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Sept. 20, Friday and Sept. 21, Saturday: Hyeres & St. Tropez

I’m working on my St. Tropez tan. But you will have to wait to hear about that, since that is Saturday’s story. I’ll begin with Friday, Sept. 20. As always, we worked in the garden, then went home to eat lunch (arugula with cherry tomatoes from the garden, tuna, and olive oil, cheese & bread & chocolate). Then we hopped in the convertible with our trusty drivers, S and T, and we went off to Hyeres in search of art supplies. They, along with Cathy, had done some online research and made some phone calls, looking for Caran d’Ache crayons for S. The closest possible place they found is in Nice, which is too far away for us at the moment, but they found some other watercolor pencils that seemed to be something she would like at an art supply store in Hyeres, half an hour away.   So, after lunch, we hopped in the car and drove to Hyeres. We found the art supply store, bought what we needed, Cathy and I saw a little bit of the town, then we got back in the car to go explore the part of Hyeres that is a peninsula and the section of Hyeres called Giens. We did stop on the beach for awhile, we did see some flamingoes in the salt marsh, and the rest of the time we just drove through, trying to get a handle on the place. It was all interesting, but we really just got an overview and didn’t spend a lot of time exploring any of it. But take a look at the photos – the sights were amazing. When we returned home from our trip to Hyeres and had supper, I found that I was absolutely useless with exhaustion, so I just went to bed to read a book and went to sleep early. No art was done by me on Friday – but everyone deserves a day off now and then, don’t you agree?   On Friday evening, before parting ways, we agreed with S and T to meet at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning to drive to St. Tropez. They have been there in the past and have found that one must arrive early in order to get a good parking space without waiting long stretches of time in traffic. There is a huge market on Saturdays in St. Tropez and that was our first destination. After about an hour, Cathy and I decided to break off and go to the art museum. It is a very small museum and they had a special exhibit of works by Maurice Vlaminck, along with their permanent collection. It was all well worth seeing and we enjoyed it. Unfortunately, they did not allow photography, so I can’t share with you any of what we saw there. After that, we reconnected with S&T and bought some lunch from the market – I DO have photos of that. We found a shady spot and ate our food standing up – delicious! Refueled, we climbed – yes, we do seem to do a lot of that, don’t we? – up to the Citadelle de St. Tropez. Check out the photos. Then we got back into the car and drove to the beach. That is where I began working on my St. Tropez tan – which right now is a St. Tropez sunburn. I really should have applied more sunscreen! Ah well, this too shall pass. I liked St. Tropez a lot, much to my surprise. I thought it would be very upscale and snooty and all flash and glitter – but there is a very real, down to earth, old town side to St. Tropez, along with the yachts and the fancy shops. Hopefully the photos will offer you a glimpse of both. I would like to return there and explore it some more. As you can see in the photos, Cathy and I DID do some art on Saturday – on the beach! I’m not pleased with either of mine and will probably work them further, but I AM pleased that I actually did do them, and on the beach, no less. We got back home about 6 p.m., took showers, and had a lovely dinner – bet you can guess – we finished the soup, had melon, bread, cheese, chocolate and, of course, wine. Then I began this blog post and Cathy did the dishes and the laundry. She has been very encouraging for me – helping me keep on getting the art done and keep at this blog. Thank you, Cathy! Maybe you really ARE a saint!! It is Sunday morning, Sept. 22, at 9:45 a.m. and I am just finishing this blog post. This morning has been gloriously slow – we slept till 7, then Cathy walked down to our local boulangerie and got each of us a fresh croissant to have with our coffee (something we don’t have time for during the week), and I have been working on this post while Cathy, as usual, has been wandering about, scoping out the possibilities for action today. Looks like we have a boules tournament and a huge tag sale (in French, a ‘clean out your attic’ sale). So, I’m going to finish this off and publish it, then get dressed and get ready to go again. As they say, never a dull moment around here.
Back in the convertible, headed for Hyeres. Cathy and I have discussed how amazingly lucky we have been to be here with S & T. We could never do the things we are doing and see the things we are seeing and go the places we are going without them offering to drive us. A heartfelt and hearty thank you to these wonderful, generous people.

Back in the convertible, headed for Hyeres. Cathy and I have discussed how amazingly lucky we have been to be here with S & T. We could never do the things we are doing and see the things we are seeing and go the places we are going without them offering to drive us. A heartfelt and hearty thank you to these wonderful, generous people.

Going through Bormes-les-Mimosas on our way to Hyeres.

Going through Bormes-les-Mimosas on our way to Hyeres.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the car: #1.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the car: #1.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the convertible: #2.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the convertible: #2.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the convertible: #3.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the convertible: #3.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the convertible: #4.

