Friday, December 6, 2013

Down to a 2 Day School Week

   What a week! The kids started off the school week well, then upon arriving at school Tuesday morning, ready to learn, we were sent home for lack of a teacher. What did we do? We went to the beach, of course. The weather was fabulous and I knew it would be even warmer on the coast so off we went to check out St. Tropez off season, without the crowds.
   It was all but boarded up. We wandered along the port, checking out the multi-million dollar yachts, the children picking the ones they wanted. When I pointed out a modest and charming sail boat, they would scoff at me. Why would I choose a boat like that when the monstrosities had everything from satellite TV to jet skis off the stern?
   After a pleasant lunch on the harbor, we found a beach for a wander and not surprisingly, two out of my three little ones were butt naked, in the sea. It was fabulous! Oldest Child was more than content to lay on the sand, reading her book, wrapped in her down jacket.
   As you may remember, there is no school on Wednesdays and what happened Thursday? You guessed it-another strike- no school. We ventured about an hour north to a gorgeous town called Moustiers St. Maries. It is on the northern side of the big Lac de St. Croix where we have been several times. The town is very well kept, perched on a limestone hillside with meandering, narrow streets. The town is famous for Faience pottery. There is a creek that passes through the middle of the town, under bridges with cafes and restaurants along side the rushing water.
   We wandered up, in search of sunshine and came to a trail that continued up. In dire need of some exercise, I rapidly continued before the kids could protest. The trail took us to an alcove with a shrine of St. Marie. A little further and we found some caves to check out. The view over the town and valley were lovely. Further along the trail that would obviously lead us back to the other end of town, a subsequent trail merged off and we climbed ancient, stone steps to a church lit with a few candles on the alter. After a few minutes of adjusting our eyes to the darAn all-too-realistic, very large carving of Christ on his cross hang from the wall. Going on hikes around here often leads to a cold, dark church, a safe haven for those in search of answers, peace or prayer. For us, it is a bit like a treasure hunt.
   We finished the day with a picnic by the lake, but no, the kids did not swim as the lake water is always frigid. We watched para gliders land in the field right in front of us and enjoyed the sunny, quiet day together. So, it was a two day school week. The weekend is upon us with sunny skies in the forecast. We will see where we end next.
Before they stripped- they wouldn't let me put those on the blog
One of the treasures along the path to the church
Looking down on the tiled roofs of the village 
Moustiers St. Marie
The church atop the hill, above Moustiers St. Marie

An example of the Faience pottery
Sunny day picnic 
Looks like fun.

No comments: