Sunday, April 11, 2010

St. Tropez France -- ooh la la....

Absolutely gorgeous day with the weather and the sights. Clear skies, gentle breeze and no clouds as we visited this glitzy beach resort for the “beautiful” people. Made famous by Bridget Bardot’s role in the movie “And God Created Woman”, the city offers an eclectic atmosphere that blends in with the glamorous yachts and sailboats.

We tendered in to the pier Capitainerie in the center of town and arrived in the marina with an old watchtower standing guard. The buildings Off we went through the cobblestone streets to the Saturday market at Place des Lices, along with about 500 other people! There were over 100 stalls with food, crafts, fresh cheeses, olive oil, wine, clothing (skimpy sexy bathing suits were 50 euros/$70 at the market!), lavender, leather goods, plants, jewelry, spices, HUGE dishes of paella (6 feet across!) with gigantic shrimp (about 8” long) and other delicacies ready for a picnic.

On the climb to the Citadel, which has been there for over 400 years, we met a nice gentleman painting a watercolor of the hill we had just climbed. His daughter married an American and she lives in Savannah so he visits regularly to paint. We visited the Hermitage Hotel with nice views of the town and had a delicious picnic lunch overlooking the town with a gentle breeze blowing and the shriek of peacocks in the background. The Citadel was begun in 1602 and was used until 1873. It sits majestically over the Gulf of St. Tropez and the Massif des Maures sea with its six-cornered thick walls. We climbed the worn stone steps in the keep for spectacular views of the town and sea.

Down the hill to the cemetery, Pointe du Cimetiere, with an impressive view of the sea as you wandered around the small streets. We were so surprised at the size and grandeur of the tombs. They were all raised above ground, some were over four-feet high and they place beautiful ceramics of colorful flowers on the tombs. They will always look nice! There were also photos of the person and some tombs had standing marble slabs which appeared to be a message to the deceased. They were majestic. We have to google Edouard Barclayas his tomb was a modern display of 3 feet record albums with people’s names engraved on the records – one of which was Bridget Bardot.

We continued downhill to town and wandered the narrow cobblestone streets past the many expensive boutiques (you name a top designer/jeweler and they were there). Meandered onto the wharf, past the massive yachts and open-air restaurants and I could just imagine the scene on a hot summer night.

Tendered back to the ship, worked on the computer to sort out the problems I had last night, called home, dressed for formal night in 25 minutes (shower and all!) and celebrated the 46th wedding anniversary of our tablemates with Lucy, the Guest Relations Manager dining with us – so wine and drinks were included with our dinner! It was “Speakeasy” night so we enjoyed the crew in their gangster costumes with tilted hats. I think they really enjoyed dressing like a gangster movie star and had a lot of fun.
Fantastic entertainment with the Unexpected Boys, who do a rendition of the Jersey Boys and planned tomorrow’s outing.

These words come to mind after our day here…
- Dogs (every other person seemed to own a dog and was holding it)
- Topless (many beaches are either topless or allow nude bathing) “St. Tropez women popularized topless bathing when they adopted soda bottle caps as protection from the sun and indecency laws.”
- Men and Women wearing the color black
- Yachts (registered all over the world)
- Women wearing boots and high heels
- Sunshine
- Watercolor artists painting at the wharf
- Hedonistic jet-set destination which you must see once in your life

“If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” - Yogi Beara