Tuesday is Market Day in Bandol. What this means is that there is a huge market all along the port – sort of like a flea market, but with many fresh and prepared food stands (fruits and veggies, fish, “Provençal” items like olives and various tapenades, cheese, different kinds of sausage and cured meats…) in addition to “stuff” of any and every variety that you can imagine! Clothes, shoes, kitchen stuff, fabric, the list goes on. LOTS of fun!

We spent a good part of the morning cruising the market and bought some great looking olives and tapenade, then headed over to a café to meet Mina, a friend of our landlady who has offered to be a friend and guide for us while we’re here in Bandol. She’s interested in practicing her English, and has offered to help me with my French as well!

So we headed over and hovered around the outdoor seats at the café (have I mentioned that it’s getting a bit warmer every day? finally!!) looking for someone looking for us! Eventually we found each other, and sat down to have a coffee – outside, no less! The coats weren’t off, but things were definitely moving in the right direction!

Mina is absolutely lovely! She is very apologetic about her English, which is ridiculous, as she speaks just fine. She’s interesting and thoughtful – I can see we’re going to have fun together! She didn’t have a lot of time on Tuesday, but proposed going to the next town over, Sanary-sur-Mer, on Wednesday to see their market – apparently MUCH bigger than the one in Bandol! And she said she’d show us some restaurants, etc. that she likes there. What fun! Of course we said yes!!

After we parted with Mina, we did a bit more shopping, getting some bread, sliced sausage “de Lyon”, a rotisserie chicken, and some cheese. While waiting in line at the cheesemonger’s, a nice young man turned around and asked me, with an English accent, if I was from the US or Canada! I must have looked surprised, as he then said that they don’t hear much English around here at this time of year.

We proceeded to have a nice chat, which ended with his telling me that this was the best cheesemonger in all of Provence, and that I should try the St. Felician cheese. It turned out to be great advice, as the this has quickly become a favorite!

Mina had suggested that we walk along the waterfront, ending up winding around onto the beach, where we can walk around to the steps that go up to our street! We decided to try it, and it was lovely – and an easy walk. The only difficulty is that my Danskos aren’t really beach shoes, if you know what I mean, and it’s a little chilly yet for sandals. Will have to ponder this and see what is on offer at the various markets as the days progress.

We had a wonderful dinner comprised of the booty from our shopping! Now, THIS is living!!!