ici. J’ai besoin de ma voiture d’ici.  OKAY?”       (“My car is in here.  I need my car that’s in here. okay?” )

 

Some noise…and then OUI Madame……and then a buzz and voilà!  The door was opened!
The rest is history.  We drove on the moonlit Gineste D559 to our little abode in Cassis.  Our newly made bed with flea market sheets  had a big hole in it –

 

but alas, those sheets were clean, they were a pretty color and most of all – it was OUR BED.

 

Sometimes that’s all you need.   😉

 

je parle américain

English like an American

wynnbauman

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