View of Hyeres from the back seat of the convertible: #4.

View of Hyeres OUT of the back seat of the convertible. By now you recognize the main characters in my story, yes?

View of Hyeres OUT of the back seat of the convertible. By now you recognize the main characters in my story, yes?

We found it! The art supply store!!

We found it! The art supply store!!

Oops, that was the side door, here is the front - the correct entrance. In we go.

Oops, that was the side door, here is the front – the correct entrance. In we go.

Half of it is a frame shop.

Half of it is a frame shop.

The other half is an art supply store.

The other half is an art supply store.

The owner was very friendly and helpful. No Caran d'Ache here, but S found a similar product that pleased her and she bought it.

The owner was very friendly and helpful. No Caran d’Ache here, but S found a similar product that pleased her and she bought it.

Cathy and I bought large sheets of watercolor paper to rip into smaller pieces and I bought a very small watercolor block of paper. We were all pleased with our finds.

Cathy and I bought large sheets of watercolor paper to rip into smaller pieces and I bought a very small watercolor block of paper. We were all pleased with our finds.

The entrance to the old village of Hyeres. Cathy and I took a quick walk through while our friends dealt with credit card and ATM issues, which were easily solved but took a little time.

The entrance to the old village of Hyeres. Cathy and I took a quick walk through while our friends dealt with credit card and ATM issues, which were easily solved but took a little time.

The old part of Hyeres - a pedestrian only, shopping street.

The old part of Hyeres – a pedestrian only, shopping street.

An old doorway in Hyeres. Doorways have been a favorite photographic subject of mine for many years, but I haven't included very many in this blog, have I?

An old doorway in Hyeres. Doorways have been a favorite photographic subject of mine for many years, but I haven’t included very many in this blog, have I?

The entrance to the old street looking out this time, instead of in.

The entrance to the old street looking out this time, instead of in.

Another old street in Hyeres, and me checking out the food menu...of course!

Another old street in Hyeres, and me checking out the food menu…of course!

Another old street in Hyeres - good deals, too bad there's no room in my suitcase.

Another old street in Hyeres – good deals, too bad there’s no room in my suitcase.

Of course, as always, we had to climb to the highest point - got to see those views!

Of course, as always, we had to climb to the highest point – got to see those views!

This was at the top.

This was at the top.

And here is the view of Hyeres below us.

And here is the view of Hyeres below us.

And another view further to the right.

And another view further to the right.

I was very taken with the blue of this ceiling in combination with the orange of the wall through the archway behind it.

I was very taken with the blue of this ceiling in combination with the orange of the wall through the archway behind it.

And...guess what street we took to go back down the hill? Well, this Catherine ain't no saint, I'm tellin' ya!

And…guess what street we took to go back down the hill? Well, this Catherine ain’t no saint, I’m tellin’ ya!

Another shot of St. Catherine Street as we head down the hill.

Another shot of St. Catherine Street as we head down the hill.

And another scene - all the tables waiting for the diners.

And another scene – all the tables waiting for the diners.

S and T waiting for us.

S and T waiting for us.

Scene from the back seat of the convertible, leaving Hyeres downtown and heading to the Hyeres peninsula to see the beaches, the salt marsh, and the flamingoes.

Scene from the back seat of the convertible, leaving Hyeres downtown and heading to the Hyeres peninsula to see the beaches, the salt marsh, and the flamingoes.

The salt marsh on our left.

The salt marsh on our left.

And the beach on our right - taken from the backseat of the convertible, obviously.

And the beach on our right – taken from the backseat of the convertible, obviously.

More of the salt marsh. We did see flamingoes, but I don't think any of my photos show them - they were really far away from us.

More of the salt marsh. We did see flamingoes, but I don’t think any of my photos show them – they were really far away from us.

We parked the car and walked out onto the beach (no one is allowed in the salt marsh).

We parked the car and walked out onto the beach (no one is allowed in the salt marsh).

Hey, where's my bikini? I seem to be a bit overdressed.

Hey, where’s my bikini? I seem to be a bit overdressed.

T taking a picture of me taking pictures of everything and everyone. He said he is going to email it to me to put on this blog to show everyone that taking photos with my iPad is all I do all day long!

T taking a picture of me taking pictures of everything and everyone. He said he is going to email it to me to put on this blog to show everyone that taking photos with my iPad is all I do all day long!

We got back into the car and spent a good bit of time driving around the peninsula, going through some small - really small - villages and more countryside and lots of private property. It was fun to explore.

We got back into the car and spent a good bit of time driving around the peninsula, going through some small – really small – villages and more countryside and lots of private property. It was fun to explore.

