Today we celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary (11 1/2 years together!). We had planned to go to Cassis for the day to swim and hike, but when we got up, it was cold and cloudy and looked like it was going to rain.
We went to the Bio (organic) market at the Cours Julien and picked up some cherries, white peaches, eggs, and mussels. Next, we went to a gourmet shop and bought some wines for dinner. We brought those back home, and then decided to go out to lunch nearby. We had lunch at an Indian restaurant we have been wanting to try for a while called Le Rajasthan. It was SO good! I had the eggplant and potato baigan with fromage (cheese) naan and rice. Chris had an assortment of 10 items ranging from poulet tikki masala to lentil curry. The food was delicious and we really wish we had gone there earlier! We will have to have lunch or dinner there one more time before leaving Marseille.
After lunch, we decided to relax at home for a bit, and then go to the village of Allauch for a few hours. Allauch (pronounced Al-Lo) is just outside the suburbs of Marseille. It is a very quaint Pronencal town with windmills and a church up on the hill. To get there, all we had to do is take the metro line to La Rose, get out and hop the 144 bus to Allauch. It was very easy to get there, and once there, we found the Office du tourisme to get a map.
Allauch was very cute, clean and small They allow cars on the tiny, narrow streets, which is crazy considering the sidewalks are too small to walk on so you must walk in the street. The windmills are mostly ruins, except for one that has been reconstructed. From the windmills, we walked up the hill through the winding streets, all the way up the hill to Notre Dame (yes, every town has at least one church called Notre Dame). We were the only one's treking up the hill and the only one's at the top! It was in the 90's with very high humidity, I bet everyone else was staying smart and not hiking in the heat. But even with the sweat pouring off of us, we still had a great time. We hunted for cigale (cicadas) that we could hear chirping all around us. We had a great view of Notre Dame de la Guarde in Marseille from the top of the hill.
On the way back down the hill, I found a cigale on the tree! I took a quick picture before it flew to a higher branch.
We went back down into the village and over to the cemetary. I know, a bit morbid to visit a cemetary on our wedding anniversary, but hey, we are just weird like that.
The cemetary was very interesting and it was so different than one's we have seen before in the states. First of all, there is no grass, only rocks. Second, there will be one large stone on the ground, and on top, you will find ceramic flowers and little plaques with cameo pictures on them of the dead. The dates went all the way back into the 1800s. The ceramic flowers were very smart. You never have to replace them and they always look nice. The cameos were very strange and creepy. The one's of babies and young children were so sad.
It took us a long time to figure out how the bodies were actually buried below. We finally guessed that the stone in front could be lifted, and then you would go down into a family vault where the bodies are buried. Otherwise, they would just be stacked up one on top of the other (which is possible) under the large stone.
Some of the mosoleums were above ground, and you could look in to see statues of Mary and lots of flowers. Some were upkept better than others.
We went back home for dinner, and began cooking. We had a four course meal. For starters, we had a wonderful sparkling rose muscat wine. It wasn't too sweet, and tasted like honey and white grapes. We drank it along with our canapes of salmon egg, fig and formage, ham and formage, and egg. Our second course was lobster (frozen from our favorite frozen food store, Picard). Third course was fresh mussels from the morning market in a garlic and white wine sauce. And last, black forest cake!
The cake had a cherry on top that I gave to Chris. On our very first family date (with his parents), he said to me "If I can tie this cherry stem in a knot with my tongue, will you marry me?" I just smiled, and he tied the stem into a knot with his tongue. Well, look how that ended up. :)
It was a lovely day and evening relaxing and enjoying time here in Provence.
Pictures are HERE