The quaint fishing town of Bandol, nestled within the embrace of a sweeping Mediterranean bay, a mere 80 minutes drive from Lourmarin and yet a world away for my sleepy little spot in the Luberon. Bustling on a market day morning, a street fayre which stretched all along the sea front. Market shoppers spilling out onto the streets sipping their cappucinos, some even clutching an early, vin rosé . Perhaps that could be forgiven, despite the slightly mid morning hour as we were in one of Provence’s most famous and delicious wine growing areas – les vignobles de Bandol.
The vineyards of Bandol, in the hills between La Ciotat and Toulon are some of the oldest in France. It is believed that the first vines were planted in Bandol by the Romans over 2,500 years ago. Bandol’s close proximity to the port of Marseille meant that this full body red wine, was a popular export. Bandol wine bottles could be found in India or Brazil 2 centuries ago!
The atmosphere was definitely reminiscent of careless summer days. We strolled the quay side admiring the neat moorings of cheery, brightly painted boats. Jackets and scarves happily left in the car, rolled up sleeves and sunglasses made us feel we had almost skipped a season and arrived in summer!
Palm trees and shuttered buildings above bustling little stores sporting this years display of T-shirts, swim suits, sun hats and all the typical wares of a seaside destination.
Brightly coloured awnings, some already pulled out to provide some shade, provided bright splashes of colour.
The town’s carousel all spruced up in readiness for all the excited little people who would soon be laughingly enjoying its roundabout thrill – little sticky fingers, ice cream smeared smiles, grinning broadly for the camera clicks of their proud onlooking parents, joyfully capturing happy memories.
and beautiful mimosa everywhere, surely one of Provence’s most defining blooms…….