One view from the back seat of the car.

One view from the back seat of the car.

Another view from the back seat of the car.

Another view from the back seat of the car.

Yet another view from the back seat of the car.

Yet another view from the back seat of the car.

Getting into the car to head home from Hyeres.

Getting into the car to head home from Hyeres.

Here is the usual back of the head shot that indicates we are heading off on another adventure. This time it's 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and we are driving to St. Tropez. Notice the shawl around the driver's shoulders and the sweatshirt on the copilot? It was 13 degrees centigrade. In farhenheit that's...COLD!!! We did stop and put the top up - the driver's hands had gone numb.

Here is the usual back of the head shot that indicates we are heading off on another adventure. This time it’s 8 a.m. on Saturday morning and we are driving to St. Tropez. Notice the shawl around the driver’s shoulders and the sweatshirt on the copilot? It was 13 degrees centigrade. In farhenheit that’s…COLD!!! We did stop and put the top up – the driver’s hands had gone numb.

View of St.Tropez from the back seat of the car with the top up.

View of St.Tropez from the back seat of the car with the top up.

The crew: setting foot in St. Tropez.

The crew: setting foot in St. Tropez.

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez. How about this furniture?!

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez. How about this furniture?!

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez: flowers.

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez: flowers.

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez.

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez.

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez: veggies.

The Saturday Market in St. Tropez: veggies.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: S choosing a sweater.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: S choosing a sweater.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: spices.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: spices.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: lettuce.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: lettuce.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: this is what we ate for lunch - one with bacon and mushrooms, the other with courgettes (zucchini). Yummmm...

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: this is what we ate for lunch – one with bacon and mushrooms, the other with courgettes (zucchini). Yummmm…

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: this is what we had for dessert, it's a famous specialty of St. Tropez called Tarte Tropezienne. I thought that it was going to be horribly sweet, but I needed to try it anyway. Turns out that we all agreed that it was scrumptious - not too sweet at all and very good quality ingredients - I'd have another any time!

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: this is what we had for dessert, it’s a famous specialty of St. Tropez called Tarte Tropezienne. I thought that it was going to be horribly sweet, but I needed to try it anyway. Turns out that we all agreed that it was scrumptious – not too sweet at all and very good quality ingredients – I’d have another any time!

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: at home I rarely eat bread, but here I am eating it all day every day! And each and every day we buy it fresh.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: at home I rarely eat bread, but here I am eating it all day every day! And each and every day we buy it fresh.

Saturday Market in St. Tropez...doesn't it look fantastic!?

Saturday Market in St. Tropez…doesn’t it look fantastic!?

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: soaps. How would this translate into an abstract painting and/or collage? Composition?

Saturday Market in St. Tropez: soaps. How would this translate into an abstract painting and/or collage? Composition?

A crowded cafe across the street from the market.

A crowded cafe across the street from the market.

A closer view of the crowded cafe, everyone watching everyone watching everyone.

A closer view of the crowded cafe, everyone watching everyone watching everyone.

It wouldn't be St. Tropez without the yachts, now would it?

It wouldn’t be St. Tropez without the yachts, now would it?

Here I am, in front of MY yacht.

Here I am, in front of MY yacht.

And here's Cathy sitting in front of HER yacht. It's the same one as mine, you say? Well, let's call it OUR yacht, we chipped in. And you are all invited to party with us - bring your bikinis (and your sunscreen).

And here’s Cathy sitting in front of HER yacht. It’s the same one as mine, you say? Well, let’s call it OUR yacht, we chipped in. And you are all invited to party with us – bring your bikinis (and your sunscreen).

I particularly like this shot.

I particularly like this shot.

Here's a close up of our little vessel, so you will recognize it when you arrive for the party.

Here’s a close up of our little vessel, so you will recognize it when you arrive for the party.

Synchronizing our watches! Cathy and I are splitting off to go to the art museum. S&T are continuing through the huge Saturday Market.

Synchronizing our watches! Cathy and I are splitting off to go to the art museum. S&T are continuing through the huge Saturday Market.

The door to the art museum. I wasn't allowed to take any photos inside.

The door to the art museum. I wasn’t allowed to take any photos inside.

After the museum we met back up with S&T and, of course, we just HAD to climb to the highest point - notice a pattern in our travels?

After the museum we met back up with S&T and, of course, we just HAD to climb to the highest point – notice a pattern in our travels?

So, we climbed up...and up...and up...

So, we climbed up…and up…and up…

...and up...and up...and up...

…and up…and up…and up…

...to the Citadel of St. Tropez.

…to the Citadel of St. Tropez.

