The Naked Man and the Sea

Now that I’m finally finished with all that tedious studying for the driver’s exam, I have time to post some pictures. My parents were here for a visit in late September and since the weather was (and always is) beautiful then, we spent an afternoon by the sea in Cassis. We had a traditional “by the sea” lunch of moules frites, which is mussels and fries, with a lovely bottle of rosé. The mussels are steamed in their shells in a pot of white wine, garlic and onions, to which they add a splash of cream to make the sauce they are served with. Delicious.

After lunch we took a boat tour of the calanques, or cliffs, along the shore. The calanques are the fijords of the Mediterranean, formed by ancient rivers that once flowed into the sea and cut through the rock. Locals and tourists alike trek along the coast and navigate tiny, rocky paths down to sea level, where one can enjoy sunbathing on the flat rocks in the coves and swimming in some of the most perfectly turquoise water you’ll find anywhere.

People try to seek out their own private little spaces to sunbathe and some soak up the rays completely naked. Of course, their little refuges are only secluded from other sunbathers, not the boats. As our boat went by a naked man sunbathing on a rock, I felt a little bad that our presence was invading his privacy. That was until he stood up, stretched, and started doing push-ups. I tried to picture the conversation he’d have with his wife later on that evening.

“What did you do today, honey?”

“Oh, the usual. Went down to the calanques and freaked out tourists.”

“The naked push-up thing again?”

“Yup. Gets them every time. Lots of people took pictures. My goal is to be on a postcard someday.”

“I’m so lucky I met you.”

Of course, the only problem with this scenario is that there’s very little chance that a man who spends his free time doing naked push-ups for tourists would ever be married.

Miraculously, we all still had an appetite after this excursion and treated ourselves to ice cream cones, which we ate while wandering the streets of Cassis and doing some shopping. More pictures can be found under “Photos” at right.

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