You are in a religiously significant place. A heart, literally, of the Roma Christian, Romani, Gitane, tradition that looks to one of the oldest stories, factual or legendary depending on your outlook: After the Crucifixion, Three Marys, and a Black Sara La Kali, arrived by barge here. See the barge represented on the top of the church, above.
Where to stay? This is Roma tradition; retirees and others have joined the community because it is beautiful, but its origins are Romani, Gitane, Gypsy to those beginning a sojourn into the culture. Can you find a flavor of that as you rest your head.
Daytime streets, Saintes Maries de la Mer, France. Hotel Mediterannee, on the left.
Choose your hotel for the culture, the roots. Skip amenities in this town. Stay in a Roma pocket-hotel in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, like Hotel Mediteranee. This street, our hotel street chosen by chance, is lined with converted homes, cafes.
How to choose your accommodation? Drive to the center of town, or by the sea if that is your preference, and only then look around.
Advance reservations without knowing the area are a disappointment because so many fine, warm places must be passed in order to find your pre-order. If parking is not feasible in the street that you like, just drive to the public parking. Close enough? Fine, consider that, park and then walk.
By day, the little hotel street for Hotel Mediteranee is a neighborhood; by night, later, a culture and a home full of symbols, meaning, a communication.
In the breakfast couryard. Family origins, valued by those who have so descended from them. What is this symbolism. A genealogy. A cross, the Gitane Cross, the anchor below, leaves branching from the arms of the cross, the peak. The inscription reads, "Cross of Pierre Armenienne de ___?___ XIV Siecle KATCHKAR EN ______________ de Thierry et de la famille ARAKELIAN.
Parking is at the beach, where your fine hotel is on a residential one lane street. Note carefully where you are. Write down a landmark, or take a photo. Better yet, put the location on your portable GPS, store it, and use later. We are on the left, finally found.
The beaches are spotless. Raked daily. Don't leave right away. Go walk.