Roses along the canal in Ollioules village.
Greetings dear readers and friends. I hope this post finds you doing well in your respective corners of the world, and boy oh boy, if we’re not thrilled to be getting out of lockdown here in la belle France.
It’s been a long haul over these last 14 months, and although it’s far from over, it’s so nice to have a sense of hope on the horizon. There are a lot worse places to be stuck than the south of France, and I’m keenly aware of how fortunate we’ve been – along with our friends and family here – to have experienced the health crisis in a safe and secure environment.
It’s springtime in Provence, the sun is shining and the flowers are in bloom, what more could you ask for? It’s a pretty wonderful feeling.
A trip to Sanary-sur-Mer and the outdoor farmers market.
Today, I’m sharing a few of our trips about town over these last few weeks. Until this past Monday, we were limited to a 10 km radius (a little over 6 miles), which brought about a whole series of revelations, or re-revelations, of just how beautiful this area is… specifically of our “hometown” of Ollioules, neighboring Sanary-sur-Mer and Six-Fours-les-Plages, and the larger city of Toulon.
My daughter was off from school, so we had a lot of “girls’ days” out, and spent time a lot of time at our favorite seaside town, Sanary-sur-Mer. A walk along the port was a real mood-booster, as was our favorite indulgence – a few ice cream cones from a kiosk near the fountain. Summer isn’t quite here yet, but I have a growing list of flavors to try: lavender, violet, rose petal, and poppy (yes, it exists!).
An orange tree peeking out from the old mill (moulin) in Ollioules village.
Our “Little House on the Prairie” day exploring Ollioules.
My favorite day out had to be around our very own neighborhood. Although we’ve been living in Ollioules since 2017, it was really only last year that we discovered the canal that runs behind the historic center of the village. With stone houses, climbing grapevines, and the small village farms which border the trail to the town’s original watermill (moulin), it’s quite a storybook setting.
We often go for walks there, and, on our last adventure, I felt a bit like we were having our own southern-France version of Little House on the Prairie… following the river as it turned through the small waterways, stopping to sniff roses and wildflowers along the way, and keeping step with the schools of fish swimming in and out of the canals.
Of course, our version was more like La Petite Maison dans La Prairie – which actually does exist (dubbed into French) and was quite popular with French viewers.
La plage de Bonnegrâce beach at Six-Fours-les-Plages.
And what would a south of France spring be like without a trip to the beach? If there was ever a scene to add a moment of calm to all of the chaos of this past year, I think this would be it. Watching the sailboats go by and listening to the laughter of my daughter as she dipped her toes in the water was a magical springtime moment.
Wishing you a very bon week-end from Provence, stay safe and well! Tuula