Port Frejus on the French Riviera: I think they are drugging us


Frejus is on the Mediterranean and was established by Julius Caesar himself. There are Roman ruins all over the place here. When I was booking this part of the trip I wanted to avoid the larger centres of Cannes, St. Tropez and Nice and stay somewhere a little less busy. This place fits the bill perfectly. As in the picture below, we are the only people wearing rash shirts, sunscreen and hats. We should have just added “Foreigner” to our backs to complete the picture.

Our hotel is a curioisity. It is a part of a French hotel chain, called ‘Vacanciel” and it is kind of like a 1970’s cruise ship on land. I keep channelling “The Love Boat” without meaning to. So let me introduce our crew. First, there is Lottie – a young British girl who sort of does everything. Then there is Lizzie, another Brit, our bartender. Sarah, the last of the British trio, is our server, Laila is our receptionist and then we have Mathilde, the cook dishing up the food on the nightly buffet line; and Gerard the all important dispenser of gelato. Alan is our front of the house manager, a sweet little French thing is our social convener and I almost forgot our Bulgarian bus boy, whose name I cannot recall at the moment.

I didn’t realize that this place had food (other than our breakfast). We arrive at about 7PM and we all need to eat. Chris determines that there is a buffet on site, so we decide that in the name of ease and immediacy we will eat here tonight. Dinner is served on the terrace out by the pool – absolutely delightful. There are various dishes on offer, all of them local traditional fare. While we are making our decisions we are informed that the wine is also self serve 🙂 OK – so I guess we are eating here every night!!!!

As it turns out, we do. Not because of the wine – although that is certainly enticing. We are the only non-French people here. Non-French as in from France as well as in language. Because of this, we are presented with a variety of typical french dishes; everything from fougasse, to bean salads to main courses to desserts. This allows us to have a huge sampling of local cuisine without going to any more trouble than walking out to the terrace.

I should also mention that our room is the size of a closet. The door opens into the room. It stops at the bunk bed on the right. Immediately on the left is the bathroom, whose door opens out, so there is a curious traffic jam of doors as there is yet another door which closes off the main ‘bedroom’ at the end of the 6′ hallway. When the four of us are in the room at the same time it is pandemonium. I enquire as to whether there might be something a little larger and am told, mais non, madam!. Apparently all the rooms are identical. So we suck it up and try and organize our selves so that we can stagger the amount of time we actually spend in the room.

This hotel offers excursions to go on each day, and has some sort of entertainment each night. One evening the kids and I venture down to see what’s happening and see that thee is a line dancing lesson. This is a traditional type of dance here in the south of France. We decide to join in. It is a brain strain trying to figure out what our social convener is saying as she doesn’t speak a word of English. However, the ladies in the group quickly decide that Lucy is the best dancer of all of us, so the teacher tells the group to watch her. So we work our way through the steps and then the instructor puts on the music. Of all the songs out there in the world, I was expecting some sort of French reel to move us through the paces. But what awaited was none other than The Rednex version of “Cotton Eyed Joe. This song happens to be on our kids playlist at home because they love to dance to it. The world just got a little smaller…..

It doesn’t take too long for me to realize that I am exhausted. I am torn between my conspiracy theory that they are either drugging our food or pumping carbon monoxide in through our air conditioner. Or maybe it’s the 100 degree weather which has been non stop for weeks. Or maybe it’s that we are in week number four and this is the point in the schedule when one really starts to let go.I don’t know. But I spend my nights embroiled in crazy dreams and my days longing for a nap. It’s handy that we don’t have anything to do other than relax :-). The picture below is of one of the electric buses here in Frejus. Isn’t it adorable?

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