Last week we mentioned we’d had a pleasant guided tour around the inner part of St Tropez. It is still possible, along various secluded streets, to imagine what the town must have been like before it became popular in the 1960s. Brigitte Bardot – whose success as a film star popularised the town globally and who still lives here – must unfortunately take some of the blame.
Some of the streets however have become dominated by extraordinarily expensive shops. These seem to operate on the premise that if you have anchored your yacht outside the town or flown in by helicopter, you are not going to balk at 500€ for flip-flops or 10,000€ for a watch. There are probably three sorts of people who visit St Tropez in high season: the ordinary people who work there, the extraordinarily rich who buy the bling in the shops, and ordinary tourists who like watching the rich buy the bling.
As we have mentioned before, there is a small, but very pleasant art gallery, if your taste runs to French impressionists. We had a guided tour which involved the tour leader giving a detailed account of every painting and we’re afraid to say that after about 10 minutes or so we tiptoed away and wandered round ourselves. One of the curiosities of the gallery is the presence of a number of windows looking out to the town or the port. In one or two cases, they created a more aesthetically pleasing effect than some of the paintings.
On the way back we were able to get some fine photos from the coach across the bay back to the town itself. We have the suspicion that St Tropez is best seen at a distance or taken in small doses off-season. We don’t plan to visit again before September.