Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 1939: Chateaux, Rillettes, Sunflowers, Mistral and Tour de France Triumphal Finish
By Anastasia from Canada, Summer 2011
Page 18 of 28: Our Apartment in Bandol
Our apartment was on the top floor (first) of an old house (built in 1901). It had high ceilings, original old ceramics and a huge roof top terrace with a panoramic sea view. It had a living room and two bedrooms, a kitchen, a toilet and a bathroom. The two bedrooms and the kitchen had a sea view. The apartment was clean and had air conditioning. The kitchen was small and the toilet very small. The bathroom had two sinks, but despite it being big there was only a half bath (i.e., shower) with a narrow access between the vanity and the wall, and it was high. Better to be fit to get to the shower. My husband could only sit on integrated bench because there was some sort of storage on top. I was okay standing. Otherwise there was a faucet at the top terrace where I sent husband and son a few times to rinse off so as not to bring sand into the apartment. Since it is the main residence it had everything in the kitchen and anything required for cleaning including a small vacuum. It also had a washing machine.
The owners were delightful and we were welcomed with a good bottle of Bandol wine and a rhubarb jam.
The only think missing I would say was a small coffee table for drinks. But otherwise there was a big table facing a huge window with a nice garden view.
Also, I am not sure why, but some camping areas and apartment owners just provide a serpiere to wash floors. For many years, more than 25, I havenít see people washing floors by hand. A mop could be a good investment, if you want people keeping the rentals cleaner and more often washed.
Another good thing is to keep baking soda in the fridge, to absorb all smells. Even if we kept the refrigerator clean, the cheese smells in particular can be strong.
Since there is water on top terrace, and plenty of space it would be easy to add a shower there and even a small kitchen (grill with a sink, and storage for dishes). Stairs to get to the roof terrace were steep on top and it can be tricky to take dishes to the roof. Fortunately I brought plastic glasses, and wine glasses and we used plastic dishes purchased from a supermarket.
Our apartment was very central. There were a supermarket, a bakery and a patisserie on the same street, 200 meters away, and the daily market, the port, traiteurs and rotisseries and other supermarkets about 300 meters away. The closest bakery could be smelled from afar and people were lining up every day for fresh bread. The smell was amazing. They made tuiles aux amandes and all sorts of breads. Most people in Bandol spoke French. I didnít hear much other languages spoken, may be only a few foreign tourists, unless they spoke French too.
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