On Memorial Day Byron had the day off. Brannan, however, didn’t. So, we shipped him off to school and then took off for our own little adventure. We didn’t tell him, of course, that we were going on our own adventure, but he literally had WAY more fun at school than he would have with us. He got to be with his friends, learning things and playing, while we took a little ferry and explored a little island. I know we will take him again someday, but right now he has way more fun with his friends than with us. Plus, he only has a couple of more weeks with friends and will be “stuck” traveling with us for the whole summer so we are letting him have the last few moments with his friends. I know he will truly miss them and his school expereince once it lets out for summer.
Anyway, after the baby’s morning nap, we woke her up and took a little ferry to the Île Saint-Honorat.
When we stepped off the ferry, we were greeted with a large sign that laid out the island for us. If you walked straight across the midsection, you would get to the ancient monastery as well as the much newer monastery. We didn’t have much time as there was SO MUCH traffic getting down to the Cannes area, we missed the 11:00 ferry and had to get on the 12:00 ferry.
The monastery is still working today but is closed to visitors, but the older monasteries are open to visitors. The island produces its own honey and wine as well. We walked by the vineyards.
The grounds are beautiful – teeming with flowers and lavendar.
I walked into the more modern part of the monastery and in the foreground, on the big columns, you can see small black plaques. On the left it says “silence” and on the right it says “merci”.
Yes, there have been many times when we have all needed a little silence merci in our lives!
Also in this part of the monastery, there is a little “magazin” – a little store that sells all things “monastic”. Well, kindof. They have their wine that they produce as well as some miel (honey) that they also make on their island. There are prayer beads, postcards, wine bottle openers, rosary beads and hand-made candies also for sale. Just heavenly (ha ha).
Lucky for us, there was a bottle of rosé in their fridge. I first asked (in my most impressive-sounding French) if he spoke English. “Parlez-vous Anglais?” and he said “Oui, yes, of course!” and so I asked in English (since I haven’t perfected this phrase yet) “If I was to buy a bottle of wine, am I able to drink it here on the grounds?” And he kindof laughed at me, gave a smirk and said “why, yes, of course? Why wouldn’t you?” and I said “well, there are a LOT of rules in the US – you aren’t allowed to do much without permission” and he said “yes, we are a free country – well, mostly.” And then he asked if he could open my chilled bottle of wine for me.
He grabbed a couple of white plastic cups, turned them over onto the neck of the bottle and sent me on my way for only 7.80Euro.
We grabbed the Kikinator and headed for the crazy looking castle in the distance.
We spread out our picnic on a blanket in the shade of the castle and ate our sandwiches and drank our wine in the shade of a very old building.
After lunch, Byron climbed all the way to the top. You can see his wee little head up there.
We walked around a little more and caught the 2:30 ferry back to the mainland.
It was a great day!