Sept 17, 2012. An Evening in Port de Cassis

On my previous posting, I had mentioned how much I liked the Hotel de L’Amphitheatre in Arles.  So before I go on to the day’s journey, I would like to share some photos of what the hotel looks like inside.

Hotel de L’Amphitheatre, Arles.

So, on to our little sojourn.  After a few days in Provence it was time to finally make our way out to the Mediterranean Sea.  I suggested the Port of Cassis as it was not that far away from Arles.  It is a popular tourist destination, famous for its cliffs (falaises) and the sheltered inlets called calanques.

In case you are not familiar with this serene town, I refer you to the following excerpt from the Wikipedia article on Cassis.

The site where Cassis now sits was first occupied between 500 and 600 BC by the Ligures, who constructed a fortified habitation at the top of the Baou Redon. These people lived by fishing, hunting, and by farming.

The link with Massilia (Marseille) a city founded by the Phoceans,(Greek: Φώκαια), means that the current site of Cassis could have been inhabited by the Greeks, though no proof has yet been found.

During the Roman times, Cassis was part of the maritime route made by the Emperor Antoninus Pius. At this time, the port advanced right up to Baragnon. It was a small village, established mainly around the Arena and Corton beaches. The principal livelihood was fishing and maritime trade with North Africa and the Middle East. Several archaeological discoveries attest to this[citation needed].

From the fifth to the tenth century, invasions by the barbarians[weasel words] led the population to seek refuge in the castrum, a fortified city that, in 1223, became the property of the Seigneurie des Les Baux-de-Provence.

In the fifteenth century, Cassis was ceded to the Counts of Provence, then René of Anjou gave the town to the Bishops of Marseille, who ruled the town until the Revolution of 1789.

Quai Saint-Pierre, Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône, France

As is the custom in Provence, most restaurants do not serve dinner until 7 PM to 7:30 PM.  With a couple hours to kill, we settle down to a few beers and watch the sunset.  We choose a restaurant that features very fresh seafood, some of it uncooked.  We ordered up an assortment of oysters, cooked mussels, shellfish, crustaceans and more.  Delicious and very fresh.   Being a Toronto denizen, I cannot expect to get such an assortment of such fresh Mediterranean seafood back home, so I’m glad we had our fill.

Rue Frédéric Mistral, Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône, France


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