On the way back Dad realised that the 1st week-end before the big August shut-down was definitely not the best day to travel so far on the motorways. We had several Bouchon (Queues), mainly at theGares de Peages (Toll booths). When we got home it was just about Tea Time so we made perfect timing!
Monday 1st August. Today our parrents got up more leisurely!!! They had to go shopping so they left me and Syd in our cages in the bedroom where it was cool - we were really glad! They came back moaning about lack of service and a 30 min queue for the checkout but soon got us out and it was lunchtime. After lunch we took a drive to a couple of Provencal Towns and Villages:- Lambesc and then St Cannet. On the way back Stacey found a field of going over Sunflowers so picked some to finish drying and to take back for the Fids at home! We all know Sunflower seeds aren't good for us but once or twice a year can't do that much harm! After that, they found a Brocante which we visited. They had an indoor aviary of Budgies there!
Tuesday 2nd August. Today Dad and Adam had a cold shower as there was no hot water. Dad wasn't very happty at all! (Well now he knows how we feel every night!!!). When we went out we went to Arles. Arles is a place dating from Roman times and it has an old Roman Amphitheatre which has (obviously) been well restored over the years. We weren't allowed inside without paying to see a show that we didn't want to see so had to make do with exterior views but the double layer galleried floors still survive and it looked really impressive. There were lots of old Churches and other really old buildings with historic interest. We visited most of the town including the Roman ("Antique") theatre which is like an incomplete amphitheatre in that it is not fully circular. Some of the roads were VERY narrow which worried Adam quite a lot as he was driving Dad's car! When we left Arles we went to Martigues which is a place at the entrance to the Berre Etang. It is situated at the narrow junction between the Etang and the sea and also has its oldest part on an island in the narrow sea channel. It was a really nice place; reminiscent of Venice in places. You'll never guess what we did there! OK, you're right - we found a bar!!! When we got back Dad found another shower block on site and had his warm shower!
Wednesday. Today dawned quite cloudy so we were hopeful of a cooler day but alas, no! Today reached 32. Syd coped fine (as she always does!) but I needed lots of shade and spraying. Our parrents sprayed us both together and Sydney is beginning to realise that it is quite a good feeling and a good way of cooling down. We went to Avignon today. Avignon is a very old town that is completely encircled by a town wall which has been fully restored. It has the Palais des Papes (the Palace of Popes) which is where the Popes used to reside before the Vatican. It was quite hard to imagine Avignon as being a historic Vatican! Because of the narrow roads there was loads of shade for us which was just as well. We spent quite a bit of time in bars cooling off and we all also shared Ice Creams!!! We shared Dad & Stacey's Coconut ice cream today - it was yummee! After we left Avignon and the River Rhone, we went to Pont du Gard which is an old Roman bridge which is actually 3 sets of spans on top of each other! This was a wonderfully restored bridge which the locals have stitched up the tourists a treat! It is impossible to park anywhere near without using the designated car park which costs €15 per car and inhabitants! Dad thought it was very dear but we soooo wanted to see the bridge(s) that we had to pay the €15!!! We were late back and, despite promising Sydney he wouldn't spray her again; he sprayed us both with Plume Spray (the rotten Sod, Syd said, but I enjoyed it!
Thursday 4th August. Today we went into Aix en Provence on the Park & Ride. Today there were 2 markets in Aix:- the normal (clothes) market and the Craft & Antique and Food market. The first was very disappointing but the second was brilliant. After a few drinks at our favourite bar in Aix we went back to the car where we found a shady spot and had lunch. After lunch we went to Salon de Provence. On the way we stopped at the Roqueflavour Aqueduct. This was again a series of 3 aqueducts built on top of each other and, to be blunt was as ggod as yesterday's but without the €15 charge!!! As we arrived in Salon we were very disappointed. It had been recommended to us but on the way in our parrents thought it was awful. Having got into the town and turned a corner, the real charm of Salon became evident.It is famous for its Clock Tower, its Chateau and its Gardens and all 3 were well worth the visit! We did, of course, finish in a bar where we could all sit in the shade! When we got home, Adam & Stacey kindly washed the car.
Friday 5th August we went to a coastal village called Cassis. Cassis is a really lovely village. It was market day today which gave more interest but caused a problem for parking. We eventually found a car park with a disabled space in it which had been half taken by another car in typically French style parking part in the disabled space and part on the garden adjoining it; but with Dad, Stacey, Me and Syd getting out first, Adam managed to get the car parked. First we looked around the market and then Dad realised it was after 12 noon so thought he'd have a beer! We found a nice cheap place right on the edge of the market. Afterwards we went back to the car for lunch. We found a seat in the shade in the car park right next to a lamppost with a Cigale (Cicade) sat on it who continued to "shout" all through lunch.After lunch we went to look around the Harbour and saw the Chateau which is now privately owned. Dad said he wasn't surprised as it was in a wonderful location overlooking the harbour. Our parrents thought it ought to be a 5-star hotel! Then we went to a viewing place where you could look down over the harbour and then back to the harbourside for, yes you've guessed it, another Beer. If Dad get's hot, he gets a Beer but if me and Syd get hot, all we get is a spray (which Sydney doesn't like - although she is getting much better!). Then we went to see one of the Calanques. It was certainly a spectacular rocky cliff on both sides with the sea entering a narrow channel down below but Dad said Cornwall was just as good! On the way home we stopped to buy some fruit and veg and then came on home after a great day out!
Saturday 6th August. Today dawned a bit cloudy which was quite good for Adam & Stacey as they were flying home from Marseille. On the way to the airport we had a heavy shower but luckily that was the only one and it brightened up after lunch. Having dropped Adam & Stacey at the Airport, Mum & Dad took us 2 fids to L'Estaque again as it was market day. They had a look around the market and then went for a Beer at a "local" Bar. It was very busy with Locals and the prices were suitably cheap as well and they made us feel very welcome by keep bringing us peanuts for Me & Sydney! After our drinks (Oh! You noticed the subtle way I added and "s" to drink, did you?!!!), we went over to the public Petangue courts and watched a couple playing Petangue while we had our Lunch. Unfortunately, due to Adam's driving earlier, the flask had fallen out of the picnic bag and it fell out of the back of the car and smashed! Mum reckons she will get a new glass liner for it when we get home; Dad isn't convinced!!! After lunch we went to see the harbour and saw 2 large cruise ships in dock. Then we had yet another drink at the same bar (yes, and peanuts too!) and then me and Syd were put in our travel cage and we went off to Carrefour for our shopping. We stocked up on food so we didn't have to go shopping straight away at the next site (on Monday). Now, talk about closing the stable door after the horse has bolted! For the last fortnight, Dad has been asked for his Carte Fidelitee whenever he went to Carrefour but hasn't had one. Now when he goes to Perpignan he is hoping to shop in E L'Eclerc which he prefers BUT, today, AFTER finishing his shopping he applied for a Carte Fidelitee!!! So, he is now happy in the knowledge that IF hye can't find a L'eClerc for the next fortnight he will be able to earn points on his currently zero points Carrefour card instead of on his preferred L'eClerc card!!! What a plonker!!! Well this evening is still very warm but Sydney and I are tired after our long day out so are sleeping soundly!!!