Dateline: St. Tropez, France
Aboard Oceania Cruise Ship, The Riviera
We arrived at St. Tropez early this morning, anchored out in the bay, far from the docks. The bay is too small and shallow for cruise ships to venture in close. From where our ship is anchored St. Tropez appears to be a sleepy fishing village and little more. However St. Tropez can be considered to be the “soul” of the French Riviera.
Travel guide books warn readers to be prepared for a dismissive attitude toward tourists: with ostentatious dress, expensive yachts and cars, an attitude that we might be intruding on their little private jet-setter paradise, and over-priced bars and restaurants. The market prices for fruits and vegetables were a bit frightening, such as 3.90 euros ($5) for an apple, and thousands of euros for studio rentals. None of the dismissiveness was apparent though.
With my first tasting scheduled for mid-afternoon today I didn’t have time to dally so I found the main cheese shop quickly, saw that it was doing a steady business, and had a little cheese discussion with the shop’s proprietor, Carmen. My command of conversational French is less of a command than a suggestion but cheese talk has an international language of its own that fromagers everywhere seem to share.
To be continued…Posted by Artisanal Cheese