July 14, 2016, posted by Michelle – It’s Bastille Day here in France so it seems appropriate to write about my latest French shopping excursion for GDFC. I ventured down to the South of France and visited brocantes and shops in Antibes, Valbonne, Juan-les-Pins, St. Tropez and Aix-en-Provence.
The beauty of this part of France is breathtaking. The rocky coastline where the foothills of the Alps meet the deep blue Mediterranean sea is dotted with majestic parasol pines. And in what the French call the “arrière-pays” (the countryside) fields of lavender and sunflowers stretch on forever across the dry, hilly landscape and the steady chirping sound of the cicadas complete the Provençal mood.
Antibes is on the coast and is, so far, my favorite place in France not only because of the beautiful seaside but also for the interesting sights and things to do: the Provençal farmers market, the art market, Port Vauban (the largest marina on the Mediterranean), Fort Carré (a 16th century fortress), the Picasso Museum (in a former castle of the Royal Family of Monaco), the lovely architecture of the old city and shops and markets of all kinds. What’s not to love?
On Saturdays there are a couple of brocantes (flea markets) in Antibes’ old city where you can browse to your heart’s content. I came across lots of vintage tableware and artwork there.
I also tracked down some signed original watercolors (below left) and unusual prints in a shop on a little hidden side street.
And, of course, I picked up several packages of lavender for myself including some edible lavender which, the package said, can be used in ice cream and other desserts.
The shopping in the other cities was just as much fun and each place seemed to be more beautiful than the last. I can’t wait for the next trip!