Another view of the citadel.

Another view of the citadel.

View of another portion of the citadel and the views looking down from it.

View of another portion of the citadel and the views looking down from it.

View of St. Tropez from the citadel.

View of St. Tropez from the citadel.

Same vantage point, looking further to the right.

Same vantage point, looking further to the right.

We walked on a path around the citadel.

We walked on a path around the citadel.

View from the path, including a cemetery by the sea.

View from the path, including a cemetery by the sea.

One more view from the path around the citadel. We walked back down and went to the car and drove to Pampelonne Beach ( still in St. Tropez).

One more view from the path around the citadel. We walked back down and went to the car and drove to Pampelonne Beach ( still in St. Tropez).

We arrive at Pampelonne Beach. According to the Michelin guide: "The 6 miles of beaches around St. Tropez are truly heavenly, with their fine sand and charming rocky coves. ... But by far the most appealing and the most fashionable are the Pampleonne Beaches, well sheltered from the mistral winds.."

We arrive at Pampelonne Beach. According to the Michelin guide: “The 6 miles of beaches around St. Tropez are truly heavenly, with their fine sand and charming rocky coves. … But by far the most appealing and the most fashionable are the Pampleonne Beaches, well sheltered from the mistral winds..”

The view to the left of where we parked our beach mats/towels.

The view to the left of where we parked our beach mats/towels.

The view straight ahead, with T going to check the water temperature.

The view straight ahead, with T going to check the water temperature.

And the view to the right of us.

And the view to the right of us.

And, yes, I actually did do some art on the beach! Can you see my shoulders turning red? My St. Tropez sunburn in process.

And, yes, I actually did do some art on the beach! Can you see my shoulders turning red? My St. Tropez sunburn in process.

Cathy sketching on the beach at St. Tropez.

Cathy sketching on the beach at St. Tropez.

Cathy's "beach art."

Cathy’s “beach art.”

Debi's "beach art." I still haven't made friends with this Caran d'Ache medium. But I do like it, so will continue to try to make it my own.

Debi’s “beach art.” I still haven’t made friends with this Caran d’Ache medium. But I do like it, so will continue to try to make it my own.

Debi's "beach art" collage. Originally, the bottom section was glue stick with sand embedded in it. But it didn't seem stable, so I glued paper over it. I felt like a kid, it was such fun!

Debi’s “beach art” collage. Originally, the bottom section was glue stick with sand embedded in it. But it didn’t seem stable, so I glued paper over it. I felt like a kid, it was such fun!

Cathy says she like it better in this direction. Do you have an opinion?

Cathy says she like it better in this direction. Do you have an opinion?

On the way home from St. Tropez, we took some back roads that were narrow and winding with beautiful views the entire time. This drive was an event in itself. I tried to get some photos from the car as we drove past (top down on the way home, it was much warmer than when we started out on Saturday morning), but what I managed to get does not do justice to what we actually experienced. But I will include a few anyway.

On the way home from St. Tropez, we took some back roads that were narrow and winding with beautiful views the entire time. This drive was an event in itself. I tried to get some photos from the car as we drove past (top down on the way home, it was much warmer than when we started out on Saturday morning), but what I managed to get does not do justice to what we actually experienced. But I will include a few anyway.

We stopped along the way for this view.

We stopped along the way for this view.

And just one more. I don't have a photo of it, but when we returned to our apartment building we found a parking space right in front of our gate! Sometimes, in this tiny village, we have to park quite a distance away. But luck was with us, as it had been all day, and we had the perfect ending to a fabulous day.

And just one more. I don’t have a photo of it, but when we returned to our apartment building we found a parking space right in front of our gate! Sometimes, in this tiny village, we have to park quite a distance away. But luck was with us, as it had been all day, and we had the perfect ending to a fabulous day.

Martha
September 29th, 2013 at 2:19 am

Thanks again for the vicarious travelogue; feel like I’ve been there along with you, as you’re including your impromptu thoughts and questions. Love your photo compositions. Is that the mini I-pad, or the larger one? You seem to be quite experienced with the photo shots.

Denise
September 22nd, 2013 at 1:02 pm

WOW Another trip to add to my list.
I think I could spend all day in the market!

paul sliwinski
September 22nd, 2013 at 10:51 am

debi,i just started reading your blog and your pics are blowing me away. very nice story line also.What an amazing adventure for You! I’m hooked, so keep posting. Luv ya

September 23rd, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Hey Paul, what a nice surprise to hear from you! Glad you are enjoying the blog. Hello to Cathy…wait,is she a K Kathy? I’m so tired I can’t remember – but love to both of you. Keep sending comments! xo Debi

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