Fréjus

Fréjus is a city of two personalities, a seaside resort as well as a medieval city. Our Airbnb landed us in the seaside resort, a harbor filled with sailboats and small yachts surrounded by outdoor restaurants in all directions. Ordering food was a challenge with our non existent French. Politely, I asked for a bowl of fruit(fruits) and the waiter proudly brought me a plate of french fries (frites), a reflection on my pronunciation. More than one waiter took on the task of giving us an on-the-spot French lesson.

To explore the region around Fréjus, we rented a car and drove east along the French coast. One could easily see the wealth signified by the villas along the shoreline as we headed toward Monaco. Red rock cliffs arose abruptly along the route, the winding road reminding us of Big Sur, California. Many public access points along the road lead to clear turquoise blue waters, that by Oregon standards were very swimmable.  We jumped into the Mediterranean for a refreshing swim.

Another day we drove west towards Marseilles to visit the fishing village of Cassis. The charm of this village was lost due to the large number of tourists (us included), who descend upon this weekend destination. We visited a calanque, a narrow, steep-walled inlet that is developed in limestone.  In the calanque, to our surprise, was a beautiful yacht harbor.

To complete our visit in Fréjus, we spent 3 more days at another Airbnb in the medieval portion of the town, where narrow streets form a labyrinth of unexpected turns, challenging our sense of direction as we brailled our way along. The medieval section is surrounded by ruins of Roman walls. Our Airbnb was 4 stories tall, each story being a single room. This stack of rooms was connected by an intricately designed, narrow, metallic spiral staircase. We ate in a wonderful, similarly-designed restaurant. The owner/waiter spent the entire evening galloping up and down his spiral staircase, the kitchen being in the basement. Our hosts were a lovely artistic couple, the woman being a teacher of music and the man, a multi-media artist.  Our hostess delighted us by constantly baking buttery French cookies.  Click here to view photos.