Saint-Tropez - An Autumn by the Sea - CycleBlaze

November 9, 2018

Saint-Tropez

It was raining this morning, and rained hard in the evening; but surprisingly it stayed dry nearly all day today.  Expecting to get wet, we left the bikes in the garage and took the short ferry across the bay to Saint-Tropez instead and spent the whole day exploring the famous village.  No biking, but an excellent day nontheless.  We’re changing our standards a bit now that we’re on the road for such along period.  The important thing is the quality of the day, not the number of miles we fit in.  This was definitely high quality.

I didn’t expect to enjoy Saint-Tropez nearly as much as we both did.  It is so different coming to A-list destinations like this in the off-off season.  No crowds, the trinket shops are down for the winter, and it just feels like a normal town, but an exceptionally lovely one.  It’s great to see the town itself, and the Citadel and its fascinating maritime museum.  Also though, it’s a fine spot for walking.  There’s a beautiful coastal track that starts right from the old town and continues as far as you care to follow it.

Staying in Sainte-Maxime and visiting Tropez by ferry is an excellent strategy, by the way.  The ferry runs hourly throughout the day, and it makes a dramatic way to approach the town.  Also, it’s much more economical - room rates in Maxime are easily only half of the ones in Tropez.

When this spry woman passed us on the way to the ferry, I had to take a shot. Who knows if we’ll see any other folks today? Better bag one early and avoid being shut out.
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Jacquie GaudetThat is a very stylish rain cape!
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4 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetYup. I like the black lace skirt too. Nobody does it like the French!
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4 weeks ago
Keep ‘em coming
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The Green Boat, our ferry to Saint Tropez. It’s a short 15 minute ride across the wide-mouthed bay, but a very rough ride today.
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The Saint-Tropez lighthouse tips us off that we’re coming to a very colorful spot.
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There’s a stiff east wind blowing the sea into the bay this morning. On the right below the wall is the beginning of the seaside walkway. Not today.
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Sitting on a knoll right above town, the 400 year old Saint-Tropez Citadel is the most important structure between Antibes and Toulon.
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The Citadel is a premier site with many attractions, and at 3 euros is a real bargain. The first attraction we encounter is the peacocks hovering outside the window of the admission office, peering through the window and waiting for their midday feeding.
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The entrance gate to the Citadel
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Protecting the entrance to the most important harbor in the region
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The old chapel, adjacent to the Citadel
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I call it Mediterranean fortress lichen, though Bill may have other ideas.
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Bill ShaneyfeltSorry, I am not much able to help with lichens. I do see gold colored ones, and several types of light gray ones and several types of dark lichens... How's that for ideas?

I found numerous lichen web sites in French too. This one might have some good info. but French is not one of my linguistic abilities.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltSuch a disappointment you are, Bill. Ah, well - I liked my best guess at it anyway.
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1 month ago
At the Citadel
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I’m not sure what this one is defending. Airplanes hadn’t been invented yet.
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Jen GrumbyPterodactyls, maybe?
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1 month ago
The Citadel houses a very interesting maritime museum, with displays illustrating the seagoing history of San Tropez and its citizens. These weapons are ‘Arms of Honor’ (a forerunner of the Legion of Honor award) granted to Jean Baptiste Seville in 1798 for his courageous actions agains Admiral Nelson.
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Title page of the log book from the ‘officier de plume’ (the ship’s official writer) of the Stella Maturina. According to the museum, most seagoing Levantine vessels in this era included a writer to keep a record of the expedition.
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A model of the Le Bequin, a Xebec built in 1750. The Xebec was a class of ship built for privateering, to defend trading ships from Barbary pirates.
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We stopped for a fine lunch at L’Olive, and then went our own way for the next two hours. Rachael looks back before departing, as I wait for the bill and linger a bit longer over an americano.
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The bell tower of Notre Dame Church is difficult to get a good shot of from street level, crowded on all sides with tall structures and visible only through narrow streets. The best view is here, from the Citadel.
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Chapelle de la Misericorde, another structure best viewed from above.
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There are any number of colorful shots to be taken in the old city. Who knows why I chose this one to include?
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Jen GrumbyI say go back and swap that scooter for a Bike Friday. Now that would be a tremendous shot. Tremendous!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyYou’re right! Never occurred to me. Not sure it’s that wise though in a land where I don’t speak the language.
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1 month ago
The red cross
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A street level view of Notre Dame church
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Street Lamp with Dove, no. 1
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Street Lamp with Dove, no. 2
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The winds continued to ramp up all day. When we boarded the ferry to return to Sainte-Maxime, the pilot asked if we had remembered our seasick pills. He made a good point - check out the video of the return voyage.
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Saint-Tropez, seen from the coastal walk. The shot of the submerged walkway taken earlier in the day was taken on the opposite side of these buildings.
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At boules, in the Place des Lices. It is so pleasant to visit places like Saint-Tropez in this season! It is so quiet, and feels like a small Provençal village rather than a premier resort.
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Steve Miller/Grampies"Place des Lices" caught my eye, because of the impression Boulevard des Lices ha made on me in Arles. It's the site of the weekly market, and full of people and chow. So how did "des Lices" pop up in Saint-Tropez, I wondered, and what does it mean? Google Translate had no opinion on "des Lices", but ventured a translation of "bitches" for "lices". Say what? More searching seems to identify "lices" as the area between palisades when defensive walls are doubled or tripled, but it's murky, and lost in antiquated usages. Even so, I found at least eleven towns in France with Boulevards, Rues, Traverses, or Places of this name. Saint Tropez could be the leader among these, with a Place and a Traverse. In fact it also has a "Parc" and best of all the three star Hotel es Lices. About 200 euros, though!
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/Grampies200 euros is almost the floor price on accommodations here. Speedy place. Actually, I was thinking this was the place for the flea market, but that’s des puces, of course.
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1 month ago
A nice way to put a wrap to the day: with a shot of a woman walking away, just like the one we began with.
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