Lunch on the Beach

Lunch on the Beach

The South of FranceAix and around
Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  Join us on our featured (and expanded!) summer Amsterdam/Belgium tour!

Have car, will travel – we’re off to the beach today, and not just any beach, but one of the calanques (fjord- like inlets)  of Marseilles that we’ve heard about for years, Sormiou.  Oscar and Anne- Marie (Aix friends and author of Taking Root in Provence) have enthused about this little-known cove, with a casual restaurant or two, and we’re eager to experience it for ourselves. We asked the locksmith who was at the apartment on Monday, whom we knew was from Marseilles, about getting there, we asked Jean- Marc, who grew up nearby, about getting there, so had lots of info about doing so.
But when we arrived, after a round- about tour of Marseilles, at the entrance of the now-a- national- park of the calanques, we were told that we could not drive down, but would have to park the car and walk a very rough (not in THOSE sandals, I was told) 3 kilometer path up the steep hill and down to the cove. Strike one…
But you know us, we adapt! Down the coast is lovely, and familiar to us, Cassis, so we wind along the cliffside roads, find a parking place, and walk down to the port. We won’t be able to relax in a secluded cove, but we’re determined to have lunch as close to the beach as possible! We’ve often had a good dinner by the port, but I want sand on my toes today….

La Grand Large (a local name for the Mediterranean, I learn from Anne- Marie later) fits the bill, with a couple of fresh delicious salads so abundant that even Kirk can’t finish his choice.

We cool off further with a toe-dip in the lapping sea,

then drive up along the cliffs, past the loudest cicadas we’ve heard this summer, and back to Aix.

We’re meeting Madame Tomme at the opening concert of the month -long Academie Internationale des Nuits Pianistiques, which is in one of our favorite Aixoise places, the garden of Pavilion Vendome.

Daniel Wayenberg, a frequent performer and recording artist around the world, composer, and former professor of piano at the Rotterdam Conservatory, thrills with a marvelous program of Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and Stravinsky.

We stroll during the inter- mission, enjoying this lovely place, where we’ve often enjoyed a picnic, an event, or just a relaxing pause.