Exploring & Escapades

bits & pieces of my travels

Tag: France

Aix-en-Provence

Omninous, grey, before the summer storm in Aix. Thunder rolling, leaves blowing. A quick stop for lunch (and café gourmand) en route to the airport.

Beautiful in it’s own, raw, awe-inducing way. 

Cap Canaille

On top of the red cliff, the one that we had been staring at all weekend from the harbor. The one that dominates the sky. 

Cap Canaille is the highest seacliff in all of France. 

The sea, the calanques, the marina; all below, all bathed in fog. The thunder rolled in from a distance. The wind picked up.

We were alone, over it all. 

Calanque d’En Vau

I’ll never have the words to describe how the Calanques make me feel. My third visit, and I still feel as though I am dreaming each time I walk on to the beach and am blinded by the blue. 

It’s the most vivid, sparkling, piercing blue. 

Blue that breaks only with the silence, with a splash.

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There’s a constant hum of cicadas and kayak paddles. 

When I’m there, nothing in the world exists.  

Port de Cassis

Cassis, Sud de France, La Méditerranée.

Fresh. Vibrant. That blue. The cicadas never stop singing. 

Smells like a blend of pastries and flowers. Looks like several buckets of paint exploded. 

I didn’t feel sad when we left, couldn’t feel sad, because I can’t imagine never returning. I always come back.

It’s such a part of me now, my place on the Mediterranean Sea. 

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This was my third trip to Provence, to the calanques region. It was my birthday, Bastille Day, and the World Cup all at once. Fireworks over the harbor, singing in the streets. 

That energy, I’ll never forget it. 

 

 

Dunkirk

Travelling from Belgium home to Cambridge via a French ferry. That was how we ended up in Dunkirk on this smooth and icy surface of sand. Industrial, open. T

here wasn’t much time or much to see. We we were here for a moment, only imagining what it would have been like to escape the beach. 

Les Calanques de Cassis

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My second trip to Les Calanques this year, and I’m still wondering if any of it is even real. There are no words or pictures to do any of it justice. Neither words nor picture can capture the vividness of the color, the sweet sharpness of the smell, the weightlessness of floating in the October Mediterranean. There’s a sensation here of being lost. Lost, free to find your own path down the cliffs and into the sea. 

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