Friday, 28 October 2011

A golden isle



From the port at La Tour Fondue, the crossing was only fifteen minutes, the final transition between sky and land and sea, and from imagination to reality...

The answer to last week's teaser is the tiny island of Porquerolles, off the south coast of France about mid-way between Marseille and St Tropez. A rocky south coast is lined with rocky calanques made up of cliffs and fjord-like inlets, while white sand beaches face north across the narrow strait to the mainland at Hyères and Le Lavandou.

One the three tiny specks of land that make up Les Iles D'Or - the golden islands - Porquerolles is most wonderfully atmospheric, one of those islands where cars are not allowed and almost everyone cycles or walks. Or they sail. Everywhere you look out to sea or back to the mainland there are white sails cutting across the blue. In summer there's an almost tropical feel about it, with palm trees waving amidst the pines.

Its history is a curious mixture of the military and the romantic. It was once a strategic defence and all over the island are the remains of forts and it was first used by the army as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War: it was bought in 1912 by a man who had made his fortune in silver mining in Mexico and wanted to give it to his new wife as a wedding present, or so the story goes.

I'm deep into an imaginary world here, with a forgotten garden, wartime secrets and connections that are too strange to be called coincidence...

16 comments:

litlove said...

What a glorious location, Deborah! I'm writing this on a very murky, grey day in the fens, and only wish I could transport myself to that golden beach. Sounds like you have all the ingredients for another winner, there.

louciao said...

I'll just sit in rapt wonder at the gorgeous view and let you get on with your writing.

MuMuGB said...

Deborah, this is where I grew up. I am from Hyeres -you probably saw former classmates of mine there. It is a beautiful part of France. As a matter of fact I am just coming back from a week of holidays here. As you pointed out, I am your mirror image!

Pet said...

I must go there!

vanessafrance said...

Ah - I was right when I said it wasn't Corsica, but I thought it was somewhere in the Med. Simenon set one of his Maigret stories on Porquerolles, so I feel I half know it. In his novel it was a kind of lotus-eating place where people were beguiled into spending time there. I wonder if it's like that still?

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

How gorgeous,

Oh I'll always remember the one day in my fifteenth summer when we ferried over and spent the day biking...then lost one of our party and thought we may never all make it home!
Cheers and happy writing, Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Walking, sailing, cycling and no cars... with a surrounding view of aqua? Transport me, please!

Happy writing to you, mon amie, and keep those rich descriptions coming. Your words sweep me away to worlds, old and new, imagined and real.

Bises,
Genie

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Quelquefois je me demande ce que je fais dans le gris parisien... surtout lorsque je vois les beautés du Sud (soupir)...

Je ne t'oublie pas !!! Dès que mon livre paraît, je te l'envoie !!!

aguja said...

Stay with it, Deborah!

Carmen Troncoso said...

Wonderful place Deborah, this is a nice blog, hugs from Chile,

Kenza said...

Le paradis sur terre et si proche de nous...
Merci Deborah et très belle semaine

Fairday Morrow said...

Wow! What an amazing place! I enjoyed reading the history behind such a beautiful setting.

~Jess
http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

Deb said...

Sounds intriguing, Deborah! Beautiful photos. And the color of that water. Gorgeous.

Good luck with the word count. I am planning submissions next week so am finally emerging from a self imposed isolation. Tonight, I celebrate with the first party of the season.

Angela Bell said...

Hello Deborah,I have just been enjoying catching up with your blog.It is really like spending some time in southern France myself,lovely. Hope the writing is going well The Lantern is still very popular at the library where I work! All the best Angela

Cozy in Texas said...

Beautiful picture.
Ann

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Your photo looks even more beautiful now that winter is on it's way.
I finally got around to reading The Lantern while spending a few days in hospital.It proved a wonderful distraction from my surroundings.Thank you so much!
Lovely to hear that you're forging ahead with new work.
Best wishes,
Ruby

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