Today was a great day. We started out early, which for us is getting out of the house by 9:30 AM, by going to the bi-weekly market in St. Tropez. We have found every place in France has weekly local markets, and they are great places to get local ingredients for cooking. After shopping, we sat in a cafe at the harbor right across from two mega yachts anchored right at the quayside. The boys sipped on 7 Euro ($9.00) Fantas. That was not the great part of the day.Yes, we were in the ‘hood of the excessively rich. Every designer name has a store in St. Tropez. We did pass on the $25.00 sandwiches at the cafe and had some decent, affordable street food – Shwarma wraps and wood oven pizza – for lunch.
After lunch, we decided to drive the 10 minutes out to Pampelonne beach, which is THE famous St. Tropez beach. It is huge, over 20 km long, and really does have excellent, white sand and the clearest water. We were intending to just check it out, we had not brought swim trunks or towels. The beach is divided by the names of the various restaurants and beach clubs that are strung along the entire length of the beach. We ended up by Jumieux and Coco Beach. The beach was empty, only one restaurant/bar was open in this location. High season is definitely over by October. However, we had the best day weather wise of our whole trip. Blue skies, light wind, temperature around 80 degrees F/27C. What people there were on the beach seemed to be mostly German families. Turns out this is Fall school break for 2 weeks in Germany, and St. Tropez is full of German families on holiday. We welcomed seeing kids around. Jordan and I joined a family game of soccer on the beach, and this led to the great part of the day. Justin and Jordan had made friends with kids their own age for the first time in France…and they were Germans. We hung with two families from Bielefeld all afternoon, each had a boy Jordan’s age and a girl Justin’s age. One of the parents spoke very good English, the kids spoke enough English that Jordan and Justin had no problem communicating with them. The boys went swimming in their street shorts, they played ‘boulle’ in the sand, and went to the restaurant for sodas together. They were really happy. We all traded emails and skype addresses. Hopefully, we will see them again this week at the beach.
By the way – look at the background of this photo. The beach is EMPTY. In summer, it is wall-to-wall bodies, no chance of playing a soccer game in the sand. Another bonus for being able to travel off-season. We just hope this excellent October weather holds so that we can get more beach days in.