Harbor at Cassis

Captivating Cassis: The Best Kept Secret in the South of France

“Qu’a vist Paris e noun Cassis a ren vist.”  

“He who has seen Paris and who has not seen Cassis can say … I have seen nothing.” Frédéric Mistral (1830 – 1914)

I had taken the short train ride from Marseille to Cassis, a small seaside fishing village, over twenty years ago. It was a sunny morning when we boarded the train and hopped off at the St. Charles train station, a 2-3 kilometer walk to town.  If I close my eyes, I can picture the lush verdant greenery of the rugged countryside of Provence, the brilliant blue seaside and the reddish-orange terra cotta tiles of the rooftops.  I also remember the beautifully colored buildings and boats of Cassis and how magical a place I had found. Would her colorful, playful buildings still dance atop the turquoise sea?

Harbor at Cassis

The spectacular Harbor at Cassis

Like many places in the world, I never believed it would take me twenty years to get back. But sometimes life gets in the way and keeps you busy. As I road the bus from Marseille to Cassis, over twenty years later with my sister and mother, I wondered and desperately hoped, “Would it be the same”?

So often memories are nostalgic for a reason. Things change. Places get discovered and sadly get spoiled. Would Cassis have the same fate as so many other beautiful places in Europe? Would it be lined with tacky t-shirt and souvenir shops taking all of her beloved charm away? Would it be overcome with tourists pushing and shoving for a table at an outdoor cafe? I would have to wait and see.


The stilted homes of Roatan

Author’s note: This is my last piece on my recent trip to Honduras. To read more posts in this series  click here. The post below is a continuation of my day tour of the Garifuna villages on the island of Roatan).

After our visit to Punta Gorda, we drove to the other side of narrow Roatan to visit another beautiful traditional Garifuna Village, the community of Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge is quite unique as the entire village is built around a large bay and is a fishing community. It has been termed “The Venice of Roatan” which I find a little humorous however it is definitely worth a visit to this picturesque town.

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It was raining and there was no way I could ever have gotten a better shot of Oak Bridge than this one that I found on http://www.2backpackers.com (which is an awesome blog by the way).