Relaxing in Méounes

Everything is closed on Sundays in France. Everything. The French still carry the idea of having a “rest day” (despite their 35 hour full-time work weeks and 2 hour daily lunch breaks), alas no one but the unlucky few work on Sundays. So, this past Sunday morning after the late night rugby match, the wife of the family who was helping me out this week picked me up from her son’s apartment. Then, she, her sister, and I went to the beaches of Hyères, a small town at the end of bus line. Even though it is the end of September, the days are still beautiful and it is still completely possible to enjoy a nice sunny day on the beach! We had a picnic lunch, laid out in towels, and bathed in the Mediterranean Sea. Afterwards, the family brought me back to their gorgeous house in their petit village, «Méounes.» This entire town is made up of two-thousand people, and everyone knows everyone. It is very common to keep to yourself in France (most houses and apartments are hidden by big, tall walls, shutters, and gardens), but these small towns are more well-known for their neighborly hospitality, especially in the south. I was able to meet all of the extended family (they all live in this same village, too, and the wife’s mother’s apartment is attached to their house), enjoy a few cups of coffee, and eat an authentic French dinner, equipped with five courses, before enjoying a peaceful nights sleep. These villages are so beautiful, and although I am eternally grateful to have the chance to visit and come back whenever I want for a change of pace! One of the best things about knowing locals while traveling is being able to discover the roads less traveled.




3 thoughts on “Relaxing in Méounes

  1. I’m so jealous reading everything you’re doing!

    The 35-hour work week isn’t true for outside the public sector. When I was an au pair, my boss was gone by 8am most mornings and not home til 8pm or later most nights. Even factoring in her commute, she was at work 9-7 most days, and I know that she often skipped lunch. Most of my friends worked for families who needed au pairs because of the long hours they worked.

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