After two nights in Arles, we woke up on Saturday and packed up our things, ready for the next leg of our French adventure.
After one more breakfast with François and a quick spin around the food market for fresh peaches and figs, we said goodbye and walked to the train station to get to the seaside town of Cassis, via Marseille.
It was a beautiful summer’s day and the train from Marseille was packed, with every Frenchman, woman and their chien looking for the same thing – sea air and cool water!
After stopping by our next B&B for a dip in the pool, we walked down to the sea, along the port and up the hill to the second (nicer and less busy) beach in Cassis, Plage du Bestouan. When I say ‘less busy’, there were still a whole heap of people, but I find that when there’s a slightly longer walk involved, you weed out the lazy people and those with loads of kids.
We got ourselves settled on a rock and lay in the sun while I did some serious people watching. I was in awe of the beauty of the women sitting around me; effortlessly stylish, tanned and gorgeous in that French way, they were so much lovelier than the men trying to woo them! I try not to live a life of jealousy, but it was quite trying not to feel a little pang!
Ross dived into the water off the rock, but it looked a little too intimidating for me, so I went in via the pebbled shore and couldn’t believe how cold the water was. I usually jump in anyway if the sun is hot enough, but all I could muster was splashing the water over my body and head, and running back to my towel to warm up!
After humouring Ross for long enough and with the rock not proving comfortable enough for my bony back, I suggested we go and sit at the more comfortable-looking seats in one of Bestouan’s three beach bars. Nabbing ourselves a table along the waterfront (at the bar in the middle of the beach) in the sun, with a beer for Ross and a rosé served with loads of ice for me, it really was one of those moments of absolute bliss, where you want to savour every moment so you can conjure it up the next time you’re feeling stressed, cold and uninspired.
As a side note, I never knew how much I wanted ice in my wine until the barman served it over ice without asking me first. It was the most refreshing revelation and I asked for it that way for the rest of the trip (it’s not something I’d do at home though).
As the sun started to set and having not really had a proper lunch, we walked back to the main port for an early dinner. I’d been eyeing up a spot that specialises in Moules Frites on the walk over, so we sat down and ordered ourselves some super fresh mussels, served à la marinière (the best way), with chips and aïoli, and washed down (obviously) with some icy cold wine.
Day one in Cassis; a success!