After resolving to update this blog more frequently, I find myself behind already. A few weeks ago we enjoyed a lovely weekend on the coast. We stayed in La Cadière d'Azur, which isn't technically on the Mediterranean, but is just close enough to the beachfront town of Bandol to count in my book.
Bandol is known for its exceptional rosés and the beauty of its beach, which has two beach clubs to choose from. Beach clubs are the way to go, in my book. For around fifteen euros or so, you can park yourself on a comfy sun lounger with a little table and a parasol all day long. There's a restaurant where you can have a bite to eat without worrying about losing your spot or someone making off with your towel when you're not looking, and no fretting about finding a bathroom or a shower.
It's so civilized. No lying on the hot sand. No kids diving for their frisbees just inches from your face. And at the nicer beach clubs, they'll even bring drinks or a sandwich right out to you. Most important for me, though, is the shade. Even with SPF 100 and a floppy hat and a linen cover-up, my skin just isn't made for the sun. I freckle up like an over-ripe banana in a matter of minutes. So that parasol is well worth the rental fee in what I save in dermatologist bills.
Now some of you (the male ones) are probably thinking to yourself right now, "Hey, didn't I hear that there are topless beaches in France? Let's hear about that." Yes. But it's not just that there are certain beaches where toplessness is tolerated, toplessness is okay AT ANY BEACH AT ALL. Anywhere. Everywhere. No exceptions. No wonder France is the most visited country in the world.
As for what we did during our weekend on the coast, the list of activities is short. We walked around Bandol. We browsed at a boat show. We had lunch. We got ice cream. We bought Johann some flip-flops. We read books by the pool at our hotel. That's it. And I have to say, it was pretty great. There were all kinds of other things to do there, like a zoo, a botanical garden, boat tours, winery visits...
Maybe next time.