The Saint(e)s

Everybody knows Saint-Tropez from its enormous yachts and frequent celebrity sightings, but Sainte-Maxime was just as beautiful, if only a little less fancy. Somehow my mom and I ended up in Sainte-Maxime on the day of the festival celebrating Maxime, the town’s patron saint. Light blue and white balloons were all over the streets accompanied by a reenactment of a battle within the town complete with rounds of blanks fired by men dressed as soldiers. The fake-shooting was a bit disturbing and sounded like very loud and obnoxious construction noises; once it started, we realized it was our cue to leave Sainte-Maxime.

Saint-Maxine also has a beautiful beach and tons of cute shops, such as the incredibly visually-appealing soap store pictured above. Another convenient part of the town was the twenty-minute ferry running between the ports of the Cote D’Azur. We decided to ferry to Saint-Tropez as it was our original destination, but Sainte-Maxime was much better for parking and walking on the beach. In the five photos above, from the upper-left to the bottom-right, the images display: the Sainte-Maxime beach, balloons and a portrait of Sainte-Maxime herself, a soap and fragrance store, a Sainte-Maxime palm tree, and my mother standing by the city’s port.

The most fascinating part of Saint-Tropez was seeing so many yachts, all in one place. We witnessed a crew leading one yacht into its spot at the port, slowly guiding the massive vessel. Saint-Tropez was also full of every kind of designer store available. Walking through the streets was like strolling down Fifth Avenue or Newbury Street, except we were in a little Mediterranean French town. In the gallery of photos above, from the upper-left to the bottom-right, there is: the sign announcing entrance to the Saint-Tropez port from the ferry boat, the view of Saint-Tropez and its harbor from atop a hill, another huge yacht, a view looking up at the buildings, another photograph of a street, what I think might be a fire hydrant (?) with the sticker “J’existe,” and a third image of Saint-Tropez’s streets – this one from a little further from the town’s center.

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