Wednesday, July 25, 2012

St Paul de Vence

I have to admit that I stay out of St Paul de Vence as much as possible.  The surfeit of galleries are generally not to my taste and I don't like crowds .

That said, the Catherine Issert Gallery has some interesting artists .  And this time I saw another which had some fine work :   The Annecy Gallery

 In fact this time I thought maybe if I took another look there might be some new finds since the last time I was there several years back.    I know that a gallery I love is down an alley and in the back off the main street of the old town but since the kids were eating ice cream, I didn't dare enter this time.

Also , surprisingly this time there were not as many tourists for the time of year as ST Paul is one of the most visited destinations in our area.  

 Our first stop was for lunch at Le Tilleul Restaurant recommended by friend, Lanie.  The menu they were offering had some fancy, succulent salads:

 Seared Tuna Nicoise

 Duck kebab Salad with red potatoes and figs

Summer salad with giant shrimp, watermelon , ham and cantaloupe

 And a nice outdoor setting for lunch

The only clanger with the lunch experience was the absolutely obnoxious busker with a broken guitar, a broken repertoire and a red clown nose that persisted throughout the meal.  I don't see how the waiters didn't throw him off the cliff because it was all I could do not to take on the task myself.  Grrrr.

After lunch a walk through the old town.....
Stone work on the walkways which is typical of our area.

 The village fountain and ancient laundry basins

Above the ancient laundry "room".

Coat of arms 

Christopher and Emma investigate

Yes, we are ambling along enjoying a peek at the galleries and boutiques and a view into the valley when all of a sudden the sky gives us a new look.

And  within seconds we are running for an open door as a WALL of water descends.  It is what we call a flash flood in Arizona or New Mexico but I have not often seen such a violent mini- storm like this one in the south of France.  

We sit it out in a t- shirt boutique.  Jeanne preaches patience as Christopher and I want to make a run for it during the less pronounced moments.  But Jeanne is right to wait.... as 15 minutes later the clouds are exhausted and the "orage" moves on.   No wonder there were not many tourists in St Paul.  They had probably read the weather report.   But Emma was ready with her rain parka and trumped us all as we slithered, wet... for the car.

And from the kind fellow selling children's expensive t-shirts who sheltered us, I bought a giant post card depicting Noah's Arc!

HOme again, high and dry, for  my last evening with Emma and Christopher.    The storm hit Nice about 3 hours later but we were well tucked in by then.

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