We had allowed thirty minutes to find the accommodation. Wise move!! Le Rayol (Rayol-Canadel-sur-Mer) is a small coastal village overlooking a lovely section of the Gulf of Tropez. Karen arrived and presented the apartment, the keys and took the deposit.
Disappointed isn’t quite the right word. It’s just, well, as you age priorities change. Stairs are much steeper, ambient light in the kitchen isn’t enough and when you wake in the middle of the night you really do not want to negotiate winding stairs to go to the toilet. Our apartment was very pretty but pretty, no longer cuts it. Of course, just to add a little salt, once we had paid the 600 euro deposit for our three night stay, we were informed that there were other charges including the tourist tax and electricity! Then we discovered the half roll of toilet paper was it. We were being tested.
Despite our domestic situation, once settled we made ourselves very comfortable under the shade of the vine covered terrace overlooking the bay and planned the next three days over a delicious meal and a glass or two of rosé.
First stop was Le Lavandou a lovely town on the coast with lots of sandy beaches and a quaint old town to explore. Coffee and cake was the order of the day. We decided to lunch in, have an afternoon nap and set off for St Tropez later in the afternoon. Great decision.
John was on a mission. He had come across a painting by Signac called A Storm over St Tropez that he discovered was in the museum Annonciade. We parked near the port and meandered among the rich and famous and headed to the museum. John was not having a good trot. Yes, the painting was there- upstairs- no you can’t see it – it will be in our next exhibition. Really? Seriously?
We explored. It certainly is a village to explore. The yachts in the harbour were impressive too and included Sailing Ship “A” which is owned by a Russian billionaire (is that an oxymoron?) who paid $400 million for it. John suggested he was stalking us because we saw it last year in Formentera. Very funny John!!
The following day, John and I decided to visit Domain du Rayol, a garden showing the various landscapes of the world. We had visited Trauttmansdorff Gardens in Italy and were very impressed and decided that seeing we were literally next door and they looked pretty good on the internet we shouldn’t miss them. Ummm not all decisions are good ones. It was alright, but they were a bit tired and needed a bit more TLC.
The weather was excellent, and we decided to walk down the road to the beach and take a dip. The sun was hot. The water was cool. It was a great way to wrap up our stay in Le Rayol.