Awaken to Cassis, France
Bonjour my friends,
Head to the south of France to Cassis and yes, you’re still in Provence, but gone is your mindset of hills in rolling green pastures and fruit orchards, now replaced with a glassy canvas and the prettiest fishing port you will ever see…
Cassis and its sun kissed fishing cove at the base of a medieval castle, is lined with old stone homes but there’s a fresh new look in pastel shades of pink, apricot and blue which adds to the casualness and a much less pretentious atmosphere compared to its glamorous St Tropez neighbour.
Cassis is a mecca for seafood restaurants lining a fishing port and it’s no luck that they are thriving with crawling tourists from all over France and abroad. Indeed, many a French traveller are drawn to the sunshine and great food here as well.
Tourists arrive (even Aussie ones) in miniature open train carriages from the mountain above (as cars cannot descend down its narrow road) packed like sardines wearing hats and goggled in cool black.
This is a small French town with a big appetite. My french awakening to Cassis came about over a lazy lunch in the sun, rubbing shoulders with ordinary folks while tucking into the worlds best seafood. I look around and there are numerous platters of coral pink prawn tails, radiant lobsters and piles of muscle shells shimmering iridescent blue in pots under their own watery soup of hot bouillabaisse. Steam from a large bowl of Moules frites (muscles and chips- a local dish) reaches my nose in seconds. This is fresh seafood heaven with sea life jumping out of the water and onto the plate!
Sweating Cassis chefs like most of those through Provence, respect quality of produce and carefully select the best to go into mouths gaping like the wheeling seagulls above with the same anticipation. There is strong local competition that only makes it better for customers like you and I. Market days are Wednesday and Friday and expect fabulous produce like homemade tapenades, tomatoes, olives and other salad ingredients.
You will be well fed in Cassis no doubt and life is good and unhurried here. You can’t help but relax under a Provencal sun on the water’s edge.
There are also no nasty pirates here in this sailor’s landmark and only jovial ones remain, all seemingly related by paradise and its crosshatch of ropes and tangled coils of nautical paraphernalia. The entire port seems to interconnect with reflections and it’s easy to wander off mesmerized by everything in such strong light, if it weren’t for the sound of the crack of rope every now and again and the rubbing squeal of boat hulls sliding against their moorings.
A ticket of about 15 euros will do the trick for a beautiful 45 minute cruise out into the salty Mediterranean…
towards the inner world of watery inlets of the limestone Calanques…
These famous Calanques are about 120million years old and hold a treasure trove of beautiful nooks and crannies to investigate…
photograph or climb…
or water caves or even sometimes given the opportunity to dive from the back of the boat into sea green splendour. It happens.
The area around Cassis is magnificent and unspoilt. Any number of water sports like yachting…
or hiking the trails of Cape Canaille or the National Park all in the search for spectacular panoramic views of the Mediterranean. You don’t have to go far. For a full panorama of the Port of Cassis, check out this:-
Cassis is only a half an hour from Marseille airport. No time at all to get to Paradise.
Best wishes, Therese
copyright@2013 Therese Waddell