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Monday, August 30, 2010

A Little Patch of Sand to Call Our Own

[Sandy beach on the Presqu'Ile de Giens, Hyères]

It might seem a bit strange, but finding a sandy beach is somewhat of a luxury in the South of France. Just when I'd gotten used to the delicate art of rock-rearranging at the stony little piece of paradise known as our local beach, I discovered the beaches around the Presqu'Ile de Giens this weekend.  Well, certainly it wasn't my discovery alone since there were more than a few happy campers (literally) escaping their tents & bungalows in search of their own patch of end-of-summer sand.

We set out late on Sunday morning, temporarily interrupting our other engaging activity of the weekend: Top Chef (season 6).  While I was finding a great deal of lazy-weekend comfort in a bit of American reality TV & Nicolas was learning the innumerable uses of the word "awesome" (thanks Voltaggio brothers), we decided that watching a friend compete in a mini-Triathlon on the island just might be a better way to spend a beautiful late-August day.   

[Triathlon rides & island views

Now these French are quite an active lot, and although I have the best of intentions for eventually joining in on some of the sporty fun, let's just say I'm doing very serious "field research" at the moment. I mean really...which sport to choose? We've got your obvious ones, running, biking, hiking, and trekking, but let's not forget all of the water-works: swimming, kite-surfing, & kayaking. And, if you venture around the Presqu'Ile, chances are you'll see a little bit of all of the above.

[One of many sports on the Presqu'Ile]

And, you might wonder, besides the sandy beaches, sweeping vistas, & the sporting life, what does the Presqu'Ile have to offer? Well, since Presque means "nearly" in French, the great thing about this "island" is that it really isn't...well, an island. I imagine the fact that you can reach it by car kinda trumps most people's definition of the word. And as we were driving down the long stip that connects the beaches to the city of Hyères, this "almost island" seemed a lot more like France's version of the Florida Keys; only with a far shorter highway & a few hundred pink flamingos to greet you on the road.

[The road to the Presqu'Ile with flamingos in the distance]

But while dipping my feet in the sand and listening to the waves, gentle & small as they were, I didn't really care so much if it was a faux island or the real deal, because our Sunday outing did a lot more to bring me a feeling of home than anything we could possibly have watched this weekend on Bravo TV. Although I am waiting on pins & needles for session 7...I mean who could be better than the brothers?

More about Hyères & the Presqu'Ile:


  1. I love this post! :-) Love that you were brave and went out exploring your lovely fake island. :-) What a gorgeous sunny day. :-)

  2. Ah yes, lovely spot to pass a few hours. The first time I went there it was very windy but it gave us the chance to watch the kite surfers do their thing.

  3. Do I hear a bit of homesickness in there?...Just a little...?

    There is a couch in my living room awaiting your return (:

  4. I thought the "Anonymous" would be exciting, but it is just Maria posting the above comment...(and this one, too!)

  5. What a coincendence that I stopped by today and read this! I am currently planning a trip here for next weekend as Hubby's on a business trip in the area so thought I'd tag along too!

  6. Thanks ladies for all the lovely comments!

    Krista, glad you liked the photos, you always have amazing ones on your site..

    Tanya, I agree can be quiet a windy spot..good excuse to escape to the sandy beaches..

    Maria, Yep, there's more than a touch of homesickness in there...keep that couch warm!

    Piglet, If you get a spare moment when you're in town, shoot me an email, would love to meet up! xx