Sunday, 26 October 2008

17th October - Grimaud / Port Minera

Our last full day of our holiday so it was up to us to chose a final place to return to. Ideally we didn't want to travel too far since we'd clocked up about 1000 miles so far that week!!! Grimaud was chosen, not too far away and we could swing by some of the southern coastline on our way. And yes you guessed our SatNav did us proud again and opted for another fantastic mountainous route!!! thanks for the views!!!! thanks for the shattered nerves again.

We pulled over at one of the few stop off places in the mountains and managed a nice picture of our lovely SKODA. It's served us well alas up to that point on our holiday so I truly cannot condemn it too much.

Les Massif Maures mountain range are apparently reknowned for their forest fires during the hot weather. There have been some pretty horrendous fires reported over the years. A statue had been put up in memory of firefighters who had died in the line of duty.

Another 8km and we were back on lower ground......... phew! And back in Grimaud, a village we'd visited earlier in the week and one that we really liked. Hence the return trip. We went exploring more of the narrow streets in the village and came across the local church which had escaped us on our last adventure. Again a very simple looking place on the outside........

but quite grand in the inside. It was a silent church as well......... a notice which I only spotted as we exited the church.......ooops.......... sorry God!!

The stained glass windows were very unusual and quite different from the traditional stained glass you see. It was very thick and more rustic the way it was made. Looked like molten glass with chunks of melted glass placed on it to make the picture and colours. Very effective, very unusual.

More walking through the narrow streets of Grimaud.

before stopping off for lunch at a little cafe in Grimaud called La Patisserie du Chateau. Amber needed some liquid refreshment.

The terrace where we had our lunch - some tasty spinach pastries, a local pizza speciality of layers of onions with anchovies latticed on top. And being a pattiserie the most amazing sponge and cream cake whilst Andrew opted for a very rich and gorgeous chocolate cake. Amber was back on the meringue trail.

Now I don't claim to be an expert on trees but we saw a lot of them seemed to be quite hollow inside. I thought it might be a sign of drought as they were growing??? But the hollow gaps were posing a danger if there were any high winds so many of the trees had strong metal bands around them, holding them together. The bigger trees had metal pins inside them!!!

This was the little art gallery we were in earlier on in the week. Tiny little shop but over 4 floors with some great works. Here is the link if you want a little look - Galerie Philippe Paschos My favourites were the Tristan Ra pieces.

and another photo opportunity presented itself to Amber.

We then headed towards the nearest south coast to the apartment. We stopped at a place called Port Minera. A small town with a long straight road leading to the harbour front. Some parts of the harbour had been regenerated - new decking, modern bridges and the harbour itself appeared to have been recently dredged and a rock causeway built.

alas some buildings have so far escaped the regeneration. Here was one "doer upper" that Andrew spotted.

The harbour was a working leisure harbour with sailing lessons carried out for children. They went out in the own basic mini yachts and were taught some sailing skills then the teacher would hook them all up at the end of the lesson and you had this charming colourful parade of them returning after their sailing lesson.

View from the rock causeway where we sat and watched the sailing lesson unfold.

Looking back inland from the end of the causeway....... you can tell it was quite a long causeway.

The heat was too much for Andrew who decided to roll up his chinos and pose for this great shot. He looks like an Austrian in lederhosen!!!!!

Not wanting to be out-done Amber followed suit with her capri pants rolled up and a similar pose.

This was the end of the long stretch leading to the harbour. The road markings make this picture looking rather peculiar!!!

Back to the car and another photo opportunity for Andrew's precious SKODA.

We had packing to do so we headed back to the apartment but not before a few more pictures of the village of Collobrieres. This is the main street below the apartment.

Narrow side streets just up from the apartment.

One of the main town squares - close by the grocers shop and one of the boulangeries.

Talk of the was one of Andrew's favourite boulangeries.

And if that one was closed there was always another one!!!

I found what became one of my favourite little shops in Collobrieres. Not least because it was an interior design shop. Some fabulous stuff in it. I bought a lovely linen throw and some small scented cushions. All beautifully made.

We headed up to another restaurant in the village called Le Petit Fontaine. We had one of our best meals in here. The food was all locally sourced and traditionally prepared which was a nice treat for us. For starters we had jambon cruz, tarte provencale and maison terrine. All yummy. Our main courses were lasagne [Amber] poulet provencale [Ange] and lapin chaussure [Andrew]. In case your French is a bit rusty, lapin is rabbit!!! A plate of local cheese, mostly goats cheese then arrived. All lovely, a couple maybe a bit too potent!!! Desserts consisted of tarte aux peche, tarte auz poire and lemon sorbet. Ending the meal with some coffee and a large bottle of a rather dodgy looking licquer. We ended the meal with a walk around Collobrieres and back to our apartment which only left packing the suitcases for me, ready for our return back to Scotland the next day.

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